Inside American Airlines Huge Austin Growth

American Airlines’ growth at Austin has been phenomenal. With 38 routes from the Texas capital this winter, including Albuquerque and Aspen, the carrier has been primarily responsible for the Texas capital’s fast expansion.

American B737-800

The B737-800 is American’s most-used aircraft from Austin, although growth has been driven by the Embraer 175. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Huge Austin growth

Austin is the USA’s third fastest-growing airport. More than 1.5 million seats (+18%) have been added versus winter 2019 (W19), behind only Miami and Dallas. While Aeromexico, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta,  and Southwest have more capacity than they previously did, it has mainly been driven by American.

In W19, American had just under 1.5 million Austin seats across eight routes. As you’d expect, they were primarily hub routes to Charlotte, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Philadelphia, and Phoenix, along with Las Vegas.

How things change. In W21, American’s seats have virtually doubled to 2.9 million across 38 routes. The carrier’s share of seats has risen from 17% in W19 to 29% this winter, analyzing OAG data confirms. While Southwest has also grown its Austin offering, the gap between the pair has narrowed.

American's Austin development (1)
American now has 655,000 fewer seats than Austin’s leading operator, Southwest. Source of data: OAG.

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American’s flights have risen even faster

While American’s Austin seats are up by 95%, flights are have grown by 117%. Driving this is the significant growth of American Eagle’s 76-seat Embraer 175s, which have 12 seats in first, 20 in main cabin extra, and 44 in regular economy.

In W19, Eagle’s E175s had 398 Austin flights; now, they have 6,992. Nonetheless, the B737-800 remains top and not just because of higher-density hub routes. Some 20 routes will see the narrowbody, including Boston, Cancun, Liberia, Nassau, Punta Cana, Puerto Vallarta, and Washington Dulles. Philadelphia also will on Thanksgiving, replacing the normal E175.

  1. B737-800: approximately 7,507 flights to/from Austin this winter
  2. Embraer 175: 6,992
  3. A321: 2,538
  4. A319: 2,372
  5. B737 MAX 8: 987
  6. A320: 671
  7. CRJ-700: 192
  8. A320neo: 164
  9. Embraer 170: 116
American's Austin network W21
This shows American’s Austin network this winter. Sarasota (SRQ) and Salt Lake City (SLC) are only served over the Christmas and New Year periods. Image: GCMap.

38 routes this winter, including Albuquerque

American’s growing Austin network includes a new link to Albuquerque (ABQ), with a seven-weekly service starting on January 4th. Flying to New Mexico, AA3900 will depart Texas at 14:03 and arrive at 15:04 local time.

Going to the Texas capital, AA3903 will depart Albuquerque at 11:10 and arrive at 14:00. American will compete head-to-head with Southwest (also seven-weekly) and Allegiant (twice-weekly) from March 4th. The E175 will be used.

American CRJ-700
For a limited time in the summer, American served Aspen on a Saturday-only basis. This winter, it will have up to seven flights a week. Photo: Alan Wilson via Flickr.

And Aspen

The 812-mile (1,307km) link to Aspen (ASE) will also run. It’ll begin on December 17th and operate seven-weekly until early January. It’ll then revert to Saturday-only until March 3rd when it’ll again be seven-weekly. The 65-seat CRJ-700 will operate all services.

What do you make of American’s development at Austin? Let us know in the comments.