MIAMI — American Airlines is expanding in Miami, with new nonstop service to Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City, and Salt Lake City. Each city will gain daily nonstop service to American’s Latin American hub beginning March 5, 2015. All four routes will be served using American’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft seating 166 passengers in a three-class configuration ( 16F / 60Y+ / 90Y ). Flight schedules for the new route are as follow:
MIA – AUS ~~ D: 0610 A: 0958 ~~ Daily
AUS – MIA ~~ D: 1950 A: 2158 ~~ Daily
MIA – MCI ~~ D: 0600 A: 1009 ~~ Daily
MCI – MIA ~~ D: 1955 A: 2205 ~~ Daily
SLC – MIA ~~ D: 2359 A: 0750 ~~ Daily
MIA – SLC ~~ D: 1955 A: 2311 ~~ Daily
SAT – MIA ~~ D: 0610 A: 1003 ~~ Daily
MIA – SAT ~~ D: 1950 A: 2158 ~~ Daily
American will face indirect competition from both JetBlue and Southwest from Fort Lauderdale to Austin, as well as seasonal indirect competition from Southwest on Fort Lauderdale – Kansas City. Delta will begin nonstop service between Miami and Salt Lake City on December 20, 2014.
These routes have been on American’s radar for years. The Dallas-based airline operated nonstop Austin – Miami service until roughly 1998, and will draw on a large frequent flyer base in the Texas city. Moreover, all four cities are large origin and destination (O&D) markets to South Florida, and the flights are well timed for connectivity to Central America and the Caribbean. None of the four flights, however, is timed well to connect with American’s massive South American hub in Miami, as those flights depart in the night and arrive in the morning. For connections to South America, American will instead route passengers through its largest hub at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which also serves as a secondary gateway to South America. These routes have been under consideration for years by American, but its narrowbody fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft would have rendered them uneconomical. Now that it is replacing those aircraft with more efficient Boeing 737-800s, Airbus A319s, and Airbus A321s, American can begin bulking up its profitable hubs.