American Airlines Is Cutting These 27 Flight Routes, Starting Jan. 4
A number of flights will meet the chopping block through next summer.
Air travel is back and surging again after a challenging year amid the COVID pandemic. Now, airlines are struggling to keep up with demand while staffing shortages linger. American Airlines has dealt with some serious setbacks, as one of a handful of major U.S. carriers that had to abruptly cancel thousands of flights over the past few months. But while those were temporary cuts, American is getting ready to permanently chop at least 27 flight routes altogether in the coming year. Read on to find out where exactly the airline is ending service, starting in January.
American Airlines is cutting nearly 20 flight routes to New York.
American Airlines is getting ready to initiate a major set of cuts, travel news outlet The Points Guy reported on Nov. 14. New York will end up bearing the brunt of these cuts, as the Fort Worth-based flight carrier is planning to drop 18 routes that touch either New York's JFK or LaGuardia airports. According to the news outlet, there are five routes—with the majority being international flights—from JFK being cut: Liberia, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica; San Antonio, Texas; Montreal, Canada; and Toronto, Canada. San Antonio, Montreal, and Toronto will be the first to get dropped on Jan. 4, while the two Costa Rica locations will get serviced until April 5.
There are another 13 flights routes to and from LaGuardia getting cut. Most of the destinations include smaller cities but there are a few major cities on the chopping block. On Jan. 4, American Airlines will drop service between LaGuardia and Bangor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Portland, Maine. The next cuts will hit Asheville, North Carolina, on March 27, and Pensacola, Florida, on May 5. Then on June 2, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Traverse City, Michigan, will lose service, while Savannah, Georgia, will be finished on June 3. Two Massachusetts locations—Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard—will get dropped last on June 17.
The airline is still planning to cut about 10 more flights from other locations.
While New York is getting hit the hardest, it's not the only destination American Airlines is planning to make changes to. According to The Points Guy, most of the other cuts will affect regional domestic routes and Canadian routes. Starting on Jan. 4, the airline will permanently suspend its Boston, Massachusetts to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina route. Then, on April 5, several more routes will be dropped by American Airlines: Charlotte, North Carolina, to Champaign, Illinois, and Toledo, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois, to Charlottesville, Virginia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Baltimore, Maryland, Charleston, West Virginia, and Ottawa, Canada; and Phoenix, Arizona, to Vancouver and Calgary in Canada.
American Airlines has not yet offered a reason as to why it is dropping so many domestic routes, but The Points Guy reported that it is most likely due to economics. "Throughout the pandemic, we've seen airlines drastically reduce service on regional routes without enough demand to warrant jet service," the travel news outlet explained.
Only one major U.S. carrier will serve Ottawa after American cuts its flights.
Out of the 27 routes American Airlines is cutting over the next year, five of them include service to Canada. According to The Points Guy, the airline will completely pull out of Ottawa when it ends its twice-daily service from Philadelphia on April 5. The news outlet reported that Delta Air Lines also recently "indefinitely suspended" service to Ottawa at the beginning of the pandemic, meaning that United Airlines will be the only major U.S. carrier serving this Canadian city.
"American has proudly served Canada for more than 80 years," the company said in a statement to The Points Guy. "As a result of record low demand during the pandemic, we suspended our operations in Ottawa (YOW) in June 2020. As the demand for this market has not returned, we have made the difficult decision to indefinitely suspend our operation at YOW."
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But American Airlines is expanding international travel.
International travel to and from the U.S. is coming back after the White House lifted travel restrictions for many vaccinated foreign travelers on Nov. 8. As a result, American Airlines is expanding some of its international routes. The airline is already planning to add routes from its hub in Philadelphia to Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Madrid, and Rome in March, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Nov. 15.
"In the summer of 2022 we'll have a bevy of long-haul flights to Europe out of Philadelphia, much like we did in 2019," Brian Znotins, American Airlines' vice president of network planning, told the news outlet.
The airline is also relaunching flights to India this week after suspending services in 2021, according to Reuters. American just started flying between New York and New Delhi and is planning to add flights between the Indian city Bengaluru and Seattle in March.
"A lot of customers really want to fly non-stop, particularly as we've come through the pandemic. We know there is huge demand for travel between India and the United States so there is an opportunity right now in the middle of the pandemic to come back," Tom Lattig, American Airline's managing director of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa sales, said in an interview, per Reuters.