American Adding 5 New Routes To Latin America, Including Los Angeles To Buenos Aires

Filed Under: American

American has long been the biggest US carrier to Latin America. Miami Airport is one of the only airports where I look at the American Airlines departures board and have no clue about several of the destinations. Their route network to Latin America is about to get even bigger.

American has just announced five new routes to Latin America — one is to Mexico, two are to Northern South America, and two are to “deep” South America. Specifically:

  • American will fly between Los Angeles and Buenos Aires, Argentina, as of December 19, 2018, using a Boeing 787-9 (tickets go on sale April 2, 2018)
  • American will fly between Dallas and Oaxaca, Mexico, as of December 19, 2018, using an Embraer 175 (tickets go on sale April 2, 2018)
  • American will fly between Miami and Georgetown, Guyana, as of December 20, 2018, using an Airbus A319 (tickets go on sale April 2, 2018)
  • American will fly between Miami and Pereira, Colombia, as of December 20, 2018, using an Airbus A319 (tickets go on sale April 17, 2018)
  • American will fly between Miami and Cordoba, Argentina, as of April 2, 2019, using a Boeing 767-300 (tickets go on sale May 7, 2018)

As an aviation geek who knows airport codes pretty well, I’m embarrassed to admit that I had to look up a few of those codes.

While the routes to Colombia, Guyana, and Mexico, seem straightforward enough (purely based on the fact that the flights aren’t that long), the routes to Buenos Aires and Cordoba fascinate me most.

The route to Buenos Aires further establishes American’s dominance at LAX. They’re the only US carrier to have a nonstop flight from Los Angeles to “deep” South America, as they currently fly to Sao Paulo. Now they’ll be adding a second destination from there. I’ve always felt like there had to be demand for a flight between the west coast and Buenos Aires, given that there’s not currently an airline serving that market.

American 787-9 at LAX

When you look at American’s overall longhaul network out of Los Angeles, they beat both Delta and United by a long shot. American will fly to Auckland, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo Haneda, and Tokyo Narita. Add in the fact that they have a newly opened Flagship Lounge, Flagship First Dining, and that their terminal is actually complete, and they really beat Delta and United even further. Who knows when United’s Polaris Lounge at LAX will open, and Delta’s renovated terminal will be complete in 2023, so…

American Flagship First Dining LAX

American tells me that they Los Angeles to Buenos Aires flight will operate 3x weekly, while the Los Angeles to Sao Paulo flight will be reduced from 6x weekly to 4x weekly at the same time. So overall capacity to LAX only increases slightly, though personally I’d much rather have service to two South American cities on alternating days, than just a Sao Paulo flight.

Cordoba also seems like an interesting choice. While American flies to all kinds of places in Latin America, most of the non-mega cities they fly to are further North, where the flights aren’t that long. Operating a 4,000+ mile route to Cordoba is a pretty bold move.

What do you make of American’s expansion to Latin America? Do you plan on taking any of these flights?

  1. Cordoba makes sense. Recently I flew JFK-EZE on Aerolineas Argentinas and I would say that at least 50 people were connecting onto Cordoba. Most of these people were Argentines with Italian passports who visit the US for tourism.
    Also notice that Air Europa runs Madrid-Cordoba-Asuncion, so there has to be decent demand across the Atlantic.
    It is also about time that Guyana gets an AA flight – huge diaspora on the East Coast. Hopefully they don’t put competitor Suriname Airways out of biz on the MIA-GEO Route

  2. They can’t even sustain a nonstop ORD-MEX, a route on which even the Mexican discount airlines are charging $600 and above. (AA stopped flying this route a couple of years ago.)

  3. Amen to LarryInNYC – the official language of Guyana is ENGLISH. But anyway, Cordoba = WINE. Love it. One stop from most places in the U.S. to one of the best wine regions in the world. Might change my honeymoon for this.

  4. Is Cordoba a preemptive strike by AA?

    Norwegian Air Argentina is planning a hub there, with possible long haul flights in the future.

  5. I’m really amazed they can’t make daily service LAX-GRU work. I’m also disappointed to see the daytime MIA-GRU flight go. I try to avoid overnight flights when I can.

  6. Having LAX-GRU running only 4x week makes that flight a lot less useful, but they are clearly trying to hang on at LAX despite the fact that fares from JFK to Brazil are sometimes as much as double the fares they are commanding from LAX.

  7. Let’s hope they load award space on 2 April as well and, like other inaugural flights, there’s wide-open availability. Anyone have metrics on this? This is shaping up to be a potentially amazing b’day gift for someone if it works.

  8. Lucky, you should use your considerable blogger clout and find out when is the United travel bank going to be functional again.

  9. EZE – LAX operated a nonstop/via Lima service back in the 80-90’s on Aerolíneas Argentinas 747’s. Good to see we are going back to nonstop west coast to Argentina service.

  10. You don’t need to heap so much praise on AA at LAX. I connected through LAX last week on American and the terminal (at least T4, where I was) is a dump and the “renovated” club is vastly overcrowded.

  11. @ dca — American has three Admirals Clubs at LAX, which is more clubs than Delta and United have. They’re not great, but they’re the best of the options. The T5 lounge is also much nicer than the T4 Admirals Club.

  12. Would be great to have MIA-ASU restored. It operated from about 2012 to 2015. Paraguay is not a marquee destination in South America like Brazil or Argentina, but you’d think there would be better options from the US than Copa through PTY or a connection through GRU.

