American Airlines cuts Brazilian city, adds 2 new international markets from Miami

Jul 26, 2021

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Miami is the center of attention in American Airlines’ latest route-map adjustment.

Over the weekend, the carrier filed some notable schedule changes for its South Florida hub, strengthening its presence in the Caribbean, while backing out of a key market in South America.

Beginning on Dec. 8, American will launch flights to Dominica (DOM), with twice-weekly service from Miami. Three days later (on Dec. 11), the carrier will add twice-weekly flights from Miami to Anguilla (AXA).

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Both routes will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays by American Eagle partner Envoy Air aboard a 76-seat Embraer 175, outfitted with 12 first-class recliners, 20 extra-legroom coach seats and 44 standard economy ones.

Neither destination is new to the AA route map. The carrier previously served both countries with routes from San Juan, Puerto Rico, in March 2013 and April 2011, respectively, according to Cirium schedules.

Nonetheless, the routes are noteworthy since it will bring commercial service on American to both countries from the continental U.S. Both islands have resorts and other tourist attractions, and AA’s twice-weekly schedule makes it easy to plan a three- or four-day vacation.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

But it’s not all good news for AA’s Miami hub.

The carrier is pulling out of Manaus, Brazil (MAO). American has long operated daily flights between MIA and Manaus, but that’s ending effective immediately.

The carrier last flew to the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas in April of this year, according to Cirium schedules, and had planned to restart service there in November 2021.

This weekend, the carrier pulled all future flights to Manaus from its schedule, which was confirmed to TPG with the following statement.

Due to decreased demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the difficult decision to suspend service to Manaus (MAO) effective Nov. 2, 2021. We’re reaching out to customers scheduled to travel on affected flights to offer alternate arrangements.

With Manaus cut, American will consolidate its current operation in Brazil to the country’s two major international airports — Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and Sao Paulo (GRU). It’s anyone’s guess when the airline will resume flights to Manaus.

This move is the latest in a string of network adjustments for American in Miami. Earlier this month, the airline announced an eight-route expansion from MIA, including two new dots to its route map, Chetumal, Mexico (CTM), and San Andres Island, Colombia (ADZ). In February, American unveiled some major Miami growth, with a new long-haul route to Tel Aviv (TLV) and service to Paramaribo, Suriname (PBM).

American’s renewed focus on Miami comes as the city has seen a dramatic increase in air service.

Perhaps the most notable is Spirit Airlines, which will enter Miami with a whopping 30 routes, making it the second-largest carrier once its second tranche of routes launches on Nov. 17.

But it’s not just Spirit growing in Miami.

During the pandemic, both Southwest and JetBlue made headlines for starting service to Miami, a city they’ve long avoided in favor of nearby Fort Lauderdale due to its historically lower operating costs.

Frontier Airlines already has a sizeable presence in Miami. The Denver-based carrier added Miami to its route map in 2014 and has since classified the city as one of its focus cities. Frontier opened a new crew base there last year and now flies to 34 destinations, according to Cirium schedule data.

Finally, American’s latest expansion brings competitive headwinds to Delta’s planned Miami expansion.

In July 2020, the Atlanta-based carrier doubled down on its proposed pan-American partnership with LATAM that includes a new “gateway hub” in Miami. Delta unveiled plans to add at least 20 new U.S. domestic departures under its proposed joint venture with LATAM, though the timeline remains unclear.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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