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American Airlines Cuts Operations Out of New York's JFK Yet Again

Sept. 02, 2019
4 min read
American Airlines Cuts Operations Out of New York's JFK Yet Again
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American Airlines' operations at New York's Kennedy Airport (JFK) have taken quite a hit over the past few years. And Labor Day weekend's schedule update was more bad news for New York-based American Airlines flyers.

As reported by Enilria on the Airliners forum -- and confirmed by TPG -- around a dozen different American Airlines routes from JFK have been reduced or suspended starting in November 2019.

Some of these cuts are necessary as American Airlines deals with the extended grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, which has just been extended through December 3. Although many of these routes weren't scheduled to operate using the 737 MAX, AA is adjusting the rest of its schedule to make up for that reduction in capacity.

Indeed, an American Airlines spokesperson confirmed as much. When construction on JFK's runway was scheduled to complete this fall, the airline had planned to return to a flying level not seen since AA's merger with US Airways with 111 daily departure. However, with the extended MAX grounding, AA had to reduce its JFK growth plans and reduce daily departures to 78. Once the 737 MAX grounding is over, AA plans to beef up its JFK presence to 110-112 daily flights.

In showing its commitment to JFK, AA points to flights that's it's adding from Kennedy airport -- including San Jose and Liberia, Costa Rica (SJO and LIR); Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ). American Airlines is set to be the first US-based airline to fly to Georgetown, Guyana (GEO).

Grounded 737 MAXes (Image courtesy of American Airlines)

Here are the routes that didn't make the cut with the schedule reduction:

There are two routes that have been cut entirely through mid-December: San Diego (SAN) and Seattle (SEA). Daily flights from JFK to San Diego are now scheduled to resume December 18, 2019. However, JFK-Seattle now isn't scheduled to resume until April 7, 2020.

Another couple of routes are being cut back starting in mid-December: Las Vegas (LAS) and Montreal (YUL). Before this weekend's changes, both were scheduled to operate an average of twice daily in December.

After the schedule change, AA will operate flights to Las Vegas at least daily through December 17 -- except Saturdays in December -- before being cut entirely from December 18, 2019 through January 2, 2020. Similarly the Montreal route is now scheduled at least daily through December 20, 2019 before being cut through January 4, 2020.

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American Airlines operates its ultra-premium three-class A321T many times a day between JFK and Los Angeles (LAX). In December, AA had previously planned to operate an average of 12 per day. That's now been reduced to 10 per day. It's seems that the extra A321T aircraft will be utilized on the route from Los Angeles (LAX) to Miami (MIA).

Over the past few years, American Airlines has cut its overseas flights from New York JFK and focused on Philadelphia (PHL) as its transatlantic gateway. To make it easier for New York-based flyers, its now scheduled flights on the 94-mile route from JFK-Philadelphia. This route has taken a hit in the most recent schedule update. Now, it's suspended until November 20, operating from Nov. 21-Dec. 3 (except Nov. 29) and then at least daily starting Dec. 18.

Another short-haul route that's seeing a temporary suspension is New York JFK to Toronto (YYZ). AA is now scheduled to operate flights at least daily through Nov. 20. The route will be suspended from Nov. 21-Dec. 3 before resuming from Dec. 4-17 and being suspended again from Dec. 18-Jan. 6, 2020.

Other routes have seen a reduction in the number of daily flights -- including Miami (MIA), Phoenix (PHX) and Raleigh/Durham (RDU). All three of these routes lost 1 or 2 daily flights but will still operate multiple flights per day.

This post has been updated since publishing to reflect a statement from American Airlines.