American Airlines Resumes Flights To Spain

Dallas-based US carrier American Airlines is cautiously rolling out a limited schedule of summer flights between the USA and Europe. These include the resumption of nonstop services between Dallas Fort Worth and Madrid’s Barajas Airport this week. The flights will see American Airlines become the only carrier currently offering nonstop flights between the US and Spain.

American Airlines is resuming flights between Dallas and Madrid this week. Photo: Getty Images.

Madrid bound flights resume this week from Dallas Fort Worth

The first flight left Dallas Fort Worth today. Daily return services using a Boeing 787-8 will begin on Saturday. This will see AA36 push back from Dallas Forth Worth at 16:50 for a nine and a half hour flight over to Madrid, landing at 09:10 the following morning. The daily return flight, AA37, will depart from Madrid at 11:05 and touch down in Dallas at 14:40 on the same day after a ten and a half hour flight.

American Airlines had previously offered direct flights between Dallas and Madrid but suspended the service in mid-March after the US Government began banning most incoming arrivals from mainland Europe. But the airline has kept a daily flight between Dallas and London Heathrow operating. The resumption of Madrid bound services marks a small ramp-up in transatlantic services for American Airlines.

A gradual ramp-up of American Airlines’ transatlantic services to Europe

Services between Dallas Fort Worth and both Amsterdam and Frankfurth are slated to begin on 4 June. Services between Dallas Fort Worth and Dublin are set to start-up again on 7 July. Flights from New York Kennedy to London Heathrow, Los Angeles to London Heathrow, Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow, Philadelphia to London Heathrow, and Raleigh-Durham to London Heathrow are all due to resume on 4 June.

American Airlines services from Chicago O’Hare to both Dublin and Athens will also re-commence in early June.

The Madrid bound flights will leave Dallas daily late in the afternoon. Photo: American Airlines.

These flights are a fraction of the flights American Airlines formerly sent out across the Atlantic. But it is a sign that the airline is keen to have some flights up and running in anticipation of a relaxation of travel restrictions between the USA and Europe.

The Madrid bound service also capitalizes on American Airlines’ partnership with Madrid-based oneworld buddy, Iberia. The partnership allows passengers out of Dallas to be checked through to further destinations in the Iberia network.

Stringent travel restrictions remain in place

While prospective passengers in both cities might have itchy feet, it’s not a case of simply buying a ticket and jumping on board. Both the USA and Spain still have strict border controls in place. Spain has closed its land, sea, and air borders to non-residents, and restrictive lockdown regimes remain in place for Spanish residents. On the other side of the Atlantic, unless you are an American citizen or lawful permanent resident, you’ll have a hard time entering the USA after been in Spain.

American Airlines will be using a Boeing 787-8 on its Madrid flights. Photo: American Airlines.

Why does American Airlines bother flying to Europe?

With such restrictive travel regimes in place, you might ask why any airline would bother flying between the two counties?

There are several reasons. Flights like these maintain a degree of connectivity. Some people, including essential workers, still have to travel. The flights also allow for the carriage of cargo. The pandemic has seen American Airlines rediscover cargo, with current loads the biggest in more than 30 years. Finally, there’s the unspoken social contract between companies like American Airlines and its many stakeholders (that include passengers). The flights American Airlines now operates might lose money, but there’s the expectation that big businesses will keep running in bad times as well as the good times.

Bookings for the resuming American Airlines between Dallas Fort Worth and Madrid are now open and available via the airline’s website.