American Airlines has announced adjustments to its long-haul international schedule for winter 2020 through summer 2021 which includes an extended delay for the restart of its Sydney and Auckland routes.
AA says the realigned network operation is necessary “to match low demand resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak” and with the goal of improving long-term profitability.
American expects its Summer 2021 long-haul international capacity will be down 25% compared to 2019 and sees partnerships as “as the foundation of future international growth.”
“COVID-19 has forced us to reevaluate our network,” said American’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja. “American will have a significantly smaller international network in the year ahead, but we are using this opportunity to hit reset and create a network using the strength of our strategic hubs that we can build and grow upon and be profitable on in this new environment.”
With demand for leisure routes so low American Airlines says it will discontinue several routes that were once popular but are expected to “exhibit decreased demand”.
American will exit several routes, including three trans-Atlantic routes from both Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The company will also exit five underperforming routes from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to destinations in Asia and South America, concentrating on the hub’s domestic strength.
In all, 19 routes will be permanently dropped, including four services that were yet to launch.
As American resets its international network for future growth, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will be the airline’s major trans-Pacific hub while Miami International Airport (MIA) will continue to be the preeminent hub for flights to the Caribbean and Latin America.
The oneworld member carrier will place a strategic focus on its hubs in Seattle (through partner Alaska Airlines) and will use the Pacific Northwest gateway to launch routes to Bangalore and London in 2021, and also move its Shanghai service from Los Angeles to Seattle.
“American will also continue to fly to joint business partners’ hubs. And while some international markets will not return, American anticipates a full schedule to London Heathrow by 2021. The airline will continue to work closely with British Airways to provide an extensive network that allows customers to reach key destinations when they are ready,” AA said.
According to a newly updated international schedule, American Airlines’ routes from Los Angeles to both Sydney and Auckland will not resume until “Summer 2021”, or from late March next year.
International schedule updates will be reflected on aa.com on Sunday, 5 July 2020.