American Airlines is dropping its Baltimore-Phoenix route

Nov 11, 2019

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American Airlines is shrinking its Baltimore network next year, ending flights to Phoenix and further solidifying Washington’s Reagan National Airport as the carrier’s main D.C.-area gateway.

The Oneworld Alliance carrier will end its two daily flights between Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) on April 6, according to Cirium schedule data and confirmed by American. The airline operates Airbus A320-family aircraft on the route.

American spokeswoman Andrea Koos said the move was part of a constant evaluation of supply and demand trends on every route.

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The move leaves Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) as the only airport in the Washington-region that American serves from its Phoenix hub, schedules show.

American has shown a preference to fly to its Washington National hub over the D.C.-area’s other airports in recent years. The carrier ended service between Miami (MIA) and Washington Dulles (IAD) last December, saying the route was underperforming.

At BWI, American is still scheduled to grow capacity next summer, even with the end of the Phoenix flights. The airline is due to fly 10% more seats from BWI in June compared to this June barring a further delay to the Boeing 737 MAX return-to-service, Cirium data shows. Seats will also increase at Dulles and National airports.

Overall, American plans to grow system capacity by roughly 5% year-over-year in 2020. The accelerated pace, which is roughly double its annual target of matching U.S. economic growth, comes from the scheduled return of the MAX as well as the airline making up for lost ground on the hub-growth plan it kicked off this year. That plan included boosting its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) hub to up to 900 daily flights, and is due to focus on Charlotte (CLT) in 2020 and Washington National in 2021.

Related: American plans to come back strong after MAX grounding with aggressive growth

For Baltimore, Southwest Airlines will still provide travelers with a nonstop option to Phoenix after American exits the market.

American predecessors US Airways, which merged with American in 2013, and America West Airlines have flown the Baltimore-Phoenix route since at least 2000.

Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

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