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Thu, 2 July 2020

American Airlines to Significantly Reduce International Network

In an effort to match low demand resulting from the ongoing global COVID19 pandemic, American Airlines is realigning its network with the goal of improving long-term profitability.

The airline has said that it expects:

- Summer 2021 long-haul international capacity to be down 25% compared to 2019;

- To focus on markets that create unique connectivity for customers; and

- To leverage partnerships as the foundation of future international growth.

COVID19 has forced us to reevaluate our network, said Americans 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.

American Airlines Boeing 777 reg: N779AN. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

In response to the prolonged downturn in international travel, American expects summer 2021 long-haul international capacity to be down 25% versus 2019. As the airline begins planning for next summer, American will also discontinue several routes that were once popular leisure destinations but are expected to exhibit decreased demand.

American has spent the past few years right-sizing its international network, discontinuing underperforming routes while adding leisure destinations like Dubrovnik and Prague, said Brian Znotins, Americans Vice President of Network Planning. Now, as demand has significantly diminished due to COVID19, we have to be nimble, creating the network that our customers desire.

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 hubs domestic strength.

As American resets its international network for future growth, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will be the airlines major trans-Pacific hub while Miami International Airport (MIA) will continue to be the preeminent hub for flights to the Caribbean and Latin America. Once government restrictions on trans-Atlantic flying subside, PHL will continue to be Americans primary hub for service to Europe.

Strategic Focus on Partner Hubs in Seattle and London

Earlier this year, American launched its West Coast International Alliance with Alaska Airlines, a partnership designed to expand its international reach and connectivity for customers.

 The airline will plan future growth with the strength of this relationship, which includes a large presence and a strong feed in Seattle.

American will launch service from Seattle (SEA) to Bangalore and London (LHR) next year, and Alaska also intends to join the oneworld alliance in 2021.

The airline will also seek government approval to move its LAX service to Shanghai to operate out of SEA, which will offer more customers direct access to Asia, utilizing the strength of Alaskas local presence in the Pacific Northwest.

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 LHR by 2021. The airline says that it will continue to work closely with British Airways to provide an extensive network that allows customers to reach key destinations when they are ready.

For American, every new partnership means future growth opportunities for our airline. Were going to rely on our hubs greatest strengths with our existing international network, and further integrate into our partners hubs to provide connectivity thats been untapped in the past, Raja said. American will be well poised to emerge from this crisis with a stronger network that provides improved connectivity for our customers.

A full list of changes can be found below. International schedule updates will be reflected on aa.com on Sunday, 5 July.

In an effort to match low demand resulting from the ongoing global COVID19 pandemic, American Airlines is realigning its network with the goal of improving long-term profitability, giving it a significantly smaller international network in the year ahead.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, American Airlines.

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