American Shifts Iceland Flight From Dallas To Philadelphia

Filed Under: American

Last week American announced some exciting new transatlantic flights, like Dallas to Tel Aviv, Philadelphia to Casablanca, Chicago to Krakow, Chicago to Budapest, and Chicago to Prague.

American’s return to Israel, as well as their first-ever flight to Africa, is a pretty cool development, even if the initial 3x weekly frequencies are a bit disappointing.

There are some other interesting route shifts for next summer, including American shifting their one route to Iceland. Since last summer, American has operated a seasonal flight between Dallas and Reykjavik.

This announcement came shortly after both Icelandair and WOW Air announced they’d also fly to Dallas. So as you’d expect, when a route goes from zero to two flights, the logical response is to add a third one. 😉

Now with WOW Air out of business and Icelandair not operating the route, American will be shifting the route in summer 2020.

As of June 4, 2020, American will offer daily seasonal flights between Philadelphia and Keflavik, replacing their flight out of Dallas.

The new flight will operate with the following schedule using a Boeing 757-200:

AA232 Philadelphia to Reykjavik departing 10:15PM arriving 8:00AM (+1 day)
AA231 Reykjavik to Philadelphia departing 11:00AM arriving 1:30PM

The flight will cover a distance of just 2,680 miles in each direction (about the same distance as a US transcon flight), and is blocked at 5hr45min eastbound and 6hr30min westbound.

So, what’s American’s motivation for this route change? I would guess:

  • The route is over 1,000 miles shorter, so will be cheaper to operate
  • With this being their only flight to Iceland, they’ll be able to efficiently capture traffic from most of the country by using the Philadelphia hub rather than the Dallas hub, which excludes many people on the East Coast

Icelandair operates a seasonal flight to Philadelphia, so American will have some competition in the market. Then again, Iceland is a big seasonal market, and with American’s feed to Philadelphia, I’m sure the route will do fine.

What do you make of American transferring their Iceland flight from Dallas to Philadelphia? 

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments
  1. “So as you’d expect, when a route goes from zero to two flights, the logical response is to add a third one. ”

    Wait you really don’t know why the put it in dfw to begin with? You can’t let two discount carriers infiltrate the dfw market and carry pax all over Europe via kef for 1/2 the price of your own flights. Now that they ran those threats out it makes its logical transition to the east coast

  2. This was bound to happen a geographically it makes sense for transfers and all. I just hope Icelandair doesn’t leave PHL (my hometown) since it’s rare to have/get foreign carriers at the airport. Overall smart move by AA

  3. I don’t think any route to Iceland will be a big money maker. There isn’t much business travel, and even its tourist boom seems to be waning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17oZPYcpPnQ

    At the same time, AA wants to play defense against Iceland Air, so they might as well pick the route which loses the least amount of money.

    I’m excited to see PHL become AA’s European gateway, but the glaring shortcoming to their strategy is the lack of good transcon options to/from PHL.

  4. why in the world does a 757 sit on the ground for three hours at KEF? It should not take too long to turn that airplane around.

  5. @pat PHL has a tough road to becoming a transatlantic gateway. The problem is there are already three international gateways within 150 miles (IAD, EWR, JFK).

    Further, using the A320neos and 737max (hopefully?) makes way more sense out of Boston. Couple hundred miles closer and avoids having to fly over crowdee NY airspace.

  6. @Matt: probably to hit connecting bank in PHL. If it arrives to early in PHL, the elapsed time will make the connection look less desirable (trip will take long from origin to destination).

  7. The route doesn’t make any sense. It’s a defensive play against Iceland Air, which is silly. The capacity would be better used elsewhere.

  8. @Matt: I would guess to pad a bit in case the inbound is late- the outbound will still depart on time.

  9. PHL makes far more sense for this route than DFW does, now that the Icelandic carriers are gone from DFW.

  10. Lucky. Like this site a lot. Just so you know. Two comments: 1. Casablanca is a seasonal flight that will fly for 3 months this year. aren’t we all over-praising AA for a highly-limited commitment to Africa, a continent that’s booming with huge opportunities for US carriers? ( I heard that DL’s Lagos-ATL/JFK is its most lucrative route globally !!). 2. With SAA terminating their excellent IAD-DSS (Dakar) flight , why doesn’t AA consider Philadelphia-DSS and go on to ABidjan?? That route used to be Air Afrique’s most lucrative route.

  11. Can’t be many lie-flat seats to Iceland. Is this one?

    One-stop to the UK via AA and BA, who fly to KEF?

  12. @Margaret: Doubtful, else all transatlantic flights would have longer turn times on Europe side. More likely it is for better timed connections in PHL on the return.

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