Is American Airlines Eyeing More Pacific Routes?

American Airlines has been on an eastward international expansion lately, adding flights to Casablanca, Krakow and many others. Rumor has it, however, the airline might be looking to add flights across the Pacific as well. Here, we examine that possibility and explore the competitive landscape.

AA 777-300ER
American Airlines could introduce new flights across the Pacific anytime soon. Photo: James Rowson / Wikimedia Commons

Rumor has it…

According to Twitter user JonNYC, American is set to be announcing new routes, and some changes to existing routes anytime soon. Specifically, JohNYC believes the airline might add routes from Dallas to Auckland, New Zealand.

Aviation blogger and analyst, Lucky, from One Mile At a Time, largely concurs. He adds that the US carrier could possibility add routes between the following cities.

  • Los Angeles to Auckland could see the return of year-round services
  • Los Angeles to Sydney could be upgraded to a 777-300ER
AA 787-8
Some speculate that AA could upgrade LAX-SYD flights from the current 787 to a 777-300ER. Photo: Eric Salard / Wikimedia Commons


  • Los Angeles could see routes to secondary Australian cities such as Brisbane or Melbourne
  • Dallas to Brisbane or Melbourne, though he adds the former is least likely due to range constraints.

Likewise, Lucky states that the airline could very possibly add daily flights from Dallas and Los Angeles to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

Route feasibility

With American’s joint-venture with Qantas approved, allowing the oneworld members to coordinate on pricing, the US carrier could very well be seeking to take advantage of these developments.

Indeed, there seemed to be a logic in the rumored route list. That is a focus on flights between the joint-venture members’ fortress hubs.

American Airlines, Boeing 777-200 N786AN NRT
American Airlines has a significant hub operation at Dallas Fort Worth. Photo: Masakatsu Ukon / Wikimedia Commons

For American, those hubs are undoubtedly Los Angeles and Dallas, with the latter being a fortress for the Fort-Worth domiciled carrier. Indeed, commenting on American’s Transatlantic expansion, analyst Brett Snyder, aka. “Cranky” notes that “almost anything works from Dallas”.

On the Australian side of things, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are cornerstone cities for Qantas. Auckland on the other hand, although not a hub nor a focus city for Qantas, is a key destination for its low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar.

Jetstar A321
Although Qantas doesn’t focus on Auckland, its low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar does. Photo: Sardaka / Wikimedia Commons

Taken together, the Austro-American alliance could create trunk-routes across the Pacific. This would allow passengers easy and efficient connections throughout the respective continents with purposefully timed routes.

It’s a competitive world out there

Though American and Qantas are working hard to cement their positions across the Pacific, they are far from the only market actors.

On the North American side of the equation, airlines such as Air Canada offer routes to Auckland and Sydney from Vancouver. Though the Western-Canadian city is three hours from Los Angeles, competitive pricing and attractive on-board service could attract would-be American customers.

AC 787-9
Star Alliance member Air Canada could feasibly attract American customers with its West Coast to Pacific routes. Photo: Adam Moreira / Wikimedia Commons

Likewise, United offers direct flights from Los Angeles to Australia.  What’s more, the Star Alliance member offers 13 nonstop flights across the Pacific from its hub in San Francisco.

Sticking with the Star Alliance, Air New Zealand flies to no less than four U.S destinations from its hubs across New Zealand and Australia. Namely, a direct flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, which Simple Flying had the chance to fly.

Air New Zealand 787
Across the Pacific, American and Qantas will have to compete against airlines such as Air New Zealand, United, and Delta. Photo: Bahnfrend / Wikimedia Commons

As for Virgin Australia, the airline, in cooperation with its partners Delta and Hawaiian Airlines, equally offers competitive services across the Pacific.

Where do you think American should fly next? Do you agree with our market assessment? Do you have a favorite airline when traveling transpacific? Let us know in the comments.