American Airlines is looking to expand its partnerships across the pond. This now involves seeking to codeshare with Vueling, a Spanish carrier owned mostly by IAG according to reporting from the Dallas Business Journal. If approved, the new codesharing would allow for additional connections for both American and Vueling passengers across continental Europe.
American and Vueling codeshare
This move makes sense. American already partners with two other IAG giants: British Airways and Iberia. Although Iberia is based in Spain, the carrier has a hub in Madrid whereas Vueling has a hub in Barcelona. Should the codeshare be approved, this would give American two Spanish gateways through which they can facilitate connections.
Moreover, this will also bring about greater options for travelers looking to fly to destinations in continental Europe not directly served by American. Vice versa, this opens up cities in Europe to North American connections on American Airlines metal.
However, Barcelona is not the only city from which American wants to codeshare with Vueling. The codeshare will extend to other cities such as Rome where Vueling has another hub. This will likely help fill some of American’s planes across Europe. Long-haul widebody routes can be profitable or else come at a great cost. It seems that American is looking to keep their planes full and maintain flights to Europe rather than scaling back as they did for flights to China.
Who is Vueling?
Vueling is IAG’s Spain-based low-cost carrier. Unlike LEVEL, Vueling does not fly long-haul routes. Rather, they use their fleet of A320-family aircraft to connect destinations across Europe. All of their aircraft are in dense, single-class economy configurations. Coming off an American Airlines flight in business class onto a Vueling economy flight would be quite the change after a long-haul.
In fact, Vueling’s fleet is larger than that of Iberia’s. And, the low-cost carrier intends to keep growing with a number of A320neo family aircraft destined for Vueling livery. Although, it appears that IAG also wants Vueling to take on some Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, once the grounding is lifted and the group takes delivery of them. However, it is unclear how many MAX aircraft Vueling would take.
It is only natural for American Airlines to expand its transatlantic partnerships through a codeshare with Vueling as Vueling is a part of IAG. American certainly seems to be focused on strengthening its existing network. This includes expressing immense confidence in South America while also expanding with new transatlantic flights.
In fact, through its joint venture with British Airways, American announced a new Boston to London flight. Chicago, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia all have nonstop American service to Barcelona. Perhaps, if the partnership works out, American could add services from either Dallas or Charlotte as well to the Spanish city.
Would you fly an American Airlines codeshare with Vueling? Would this new partnership allow you to access new destinations? Let us know in the comments!