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American Airlines Bets Big on Philadelphia While Making Cuts to JFK

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American Airlines Bets Big on Philadelphia While Making Cuts to JFK

American Airlines Bets Big on Philadelphia While Making Cuts to JFK
August 16
11:47 2017

MIAMI — American Airlines will soon add several transatlantic routes from its Philadelphia hub while making large cuts to its international network at New York’s JFK. Today, American announced routes from Philadelphia to Budapest (BUD) and Prague (PRG).

Both routes will begin May 4th, 2018 and will be operated by the 767-300. They will be the second and third international 767 routes from Philadelphia since American retired the 767-200 several years ago. Currently, all long-haul flights from Philadelphia are operated by the Airbus A330. This also marks the second time legacy AA wide-body equipment is swapping to legacy US Airways hubs. Shortly after the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, an American 767-300 briefly operated to Zurich from Philadelphia.

As Philadelphia sees transatlantic growth, American will be making serious cuts to its JFK hub. American will cut one of two daily flights to Paris (CDG), cease service to Manchester, and move its Zurich route to Philadelphia. These cuts signify American betting on Philadelphia over JFK and surrendering the international New York market to Delta.

In addition to these routes, American will add additional service to Venice (VCE) from Chicago with the 787 Dreamliner. This route will also start on May 4th, 2018. All three routes will be seasonal and last until October 27th, 2018. The airline already serves Venice from Philadelphia.

“Summer travel to Europe is very popular,” said Vasu Raja, American’s vice president, Network & Schedule Planning. “These flights will conveniently connect customers from two very important hubs – Chicago and Philadelphia – to exciting markets across the Atlantic.”

From Philadelphia, American already operates year-round routes to Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, Paris, and Rome. Seasonally, American offers Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Lisbon, Shannon, and Venice.

For some time, industry analysts have pondered whether Philadelphia, an inherited US Airways hub, had seen its best days as a transatlantic hub. The new route additions put away any doubt that American may have plans to decrease transatlantic flying from Philadelphia.

In fact, with near record congestion at New York’s JFK and with AA seemingly shying away from building up Charlotte’s transatlantic network, Philadelphia has emerged as a platform for growth across the Atlantic for American.

Across the board, American is expanding transatlantic flying from its hubs. In Dallas, the airline recently started seasonal service to Amsterdam and Rome. These two routes, along with today’s new route to Prague, all target SkyTeam hubs in Europe. In Chicago, the carrier recently began serving Barcelona.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that the new Philadelphia routes would be the first time LAA wide-body equipment would fly internationally from a LUS hub. This is incorrect as American briefly flew the 767-300 from Philadelphia to Zurich shortly after the merger. 

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About Author

Benjamin Bearup

Benjamin Bearup

Aviation journalist from Atlanta, Georgia. Business student at the University of Georgia with a passion for aviation business management. ben@airwaysmag.com @TheAviationBeat

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6 Comments

  1. acnerd
    acnerd August 16, 17:20

    Hi Benjamin, just wanted to make a slight correction to what you posted in the article. Regarding the new routes, you wrote: “They will be the first international 767 routes from Philadelphia since American retired the 767-200 several years ago.” And, “This also marks the first time legacy AA wide-body equipment is swapping to legacy US Airways hubs.”

    This is not quite accurate. A couple of years ago, Legacy AA actually flew the PHL-ZRH-PHL route on the 767-300, before moving it to JFK. This was done because Legacy US had already retired their 767-200s, so they had to have Legacy AA aircraft and crews fly the route.

  2. Tarun
    Tarun August 17, 09:24

    Hi,
    this is also not quite accurate. AA has served the ZRH-JFK route for at least 15 years, if not longer, have flown this route so many times.
    US was serving the ZRH-PHL route, and after the merger AA continued to service this route for a season, operating both routes at the same time.
    in 2016, the ZRH-PHL route was not operated any longer.

  3. Tarun
    Tarun August 17, 10:20

    That’s not quite accurate either. AA has been flying to Switzerland since 30 years, originally ORD, but the JFK-ZRH route has been flown for at least 15 years. I have flown this route so many times.

    Legacy US has flown the PHL-ZRH route for about 3 years and after the merger, AA continued for 1 season to operate both routes. Since 2016, the PHL-ZRH route is not operated any longer

    so, “Legacy AA did not move from PHL to JFK”.

  4. clear destination
    clear destination August 25, 16:08

    The aircraft in photo N345AN was written off in 2016 , result of a fire in Chicago .

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