American Airlines adds 2 new destinations and 7 flights in latest route map shakeup

Feb 12, 2021

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The mid-pandemic route map adjustments just keep coming.

The latest update is from American Airlines, which is adding two brand-new destinations to its network. The Fort Worth-based carrier confirmed to TPG that it will be launching its first-ever flights to Eureka, California (ACV) and Idaho Falls, Idaho (IDA) this summer.

American will fly once-daily to Eureka from its Phoenix hub, and twice-daily to Idaho Falls — one route from Dallas/Fort Worth and another from Phoenix.

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The new service will operate year-round beginning on June 3 with a dual-class CRJ-700, with the full schedules below. Flights will be loaded to the schedule over the weekend and will be available to book beginning on Saturday, Feb. 13.

In addition to the two new pins on its route map, American will boost service to four existing cities, as it focuses on pivoting to places where people want to go during the pandemic.

Specifically, the carrier is launching new seasonal service from both its Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX) hubs, as follows:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Durango, Colorado (DRO)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Missoula, Montana (MSO)
  • Phoenix (PHX) – Bozeman, Montana (BZN)

The Grand Junction flight will operate once-weekly on Saturdays, while the others will be flown daily. All four new flights will operate during the summer season from June 3 through Aug. 16.

American Eagle partner Skywest Airlines will fly all the new routes, except for PHX – BZN, which will be operated by Mesa Airlines. The three Los Angeles flights will be flown on the CRJ-700, and the Bozeman connection will be flown by a larger CRJ-900.

More: American Airlines unveils major Miami expansion, another new route to Tel Aviv

American’s latest network expansion is clearly focused on outdoor-friendly destinations. As pandemic-weary travelers look for trips with built-in social distancing, California’s redwood forest and Idaho’s abundant nature trails quickly climb to the top of the list.

Bozeman Airport is one of the major gateways to Yellowstone National Park (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Additionally, boosting flights to cities in Colorado and Montana increases the number of one-stop itineraries American can offer travelers to airports located near national parks and other warm-weather activities.

Despite the pandemic, airports such as Bozeman and Grand Junction are getting more popular at the expense of ones in key business markets, like New York and Chicago. In fact, Cirium schedules show that domestic airlines are planning nearly a quarter more flights to Bozeman and 20% more flights to Grand Junction in June 2021 relative to June 2019.

Friday’s news comes on the heels of another major network shake-up at American. Earlier in the week, the carrier announced a sweeping expansion at its Miami hub, adding two new routes to Tel Aviv and Suriname, as well as boosting flights to a host of cities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition to expanding internationally, American’s vice president of network planning, Brian Znotins, told TPG that “we are still boosting our domestic point-to-point flying to places with mountains and beaches. Our business hubs remain weak and that frees up airplanes to go and invest in traffic segments that aren’t as weak.”

In recent months, American’s domestic expansion has largely focused on destinations in the southeast, like Daytona Beach, Hilton Head Island and Key West. But with the summer on its way, some travelers will likely try to steer clear of the high temperatures and intense humidity in Florida, in favor of the more moderate climate in the mountains.

Schedule of new routes:

Origin Departure time Destination Arrival time Frequency
DFW 10:55 a.m. IDA 12:55 p.m. Year-round Daily
IDA 1:30 p.m. DFW 5:25 p.m. Year-round Daily
PHX 1:25 p.m. IDA 4:30 p.m. Year-round Daily
IDA 5:15 p.m. PHX 6:20 p.m. Year-round Daily
PHX 10:55 a.m. ACV 1:25 p.m. Year-round Daily
ACV 1:55 p.m. PHX 4:20 p.m. Year-round Daily

 

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

 

 

 

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