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American Airlines is going against the current trend of route announcements and network growth as it details a slew of long-haul route cuts from across its network.
What’s more, the issues are not directly linked to the industry-wide chaos linked with the pandemic.
Let’s investigate further.
Cuts and Reduced Frequencies
The regions affected by the route cuts will be Asia, Europe, and South America. Some routes will also see a reduction in the frequency of flights.
4 major routes from the U.S. to Asia will be axed for the foreseeable future:
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Beijing (PKX)
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Hong Kong (HKG)
- Seattle (SEA) to Bangalore (BLR)
- Seattle (SEA) to Shanghai (PVG)
There will also be some reductions in service frequencies. American’s route from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) will restart in January 2022 and build up to a daily frequency by the end of the month. However, as of April 2022, this will reduce to 3 times weekly.
Additionally, when the currently-suspended Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Shanghai (PVG) route returns in April 2022, it will only have a twice-weekly frequency.
A mixture of major routes, as well as some less important, leisure routes, will be axed from American’s European route network moving into 2022.
Leisure routes from Philadelphia (PHL) to Edinburgh (EDI) and Shannon (SNN) will be completely suspended with no set date for their return.
Elsewhere, American is pulling its route to Paris (CDG) from Miami (MIA) and will reduce its Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) route to the French capital from twice to once daily.
And finally, there is no sign of the popular tourist destinations of Dubrovnik (DBV) and Prague (PRG) in American’s summer schedule for summer 2022.
Some important destinations in South America will also see a reduced service. Buenos Aires (EZE) and Santiago (SCL) will see a reduced service from daily to 3 times per week from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW).
And from Miami (MIA), there’ll be a reduction of 4 weekly flights to Buenos Aires (EZE), bringing the total number of weekly flights to 10.
Why Are Routes Being Cut?
The reason behind the axing of this many routes is due to delays with the delivery of 13 of the smallest Dreamliner variant — the Boeing 787-8.
“If it’s Boeing, it’s not going,” could be an accurate rephrasing of the popular AvGeek saying, “If it’s not Boeing, I’m not going.”
As it currently stands, Boeing has paused production of the aircraft while it tries to solve quality control issues that were affecting the jet’s production.
This means that American has to temporarily substitute the missing Boeing 787-8 aircraft with other long-haul planes. To do this, the airline has to forgo some frequencies and even pull some routes all together to be able to spread its capacity as far as possible.
It’s Not All Bad
There is some good news.
American will be bringing back its route from Philadelphia (PHL) to Venice (VCE).
Not to forget the recent (and rather curious) announcement of the new New York (JFK) to Doha (DOH) route that is set to launch on June 4, 2022.
Schedule changes are commonplace as airlines continuously analyze the profitability of their routes.
However, in this case, American has had to cut and reduce certain route frequencies due to balance out gaps in its fleet.
Hopefully, this will only be a temporary move and American will be able to restore its network once Boeing resolves its production line issues.
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Ross. All images credited to Daniel Ross unless otherwise noted.
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