American Airlines takes on Delta with new Boston routes

Jan 14, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American Airlines is making a ride for Boston again, adding three new routes in a change of strategy that increasingly pits it against Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways.

The Oneworld alliance member will add new service between Boston Logan (BOS) and Indianapolis (IND), Raleigh/Durham (RDU), and Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM) in May, American said Tuesday. The carrier will serve Indianapolis twice daily and Raleigh five-times daily starting May 7, and Wilmington on Saturdays beginning May 9.

All of the new flights will be flown with Embraer 175 jets with 76 seats.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

“Boston is an important market, and we are happy to provide new and increased service to places that matter the most to our customers,” said Vasu Raja, senior vice president of network strategy at American, in a statement.

The new routes pit American against Delta, which upgraded Boston to a hub last year. Delta flies to both Indianapolis and Raleigh — the latter one of its focus cities — from Logan, as well as to Austin where American will begin service in April.

“We’ll see who are ultimately the winners and losers in Boston,” said Delta president Glen Hauenstein when asked on an earnings call Tuesday about American’s expansion. He added that Delta is “well positioned” in the city, second only to JetBlue in passenger numbers.

JetBlue, for its part, is also growing in Boston with additional flights to New York-area airports this spring. Airline executives have repeatedly said JetBlue is “committed” to Boston, and have responded to competitive incursions with new and expanded service.

Related: American Airlines adds Boston, Silicon Valley flights from Austin

The new flights are an about face for American. The airline has retrenched in Boston in recent years, ending service to places ranging from Paris to Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Richmond, Virginia.

From 2014 — the year after American closed its merger with US Airways — through 2019, the carrier cut seats at Logan by more than 13%, according to Cirium schedules. Seats in Boston grew by 73% at Delta and 48% at JetBlue over the same period.

Indianapolis and Wilmington are both new additions for American from Boston, while this will be at least the third attempt by the carrier at the Boston-Raleigh route since 1987. It flew the route from 1987 through 1994 when it had a hub in Raleigh, and then again in the 2000s before ending service in 2010.

Related: Delta Air Lines says Boston is now one of its hub cities

American consolidated its operations in Boston into a single contiguous gate area in Terminal B at Logan last year.

In addition to Delta, American will compete with Frontier Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines between Boston and Raleigh, Cirium shows. Southwest Airlines also flies the Boston-Indianapolis route.

American’s service between Boston and Wilmington will be the only scheduled nonstop service between the cities.

Featured image by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images.

Related: Can Delta and JetBlue make Boston the next dual-hub city?

 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.