American Airlines Has Turned Miami Into A 737 MAX Hub

American Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX 8s are mainly used at its Miami hub. Now, the number of MAX seats from the airport has already exceeded the maximum recorded before the grounding. Some 45 routes are currently scheduled, with La Guardia number one. However, the outlook is far from clear, as very few MAX flights have been filed from June onwards.

American 737 MAX
Miami to New York La Guardia is American Airlines’ top MAX route. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

American Airlines was the first airline in the United States to restart Boeing 737 MAX flights following the FAA’s recertification of the aircraft. American Flight 718 took off from Miami to New York La Guardia on December 29th, 2020 – the same first MAX route for the airline back in 2017. American now has 41 MAX 8 aircraft in service, according to Airfleets.

Miami plays a fundamental role in American’s MAX operations, as it has since done the first aircraft was received. So far, the airline has some 2.3 million MAX 8 seats from the Florida airport, analyzing OAG data reveals.

This is despite June to December being far from finalized, as there are currently few routes filed for the aircraft. Nonetheless, these 2.3 million have already surpassed the 2.1 million recorded at Miami in full-year 2018, before the grounding occurred.

American 737 MAX
Miami is a key airport for American Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX operations. Photo: Getty Images

45 MAX routes from Miami

American Airlines has scheduled its MAX 8s to operate 45 routes from Miami, although this may change significantly given the minimal allocations from June onwards. Still, the top-20 routes until the end of May are shown below. La Guardia leads by flights, with all or virtually all six daily departures by the aircraft, followed closely by Santo Domingo and Washington National:

  1. New York La Guardia
  2. Santo Domingo
  3. Washington National
  4. Orlando
  5. San Juan
  6. St Thomas
  7. Boston
  8. Port-au-Prince
  9. Santiago (D.R.)
  10. Punta Cana
  11. Newark
  12. St. Croix
  13. Atlanta
  14. New York JFK
  15. Guatemala City
  16. Tampa
  17. Bogota
  18. Medellin
  19. Quito
  20. Denver
American's top-20 MAX routes from Miami
American Airlines’ top-20 MAX routes from Miami. Image: GCMap.

Manaus was the longest route

At 2,407 miles, Manaus was American’s longest MAX route from Miami. It last operated on April 7th, confirms, although the route is no longer bookable until June 3rd when the A319 will once again operate it. The reason for the near two-month suspension must be because of Brazil’s rising coronavirus cases.

There’s a solid chance that the MAX will operate the route again later in the year. Until then, San Diego, at 2,267 miles, is now the longest. American serves the Californian airport once-daily from Miami, with all flights – for now – by the 8. San Diego has mainly been a B737-800 route in the past decade, although others, including the A321, have occasionally operated it too.

AA1265 departed Miami at 1817 and arrived in Manaus at 2303. Image:

American’s Miami hub

Miami is American’s third-largest hub this year, coming in behind Dallas Fort Worth and Charlotte but ahead of Chicago O’Hare and Philadelphia. Simple Flying recently looked at the numbers behind its Charlotte hub. Miami has jumped up the ranks from fourth place in 2019, mainly because of greater cuts at O’Hare.

American 737 MAX
Miami has the most seats per flight of all of American’s hubs. Photo: Getty Images.

Just 22% of American’s Miami flights are by regional jets this year, delving into OAG data shows, well ahead of Philadelphia (59%), Chicago (59%), Charlotte (55%), Dallas (44%), and Phoenix (40%). Indeed, American now has 153 seats per flight at Miami, obviously helped by so few RJs and having a good number of long-haul and domestic widebody services.

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