August 16th, 2017- This morning, Dallas based American Airlines announced three new seasonal European routes, all beginning May 4th, 2018, as well as the shifting of their flight to Zurich, Switzerland.
American will launch three new European routes next spring. Two from its hub in Philadelphia and one from its hub in Chicago.
From Philadelphia, American will begin service to Budapest, Hungary and Prague, Czech Republic. These are both destinations that are not currently served by American.
Budapest does not currently have any service to the United States and only has North American service seasonally to Toronto on Air Canada Rouge. LOT Polish Airlines is starting service from Budapest to New York and Chicago in the spring of 2018.
American’s new flight from Philadelphia to Budapest will be served using a Boeing 767-300ER. It will depart Philadelphia at 18:25 (6:25 PM local time) and arrive in Budapest the next day at 09:35 (9:35 AM local time). The return flight will depart Budapest at 11:35 (11:35 AM local time) and arrive back in Philadelphia at 16:00 (4:00 PM local time)
American’s new flight from Philadelphia to Prague will also be served with a Boeing 767-300ER. It will depart Philadelphia at 18:30 (6:30 PM local time) and arrive in Prague at 09:05 (9:05 AM local time) the next morning. The return flight will depart Prague at 11:30 (11:30 AM local time) and arrive back in Philadelphia at 15:10 (3:10 PM local time).
Prague’s only service to the United States is from Delta, to New York-Kennedy (JFK). Like Budapest, the city is also served by Air Canada Rouge with service to Toronto.
From Chicago, American will begin service to Venice, Italy. American will be the only carrier to serve Venice from Chicago. American, United, and Alitalia already connect Chicago to Italy seasonally via Rome. Venice is already served by American from Philadelphia. Delta and Air Canada Rouge also serve Venice with each flying there seasonally from two of their hubs.
American’s Venice service will be on board a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. It will depart Chicago at 19:00 (7:00 PM local time) and arrive in Venice at 11:00 (11:00 AM local time) the next day. The return flight will depart Venice at 14:50 (2:50 PM local time) and arrive back in Chicago at 18:15 (6:15 PM local time).
All three of these flights will operate from May 4th to October 27th, 2018.
Also included in next summer’s European service changes is American’s decision to shift its New York-Kennedy to Zurich service, to Philadelphia. This move continues the trend of bypassing its hub in New York in favor of other hubs. This is likely due to the heavy competition American faces from JFK to Europe as well as the lack of connectivity to other American cities. From Philadelphia, American can easily connect passengers from any major city in the country due to its expansive domestic network from Philadelphia.
Like next summer’s adds, American began flying from Chicago to Barcelona earlier this summer. The commonality between these new routes is they are all highly seasonal, low-medium yielding routes. These routes are primarily filled with tourists, rather than business travellers. This is another factor that has led American to choose hubs with greater connection opportunities rather than flying them from JFK (which has a large business traveller base). With people coming in from cities all over the United States, American can fill these flights to capacity rather than relying on high yield business traffic to make them money.
Multiple European routes will also be cut next summer. From Paris, service to Boston will end, and one of American’s two daily frequencies will be cut as well. Manchester will also lose service to JFK, leaving service to Philadelphia and Chicago.