    Also, I think AA previously served Recife and Salvador da Bahia in Brazil, but dropped the service around 2016. Those were out of MIA as well and I agree, when I look at the departures board in Miami I need Google Maps close at hand sometimes.

  13. Hah I booked a flight to Cordoba last week, for travel this fall. The best routing I could find from WAS was on DL via ATL and EZE. Copa Airlines flies there via PTY but their double daily flights arrive in Cordoba at just after midnight and just after 3am – really weird timings.

  14. Even if AA “wins” LAX, keep in mind that Delta also has SEA and UA also has SFO. LAX is American’s only West Coast hub (unless you want to count PHX but that is paltry by comparison). What matters for an airline isn’t just one market but it’s overall route network and feed. And I would argue that UA at SFO far surpasses American at LAX, though you’re right that this is not the case for flying to South America. At SFO, UA flies to LHR, CDG, FRA, MUC, TLV, HKG, NRT, HND, KIX, TPE, PEK, PVG, CTU (no other US carrier flies to Chengdu), XIY (no other US carrier flies to Xian–this route may have been discontinued or scaled back, I can’t remember), SIN, SYD, and AKL. This is in addition to LHR, PVG, NRT, SYD, MEL, and SIN out of LAX!

  15. I am surprised that there is enough consistent demand to fly LAX to EZE since Buenos Aires is not known as a business city. it seems like it’s more of a leisure destination. On the other hand, American flies to Santiago, Chile, which is becoming, together with Sao Paulo, the foremost business city of South America, but does not fly non-stop from LAX. LATAM (a One World member) is the only airline that flies some nonstop flights from LAX to SCL. AA’s SCL flights are all via DFW or MIA.

  16. ugh this makes me sad as I use the GRU-LAX a lot. having it reduced to 4x is annoying…as long as they keep it though I will be happy, like you said its the ONLY american company to have this direct route

  17. @BrooklynBoy – What you’re missing here is that LAX is a very big market per se, while SFO and SEA are not (LAX is much bigger and much higher yielding than both).

  18. When I travel MIA-SCL via LATAM I can see a lot of passenger continue the fly SCL – COR in the same plane.

  19. A nonstop from LAX to “Deep South America” was inaugurated way back in the ‘70’s with Braniff International operating a nonstop flight to Santiago, continuing on to Buenos Aires. Flown with a long-range DC-8-62. In the very late part of decade, it was flown using BI’s famous Orange 747SP’s!

  20. According to AA, they are the first airline to offer nonstop flights from LAX to EZE. But that’s not true, before the LAX was axed definitely by AR, the Argentinian carrier flew for a short time ( year 99 or 2000) nonstop from EZE to LAX.
    Before that the route was EZE-LIM-LAX, EZE-MEX-LAX, EZE-LIM-MEX-LAX,

  21. LAX-EZE-LAX : THANK YOU !!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! As a twice per year LAX-EZE-LAX passenger, this is AWESOME news!!!! For so many years my family and I have had to endure the layovers at either DFW or MIA, and sometimes via IAH, if going on United. And now, with this wonderful news, you will be making our lives so much MORE easier. What is currently a 22-23 hour door-to-door trip to this beautiful country (when flying out of Los Angeles), will now be cut S I G N I F I C A N T L Y. Effective 12-19-2018, I imagine this will be a nonstop 11.5 hour nonstop flight, but who cares….relative to what we have had to take-on for years, this will be a welcomed change. F I NA L L Y !!! Thank you American Airlines!!! IT WILL BE A VERY PROFITABLE ROUTE.

  22. @Drew

    Yes you are correct AA did have service from Salvador and Recife. The flight came in from Miami, landed at Salvador, picked up some passengers, flew up the coast to Recife to pick up a few more and then on to Miami.

    I took this flight once, booked Salvador to Miami, was upgraded on the Salvador to Recife leg and then upgraded again on the Recife to Miami leg 🙂

  23. Hello! Fantastic news for the “down here” travellers. Argentina is getting a lot of AA business lately.
    I just want to share with you something that happen this monday. I am from Argentina so excuse my mistakes with the english.
    For 20 minutes United sold tickets from SCL to SYD at 180 dollars!! Obviusly it was a mistake fare but a lot of people jump in before it was out. I was one of them. A few hours later, United sent an email telling everyone that they will not honor those fares and we will be getting a refound.
    Well, two days later there is a Facebook group with more than 5000 Argentinean, chilean, uruguay passangers that had tickets for this flights. Today three newspapers print the story and “SENAR” a chilean goverment associetion is taking the case to court.

    I could tell you more, but my english is not good. I now that there is a legislation for the US airlines that they could not honor those mistakes fares. But…this is getting fun.

  24. Most surprising part in f the press release to me was a 3rd flight Miami-Caracas on MWF. Not intuitive given the Veneezuela situatiin, but i guess they must be full…

  25. What American doesn’t mention in this announcement ( and @Lucky didn’t check) is that there will be cuts to other services to South America.

    Miami – Sao Paulo – one daily departure is cancelled from August
    Miami – Belo Horizonte – all service cancelled from August
    Dallas – Quito – all service cancelled from August
    Dallas – Rio – the winter seasonal service will be cancelled for winter 2018/19

  26. SO happy to hear this news. We live in San Diego, so most of our international trips are out of LAX (we drive up). To go to Iguazu Falls or Bariloche (or anywhere in Argentina!) previously required three legs of flying so we ruled it out as a convenient destination compared to Europe, Australia or New Zealand for adventure/leisure travel. Who wants to hop/hop/hop? So now we are planning a trip to Argentina in late December/early January. So excited. Thank you.

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