American Airlines announced today that it’s adding nine new destinations from Los Angeles International LAX I an effort to expand and strengthen its growing route network as well as potentially smooth a transition with US Airways’ route network before the two airlines merge later this year.
Eight of the new routes are to regional domestic hubs including:
- Eugene, Ore., beginning June 12 (operated by SkyWest Airlines)
- Redmond, Ore., beginning June 12 (operated by SkyWest Airlines)
- Pittsburgh, Pa., beginning Aug. 27
- Indianapolis, Ind., beginning Aug. 27
- Columbus, Ohio, beginning Aug. 27
- Hartford, Conn., beginning Aug. 27
- Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Bentonville, Ark., beginning Aug. 27 (operated by American Eagle Airlines)
The airline has also filed to begin non-stop service from LAX to Sao Paulo, Brazil, starting November 21, 2013 (this is one of the increased South America frequencies the airline applied to the FAA for back in February).
These new markets bring the number of cities American airlines serves from LAX to a total of 51. American also plans on deploying its new 777-300ER with flagship first and business class on the route from Los Angeles to London Heathrow starting in June.
As part of a statement regarding the new routes, American’s Chief commercial Officer, Virasb Vahidi said, “Our Los Angeles hub plays a vital role in our domestic and international network strategy. Together with our oneworld alliance partners, we offer customers seamless access to the most important business and leisure travel destinations across the globe from LAX”
American does connect its oneworld partners including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, JAL, LAN and Qantas to domestic US destinations from the LAX hub, and these are interesting routes to add that will open up not only new destinations on the West Coast that seems to be in response to Delta’s widening sphere of activity out there along with its strengthened network with Alaska, but also to some interesting transcon routes to perhaps under-served airports like Hartford and Pittsburgh, as well as flights to the interior of the country to increasingly important business destinations like Columbus (thanks to retail giants Limited (Victoria’s Secret) and Abercrombie as well as Ohio State University) and Bentonville (Walmart!).
All in all this is another interesting development in American’s turnaround strategy and I’m curious to see what new routes it plans to add next from its various hubs. I’d love to see a Miami to Narita flight, though I won’t hold my breath!