American Airlines Announces Huge International Flight Cuts

American Airlines has announced a raft of changes in relation to yesterday’s surprise ban on European travelers entering the US. Deep cuts have been made to the airline’s transatlantic schedule, but South America has taken a hit too. Full details follow.

American Airlines
American Airlines has outlined some huge route cuts in response to the current situation. Photo: Getty

What’s happening?

American Airlines, the world’s largest airline by fleet size, has announced plans to cut a huge amount of international capacity in response to Trump’s European ban and the ongoing slump in demand due to COVID-19. The adjustments to its schedule were published on its website last night.

Overall, the company is looking to cut back international capacity for the entire summer season by more than a third (34%). In April alone, the airline has published a 50% reduction in transatlantic capacity, clearly in response to Trump’s travel ban.

However, the airline says it will continue to fly to Europe for up to a week. This is to ensure both its customers and its employees can return to their homes before the flights are cut.

As well as Europe, the airline is slashing its services to Latin America. Its services to Argentina are being suspended completely, in the wake of new measures announced by the nation. Argentina will stop issuing visas for travelers from coronavirus hit countries, including the UK, USA and the Schengen area.

AMerican Airlines 767
Europe has seen the bulk of the cuts. Photo: Getty

The airline has said many of these suspensions will resume as soon as the 7th May. This latest raft of flight suspensions has allowed the airline to accelerate the retirement of older aircraft, including the Boeing 767 which will be phased out by May.

Details of the cuts – Europe

American Airlines detailed massive cuts to its European route network last night. These cuts, likely prompted by the unexpected ban on travelers from the Schengen zone, are all temporary, with most expected to resume on May 7th. The affected routes are:

From Charlotte (CLT): Services to Frankfurt and Munich are both suspended from today, March 13th until May 6th. It is anticipated these will restart on May 7th.

From Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW): Services to Frankfurt, Madrid and Paris (CDG) will be suspended from March 19th until May 6th. It is anticipated these will restart on May 7th. As well as these, its services to London Heathrow will reduce from four daily flights to just three, and the seasonal route to Rome (FCO) will be delayed until May 7th.

From New York (JFK): Flights to Barcelona, Madrid, Milan (MXP) and Paris (CDG) will be suspended from March 19th. Most are due to restart on May 7th, although Madrid is not expected to recommence until June 4th. As well as this, flights to London Heathrow are being pared back from four daily to three, while the seasonal route to Rome (FCO) has been delayed until May 7th.

American Airlines reduces international capacity with 10% due to coronavirus
Most destinations will be restarted on May 7th. Photo: Getty Images

From Miami (MIA): Flights to Barcelona, Paris (CDG), Madrid and Milan (MXP) are all being suspended from March 19th. All apart from Paris are due to restart on May 7th, while the service to Charles de Gaulle will recommence on June 4th.

From Chicago O’Hare (ORD): Servies To London Heathrow are being cut back from four times a day to three. Its seasonal service to Rome (FCO) is being pushed back to June 4th.

From Philadelphia (PHL): Services to Amsterdam, Paris (CDG), Rome (FCO), Madrid and Zurich will all be suspended from today (March 13th) until May 7th.

From Raleigh-Durham (RDU): Its service to London Heathrow will be entirely suspended from March 19th, and is expected to resume on May 7th.

Speaking about these changes, the airline noted that it had committed to operating some routes from Dallas, New York and Miami for seven days, in order to allow both passengers and crew to find a way home. As Charlotte and Philadelphia are not government-approved gateways, services are changing as of today.

Details of the cuts – South America

American Airlines is also cutting into its South American routes in this latest schedule update. All services to Argentina are suspended, in light of the country’s ban on visas for people from affected areas. As well as that, its nonstop service between Miami and Cordoba was already slated to be dropped, but will now end in March rather than May as expected. The full details are:

From Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW): Services to Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Santiago are all suspended until June 4th. The Buenos Aires suspension kicks in on the 16th March, while the others come into effect on the 19th.

From Los Angeles (LAX): Services to Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo will be suspended on the 16th and 19th March respectively. Both will not restart until October 25th.

From New York (JFK): Servies to Buenos Aires will stop on March 16th, with resumption slated for June 4th.

From Miami (MIA): Its Buenos Aries route will stop also on March 16th, with resumption planned for May 7th. As mentioned, the service to Cordoba will end permanently in the coming days.

American A319
Most of the South American cuts are in relation to Argentina’s travel ban. Photo: Getty Images

All these services are subject to change and, as always, the advice is to contact the airline before booking or if you have an upcoming flight in order to check you can still travel.