Wow: American Increasing Flights To South America (And More)

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has just announced increased international service. This clearly comes as a response to Delta’s investment in LATAM, and also Delta’s increased transatlantic presence in Boston.

I was curious to see if American was going to respond competitively or just let Delta dominate them (as they’ve been doing for far too long), so I’m happy to see that they’re choosing to compete.

American Expanding In South America

Last week Delta announced they’d purchase a 20% stake in LATAM and would form a joint venture with them, which came as a surprise to many. Previously LATAM not only partnered with American, but the two airlines had been pursuing a joint venture.

While American is the largest US airline in South America, they’ll no longer be the leader when you look at the combined power of Delta and LATAM.

So it looks like American is going to put up a fight. American Airlines has announced the following increased service to Latin America out of Miami:

  • American will increase service from Miami to Lima as of April 7, 2020; the airline currently flies 2x daily, and will fly 3x daily with 757s when they add this new service
  • American will increase service from Miami to Santiago as of winter 2020; the airline will offer a total of 2x daily flights, with the new flight being operated by a 777-200
  • American will increase service from Miami to Sao Paulo as of winter 2020; the airline will offer a total of 3x daily flights, with the new flight being operated by a 777-200

American will offer 3x daily 757 service between Miami and Lima

Vasu Raja, American’s VP of Network and Schedule Planning, had the following to say:

“American’s leading position in Miami is something we’re incredibly proud of and committed to maintaining. We have so many possibilities from our Latin American gateway and are excited for the opportunity to use our domestic strength to enhance our international network. We’ll continue to grow, compete and thrive in a region of the world where we have a long history and a bright future.”

American Adding Boston To London Flight

Back in the day Boston used to be a hub for American, but over time they’ve more or less given up the market, and at this point both Delta and JetBlue have turned the airport into a hub.

Well, I guess American isn’t quite ready to completely throw in the towel, and now the airline is bringing back their Boston to London route.

As of March 29, 2020, American will launch daily flights between Boston and London using a Boeing 777-200.

American will offer a daily 777-200 flight between Boston and London

As Vasu Raja describes the new service:

“Our new nonstop flight, combined with the service provided by our Atlantic Joint Business, gives customers the most robust schedule and the most premium seats between Boston and London. Boston customers have been asking for more service and we’re delivering with this new flight, and our recently announced seasonal service to Nassau and Grand Cayman.”

American Increasing Summer Seasonal Service

American has also announced that they will be increasing the length for which some of their summer seasonal service will operate in 2020:

  • The New York to Rome flight will operate from March 29 through October 23, 2020, compared to May 3 through October 27, 2019
  • The Dallas to Dublin flight will operate from May 7 through October 23, 2020, compared to June 6 through October 27, 2019
  • The Chicago to Barcelona flight will operate from April 6 through October 23, 2020, compared to May 3 through October 27, 2019

American says that they will announce more seasonal extensions in the coming weeks.

American’s Dallas to Dublin flight will operate longer next year

Bottom Line

It’s nice to see that American plans on competing with Delta and LATAM, and defending their position in Miami. As I wrote about yesterday, it’s going to be very interesting to see what the future of Miami looks like:

  • Miami is the biggest market to & from South America, so I suspect LATAM will maintain (or even increase) their service there
  • I imagine Delta will increase their presence somewhat in Miami, in order to provide some connectivity to LATAM’s flights
  • I was curious to see whether American would just maintain the status quo, or would try to increase service

As far as Boston to London goes, that seems fair enough, though not too exciting. American and British Airways have a transatlantic joint venture, and British Airways has a huge presence in the market. So giving customers the option of flying with American or British Airways is great.

However, I doubt this will do much to change loyalty or corporate contracts in the market.

What do you make of American’s new international service?

  1. @Lucky WOW. The AA BOS-LHR caught me off guard. Any info on whether their frequency is going to replace a BA BOS-LHR frequency? If not, where are they getting the slots from? Boston just keeps on growing.

  2. American has had a Boston London route before. They also served São Paulo 3X daily from Miami before they flew from Dallas. I wish they had more 77Ws.

  3. @Katie – the AA/BA joint venture offers the most premium seats between BOS and London, not AA by itself – until this new AA BOS-LHR service starts, all of the AA/BA non-stop BOS-LHR service is on BA aircraft.

    (I’m presuming they’re not counting connecting service on Aer Lingus, since those aren’t in the JV, and although they can be booked as BA codeshares, they’re also available as JetBlue codeshares.)

  4. Well, seems AA has moved their evening 777 MIA JFK out of service for one of these latin routes (I guess). Just checked May 2020 and there is no longer the 777 flying.
    I will miss my big empty front cabin on that route.
    Things change.

