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American cuts 4 routes, adds an interesting new domestic flight

Sept. 06, 2022
4 min read
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American Airlines is making some adjustments to its short-haul network. The Fort Worth-based carrier filed plans over the weekend to cut four routes and add an interesting new domestic flight. The changes were first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by carrier spokesperson Brian Metham.

The full list of cuts is below:

  • Charlotte — Puerto Vallarta.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth — Hermosillo, Mexico.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth — San Pedro Sula, Honduras (suspension extended).
  • Philadelphia — Newport News/Williamsburg.
CIRIUM

American cited a mix of poor route performance and regional pilot staffing challenges as the reasons for making the cuts. Notably, none of these cuts mark station exits for the airline, as American will continue serving each of the four destinations from other hubs.

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In recent months, the regional pilot shortage has become so pronounced that nearly every U.S. major airline has been forced to drop routes and cut cities from their networks. American recently dropped four U.S. cities, citing the "regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry" as the key reason.

That said, American is working to combat the pilot shortage by boosting its network of regional affiliates. The carrier announced last month that it had inked a deal with Air Wisconsin to provide additional feed in Chicago and beyond.

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American's new Miami to Westchester route

While American is slashing some routes, it's gearing up to launch a new one: Miami to Westchester, New York.

Westchester County Airport (HPN) sits just outside White Plains, New York — about 35 miles north of Midtown Manhattan in New York City's northern suburbs.

This 1,118-mile route will launch on Jan. 10, 2023, and will operate daily through May 3, 2023. American Eagle regional affiliate Envoy Air will operate the flight using a 76-seat Embraer E175. The jet is outfitted with 12 first-class recliners, 20 extra legroom economy seats and 44 standard economy seats.

Though the Miami to Westchester route is new to American's schedule, it won't mark the first time the carrier has operated flights in this market. The airline last flew between the two cities from December 2016 to August 2017 before cutting the route, Cirium schedules show.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

It's possible that American now feels like there's appreciable demand to connect the New York suburbs with South Florida.

Interestingly, this route will not be covered under the Northeast Alliance with JetBlue Airways. To date, the two carriers have teamed up to boost connectivity in the New York and Boston markets. This tie-up has included new routes, additional codeshares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.

Instead, American's new route will compete against JetBlue's existing service from Westchester to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. JetBlue already operates multiple daily flights to those South Florida airports, but it doesn't (yet) fly from Westchester to Miami.

For American, the carrier is likely seeking to capture as much of the peak winter traffic it can from those looking to escape the winter to enjoy Florida's (much) milder weather. The route's schedule covers various school vacations, including mid-winter recess, spring break, Passover and Easter.

American won't offer additional connections on the route, though Florida-bound flyers can connect in Miami to various cities across the Caribbean, South America and beyond.

Adding Miami gives American four destinations from White Plains, including Charlotte, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Meanwhile, the real winners are those based in and around Westchester County, New York, who'll now have additional connectivity to South Florida.

In recent months, the Westchester County Airport has seen impressive growth.

New startup carrier Breeze Airways recently started serving the airport and has plans to commence transcontinental flights to Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the coming months. Additionally, Delta Air Lines recently unveiled plans to connect HPN with Boston, a route the carrier has operated on and off again in recent years.

The Westchester airport is a favorite of locals in the New York and southern Connecticut suburbs who favor its convenience, easy parking and relatively short security lines.

That said, some locals likely aren't excited about any expansion in air service. Some residents near the airport continue to raise complaints about noise and congestion, including speaking out at recent meetings held as part of updating the airport's master plan for the future.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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