American to cut Asian routes, boost Europe

August 22, 2018
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Image: American Airlines.

New routes to Croatia, Germany and Italy are on the cards for American Airlines next summer as it expands its footprint in Europe.

But the airline will suspend flights between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and China’s Shanghai Pudong International Airport from October 27.

it will also reduce flights between ORD and Narita International Airport in Japan from daily to three a week from December 18.

The decision comes as Hawaiian Airlines also decided to suspend its three-times weekly Honolulu-Beijing service from October 11 and deploy its aircraft elsewhere.  Hawaiian has been flying to Beijing since 2014 and said it planned to return to the market.

American cited fuel costs and the competitive environment for its Asian decision and said it would seek a dormancy waiver from the US Department of Transportation for the Chicago-Shanghai suspension.

“We remain strongly committed to Asia and will continue to serve the region through our hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles,” American vice president of network and schedule planning Vasu Raja said in a statement.

“Our Chicago–Shanghai service is unprofitable and simply not sustainable in this high fuel cost environment and when we have opportunities to be successful in other markets.”

Passengers will still have the option of 10 flights a week between Tokyo and Chicago when daily flights by alliance partner Japan Airlines are taken into account.

American said JAL would also increase its service during the peak June-August summer season so that the carriers would offer a twice-daily service.

“As with Shanghai, American will continue to serve Tokyo through our hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles,” Raja said.

Read:American to allow free carry-on in basic economy.

Nine new European routes will see American add a daily year-round service from Charlotte to Munich, daily summer seasonal services from Dallas/Fort Worth to Dublin and Munich as well as a daily summer seasonal service from Chicago to Athens, Greece.

The US giant will add three new destinations with the introduction of summer seasonal Boeing 767 flights from Philadelphia to Berlin- Tegel Airport, Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport in Italy and Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia. There will also be a new summer seasonal service between Philadelphia and Edinburgh, Scotland.

The ninth route, a daily seasonal service from Phoenix to London, will complement existing flights provided by partner British Airways. The airlines together operate 70 flights a day from North America to London.

“By providing the only nonstop service from North America to Bologna and Dubrovnik and adding Berlin to our international footprint, American is making it easier to see the world,”  Raja said.

The new routes come after American this summer launched seasonal service from Philadelphia to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport in Hungary and Vaclav Havel Airport Prague in the Czech Republic.

It also launched flights from Chicago to Venice Marco Polo Airport in Italy and from Dallas Fort Worth to  Keflavik International Airport in Iceland.