  5. This is good news for us in MIA but the issue isn’t the amount of lift AA has to South America, the issue now is the total lack of connectivity. You’ll no longer be able to transfer seamlessly at SCL, LIM or GRU and use those places as jumping off points to CUZ, IPC, MDZ and myriad secondary cities in Brazil (many of which AA used to fly to non-stop from MIA before re-trenching a few years ago). I’d also point out that these aren’t really adds out of MIA. AA has, for a long time, had a seasonal second flight to SCL (they make a killing hauling cargo out of Chile in the form of fresh produce) and had 3x GRU flights up until very recently. I’d expect they’ll go back to having a year-round morning departure out of MIA & GRU. And LIM used to have more than 2x flights a day and used to widebody service on 767 as well.

  6. ..with what airplanes are they gonna increase capacity there again ? Lots of their flights are always delayed due tech.

  7. Hopefully the AA BOS-LHR will be a mid-morning/mid-day flight. Large gap between the BA morning flights and first late afternoon red-eye.

  8. I read “the most premium seats” as meaning “the best J class seats”, not that there were more of them.

    Even after this new AA flight, BA will clearly fly vastly more J seats BOS-LON than AA.

  9. @ The nice Paul @ Katie — I think they’re referring to American and British Airways combined having the most premium seats between Boston and London (meaning more than Delta and Virgin Atlantic have combined).

  10. @ Simon — Personally I think that’s pretty unlikely, I would think it will be a redeye. Could be wrong, though.

  11. @ Juan M — That hasn’t been revealed, though given the size of American’s fleet, I don’t necessarily think huge shifts will be needed.

  12. @ 1987 — I think these routes are only launching next winter (like around October 2020), though I could be mistaken? If so, don’t think that would be reason for changes between Miami and New York in May.

  13. Lima and Los Angeles are about the same distance from Miami – Seattle is farther – so this is like adding another transcontinental flight. Big deal. A second flight from Santiago, but not starting for more than a year from now? I wonder if this has more to do with freight contracts. American Airlines Cargo took in $1 billion last year. All that kiwi fruit has to get into East Coast supermarkets, somehow.

  14. Would love to see AA add competition on the NYC routes that Latam runs (SCL, GRU, GYE) but we know how AA feels about New York.

  15. So is the 777 to Boston going to rotate in London, or will it operate a positioning flight from elsewhere? That is going to be interesting to watch…

  16. @ GuruJanitor — It’s a great question. My guess is that the plane will swap out in London rather than Boston, but I could be wrong.

  17. This is even more stupid! LATAM is flying its 767 with new configuration in business for the MIA-LIM. The other 777 has IFE, Avianca flies an A330 with IFE.
    None of the American’s 757 or 767 in the route have IFE and they are the oldest planes.
    Sorry but American you are no competition

  18. Frank,

    757 and 767 will not be flying for ever. Remember 787s start arriving in 2020 and onward. A321XLR will come in as well later.

    You also need to remember that these are flights that they once operated but ceded to LATAM as part of their code so they are merely restoring capacity.

  19. @Simon,

    A mid day departure from BOS to LHR would arrive LHR at something like 3:00am. People don’t want to arrive in LHR at that time of day, and there is a curfew at LHR with no flights allowed between Midnight and 6:00am (or there about).

  20. @Lucky I’m assuming the third flight added to GRU is a return to the daytime flight? Have you heard any news on schedule?

  21. @ryby that’s besides the point. They have been operating this route for over 10 years when the competition have IFE. Sorry but a 5-6 hour international flight with a full service airline and not IFE is not a competitive product.

  22. For those wondering the BOS-LHR departs in the evening In BOS and arrives at about 0730 into LHR. Tickets will be able to be purchased OCT 7th and flights begin year round service in March.

  23. American needs to partner with GOL and/or AZUL now in order to get the coverage they were getting when tied up with LATAM

  24. I fly BOS – LHR a few times a year. If you book your flights a few weeks before your travel time, the round trip fare (economy) is often around $500. Not sure how much profit is there. Fare for economy plus is often around $2500 though

  25. Now if they could only have 757s and 767s that are comparable to Delta’s excellent product, then we’d be all set. Good to see the increased service for sure, but unless you are a dedicated die hard AA/OneWorld fan, we all know that DL has a far superior product to AA, somewhat internationally, but by FAR domestically.

  26. I think the issue these days is that AA is not innovating. They are not innovating cabin service, passenger experience, network, partnerships… Nope. I’m not one of those “Delta is always right” people, but Delta truly is innovating and they are outflanking AA left and right…. and it’s paying off.

  27. LAX really needs more capacity to South America, flights to Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires are consistently full and not having nonstop flights to cities like Rio is a serious negative for LA

  28. @Andy I completely agree. It’s insane AA is the ONLY airline with the ONLY direct flight from LAX-GRU. I sincerely hope Delta will add a LAX-GRU flight to compete and hopefully dominate that market, and hopefully move from crappy T2 to the beautiful T3 at GRU and share the great LATAM lounge for premium passengers.

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