American Airlines latest to pare US, international flights as coronavirus hits demand

Mar 10, 2020

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American Airlines joined the growing list of carriers to announce schedule cuts as the COVID-19 virus blunts demand for air travel.

American’s biggest cuts will come on its international routes, where the airline said it will trim capacity on its peak summer schedule by 10% as compared to the same time last year. The biggest cuts, unsurprisingly, come on American’s routes across the Pacific. Capacity on those routes is being slashed by 55%, the company said on Tuesday.

The airline also plans to cut flights in the U.S. American said its domestic capacity for April would be cut by 7.5% from its current schedule.

American joins other U.S. carriers such as United and JetBlue in making broad schedule cuts in response to the cornavirus-related drop in demand.

In a statement announcing the cuts, American said it would “decrease frequencies in markets with robust schedule patterns and will cancel routes where customers can be easily reaccommodated.”

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With the changes, American also will move to redeploy some of its wide-body aircraft to domestic routes as they’re pulled off international service. This continues a practice that American and other airlines had already started, after flights to China were halted during the initial novel coronavirus outbreak.

American had already pared service to China, Hong Kong and South Korea, but the airline detailed additional markets in the cuts announced Tuesday, some of which were to regions that had previously been mostly unaffected.

With South America, for example, American said its service to Montevideo, Uruguay (MVD), would be suspended during that country’s winter. The carrier’s Miami-Montevideo route now will end in May and resume in December – a move that essentially downgrades that route from year-round to seasonal. Another South America route – Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Santiago, Chile (SCL) – will be suspended through April. American still services Santiago from Miami.

More: Some airlines cut back on inflight service to combat coronavirus. Will those changes stick?

Elsewhere, American is making other changes – including delaying the resumption of seasonal service to European destinations like Barcelona (from Charlotte), Venice (from Chicago) and Rome (from DFW and New York JFK).

In Japan, American will trim capacity by putting smaller jets on its flights to both Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda airports.

American provided the following list of its coronavirus-related schedule changes so far. The list includes both new and previously announced cuts.

New schedule changes include:

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Suspending service to mainland China and Hong Kong (HKG) from Los Angeles (LAX) through the summer.

Suspending service to mainland China from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) through the summer.

Suspending service to HKG from DFW through June. DFW-HKG will resume with a reduced schedule in July.

Extending the suspension of service to Seoul, South Korea (ICN) from DFW into early May.

Flights to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda International Airport (HND) from LAX and DFW will be operated with smaller wide-body aircraft beginning in May.

More: Alaska Airlines plans to join Oneworld, forms alliance with American


Suspending service to Rome (FCO) from Philadelphia (PHL), from now through the end of April.

Extending the suspension of service to Milan (MXP), and suspending flights to FCO from Chicago (ORD) and Charlotte (CLT) through early summer.

Delaying the seasonal resumption of flights to Barcelona (BCN) from CLT and to Venice (VCE) from ORD to early June. Also delaying the seasonal resumption of flights to FCO from New York (JFK) and DFW through the end of April and suspending operation of a second daily flight from DFW to FCO for the summer.

Reducing service to Paris (CDG) and Madrid (MAD) for parts of May and June.

More: American to fly from Seattle to Bangalore and London

South America

Flights to Montevideo, Uruguay (MVD) from Miami (MIA) will end in May and resuming in December.

Flights to Santiago, Chile (SCL) from DFW will be suspended through April.

Featured photo by Daniel Slim /AFP via Getty Images.

More:The 10 longest (and 10 shortest) American Airlines flights


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