American Airlines Drops Bolivia, Plans New Australia Route
American Airlines will end service to Bolivia this fall, as it sees more profitable opportunities in Australia and elsewhere.
The Oneworld Alliance carrier will end its three-times weekly service to the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz (VVI) from Miami (MIA) on Nov. 27, American spokeswoman Luren Rutolo says. American operates Boeing 757-200 aircraft on the route.
The cancellation is part of American’s constant network review to ensure it serves the most profitable routes, she says.
American ended service to the Bolivian capital of La Paz in 2018. It first began service to both La Paz and Santa Cruz when it acquired Eastern Air Lines’ South American assets in 1991.
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Outside of Bolivia, American saw strength across its Latin America franchise, said airline president Robert Isom during a second quarter earnings presentation Thursday. Brazil and Mexico were points of strength, he added.
Australia is another region where American sees opportunities. Under its newly approved joint venture with Qantas Airways, the carrier plans to announce a new route to country in the "coming months," said Isom.
The new market will be in addition to the new service to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO) from Brisbane (BNE) that Qantas has already announced. In their 2018 application to U.S. regulators, American and Qantas promised to launch at least three new routes if their partnership was approved.
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American and Qantas can act as essentially a single airline on routes covered under an immunized joint venture. They can coordinate routes and schedules, jointly sell flights, and pool revenues under the partnership.
American plans to grow capacity by roughly 1.5% year-over-year in 2019, its latest guidance shows. This is half of its initial forecast for the year due primarily to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding.