American Airlines Announces Huge Transatlantic Expansion

American Airlines has dropped a bombshell of new destinations for the summer 2020 season. Included in the list is a direct flight to Africa (a first for the airline) and bespoke routes to interesting eastern European cities.

American Airlines tail fin
Amercian Airlines is launching five new interesting routes. Photo: American Airlines

What are the new routes?

The new routes are specifically:

  • Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN) begins June 4
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV) begins Sept. 9
  • Chicago (ORD) to Krakow, Poland (KRK) begins May 7
  • ORD to Budapest, Hungary (BUD) begins May 7
  • ORD to Prague, Czech Republic (PRG) begins May 8
American
The new routes on offer from American. Photo: GC Maps

Let’s discuss each route in detail.

Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN)

The first route is also the first destination in Africa for the airline. This direct link will link one of American Airlines hubs with its new African partner Royal Air Maroc, who is joining the OneWorld alliance in January next year.

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“Our customers and team members have been asking when we’re going to start service to Africa, and I couldn’t be more pleased to make this announcement for service beginning in 2020,” said Vasu Raja, American’s Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning in the American press release.

“We look forward to working with Royal Air Maroc when they join oneworld® in January, which will allow for even more connections further into Africa to places like Marrakech, Lagos, and Accra. This is only the beginning.”

Royal Air Maroc will join OneWorld in 2020. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This route will be operated three times a week.

However, as the route is operated by a Boeing 757 and not by one of American Airlines more premium flagship aircraft (such as a Dreamliner) we could perhaps judge that American Airlines is cautious as to the actual load factors of the route.

Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV)

A direct route from the Texas hub to Israel has been touted as a must to grow the emerging tech industries in both regions. Previously, passengers in Texas would have had to fly through two other airports before arriving in the Middle East, but with this direct route, they can simply pass through Dallas before arriving at their final destination.

Likewise, this route will be operated three times a week year-round by a Boeing 787-9.

Chicago (ORD) to Krakow, Poland (KRK), Budapest, Hungary (BUD) & Prague, Czech Republic (PRG)

A very interesting new offering is the range of eastern European cities to be served from Chicago. The first, Krakow, is a game-changer. If you are not familiar, Krakow is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Poland, if not the world. It is also historically significant and the biggest city near the concentration camps infamously used in the holocaust.

A direct route from the mainland USA to southern Poland, with a brand new Dreamliner aircraft, is a solid win for passengers. Budapest and Prague, both popular holidaymaker destinations, make Chicago a very versatile hub. These routes will save much time for those who previously flew through New York.

“There’s strong local demand to Eastern Europe in Chicago, and it’s important that we provide more service for our customers to visit family and friends or explore a new part of the world,” said Raja. “Chicago has been a great example of trying new things with our network, like seasonal service to Athens that launched earlier this year, and when customers take advantage, it allows us the opportunity to keep growing.”

The routes will specifically be operated five times a week (four in the case of Budapest) by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

What do you think about this news? Will you fly on these new routes? Let us know in the comments.

4 comments
  1. The DFW – TLV and PHL-CMN routes are complete head scratchers. I Don’t see any way there is enough O&D traffic for either route, which means AA is pinning its hopes on connecting traffic for it to eke out a profit. As Boris points out, LO already has established a strong foothold on ORD-KRK, and (to a lesser extent) BUD.

    Instead of AA trying to expand internationally, they really should spend all of their time & effort greatly improving their domestic product, which is rapidly slipping behind DL, AS & UA.

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