American Airlines Cuts Four Transatlantic Destinations

American Airlines has further adjusted its international long-haul schedules. From 2021, the carrier is dropping flights to four destinations, representing the next round of American’s work on resetting its route network and preparing to come out of the crisis stronger and with a much more efficient route network.

American Airlines Boeing 777
American Airlines is suspending flights to four transatlantic destinations. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | JFKJets.com

American Airlines will cut four services in 2021

Twitter user JonNYC shared an internal memo from Jim Moses, Vice President of American’s Philadelphia Hub and New York and Boston operations.

The airline is cutting four cities from its route network:

  1. Reykjavik (KEF)
  2. Manchester (MAN)
  3. Prague (PRG)
  4. Venice (VCE)

The cuts to Reykjavik, Manchester, and Prague are indefinite for now. However, American expects to resume Philadelphia to Venice flights in 2022, assuming the recovery pans out the way American hopes it will.

Out of Philadelphia, American will be operating transatlantic flights to 12 European destinations in summer 2021:

  1. Amsterdam (AMS)
  2. Athens (ATH)
  3. Barcelona (BCN)
  4. Paris (CDG)
  5. Dublin (DUB)
  6. Edinburgh (EDI)
  7. Rome (FCO)
  8. Lisbon (LIS)
  9. London (LHR)
  10. Madrid (MAD)
  11. Shannon (SNN)
  12. Zurich (ZRH)

Redeploying aircraft

The airline will be redeploying its aircraft used on long-haul transatlantic operations to add capacity in markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is an area that is more open for US citizens, has fewer entry restrictions, and is coming back much stronger for American Airlines.

For example, American Airlines has expanded its widebody operations to destinations in Latin America. This includes flying Boeing 777s and 787s to destinations that previously did not see flights on these planes, including to Port-au-Prince (PAP), San Salvador (SAL), San Pedro Sula (SAP, Panama City (PTY), and others.

787 American
The Boeing 787s are flying to more destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean than before. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | JFKJets.com

Even with cargo, American makes more money flying passengers, and flying out of Miami means American is in a good place to capture origin and destination (O&D) and also connecting traffic.

Why these cities?

Coupled with weak demand from continued entry restrictions– which American hopes will change– multiple opportunities to earn revenue elsewhere, and the continued ability to serve these destinations through codeshare partnerships with airlines like British Airways and Iberia, the airline does not see serving these destinations as viable, especially as it continues to burn cash.

American A330 retirement
Transatlantic travel demand remains weak, as evidenced by American’s decision to retire all of its Airbus A330s. Photo: Getty Images

At the start of July, American Airlines announced a reset of its international route network. The carrier cut down its network, ending a few transatlantic services out of Charlotte, ending a Dallas to Munich route, axing Miami to Milan, ending flights from O’Hare to Budapest, Prague, Krakow, and Venice, and, from Philadelphia, ending nonstop to Berlin, Budapest, Casablanca, and Dubrovnik.

Of these, O’Hare to Budapest, Prague, and Krakow, and Philadelphia to Casablanca were new route additions that American decided it would then not launch. The reason for this is clear.

Coupled with low demand, American also did not have the right planes to run these flights. Most of these operations ran with or were intended to operate with Boeing 767s and 757s – both of which American has retired.

American Boeing 767
American has retired its Boeing 767s. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | JFKJets.com

Some of these routes, such as Philadelphia to Casablanca, American’s team wants to get into operation once the Airbus A321XLR comes around. This aircraft, which will offer better economics and be able to operate the flights.

These cities will likely come back in the future. Many of these cities were major summer seasonal tourist destinations. Once people, in greater numbers, are willing to travel to these destinations, American will likely seek to add those cities back to its route network.

What do you make of American’s transatlantic service cuts? Let us know in the comments!

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