As the 2019 summer travel season wraps up American Airlines is already working to tempt vacationers with new destinations for Summer 2020. The carrier announced five new Transatlantic routes today, including the carrier’s first foray into Africa and a return to Tel Aviv.
Coming to Casablanca
Service from American’s Philadelphia hub to Casablanca will operate 3x weekly on a 757-200 from 4 June – 8 September 2020. The service connects to the hub of Royal Air Maroc, a soon-to-be member of the oneworld alliance, allowing for additional onward connections further into the continent. Vasu Raja, Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning, describes the Casablanca connections as “really big opportunity” for American. Not only will the service allow passengers to connect onwards into other parts of Africa on an AA partner, but he expects that the connections will evolve into more nonstop service as the carrier develops additional markets.
Chicago as a Transatlantic Gateway
The history of Chicago as a long-haul gateway for American is rather spotty. With the shift from Pacific to Atlantic routes and from year-round to seasonal, however, American believes it has found a sweet spot for the operation.Three new routes join the operation for Summer 2020 as a result. Flights to Krakow (5x weekly), Prague (5x) And Budapest (4x) will operate from May 7/8 to October 23/34. That is a relatively long summer season for the airline, a sign of confidence in the ability of Chicago to support the traffic. All three will be served by the 787-8.
Raja notes that the 2019 transatlantic growth from Chicago proved a boost to the carrier’s primary TATL gateway at Philadelphia rather than eroding the market there, owing to more and better connections for Midwest travelers via O’Hare. He also highlights the strong O/D demand for the Eastern European routes as a driving factor in the decision.
A return to Tel Aviv
Israel is back on the American Airlines route map, this time with service from DFW. The route will fly 3x weekly on a 787-9 and will run year round starting 9 September 2020. As Raja explains:
Flying it from DFW makes all the sense in the world for us. The North Texas economy continues to boom with business going back and forth to Israel. And also, the interior of the country is underserved, not just to Israel but to many parts of the world. And no place connects the interior of the United States better than DFW. We see this as a huge sign of the future for DFW.
American calls out strong tech industry connection options for the TLV route, including San Jose and Austin. The carrier also believes some 33 airports will now have single connection potential rather than the two-stop routes available today.
Some other routes will also adjust as part of the Summer 2020 plans. The flights to Keflavik in Iceland will move to Philadelphia from DFW, for example, bolstering the transatlantic gateway in the northeast (and significantly reducing total trip costs for the marginal market). Service to Bologna will drop for 2020 but Dubrovnik and Berlin will increase to daily flights.