American Airlines to suspend 75% of international capacity

Source: Cranfield University

American Airlines is to implement a phased suspension of additional long-haul international flights from the US starting today. This suspension will last until May 6 and see three-quarters of its international capacity grounded.

The airline says: “This change is in response to decreased demand and changes to US government travel restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The airline will reduce international capacity by 75% year over year — from March 16 to May 6; continue to operate one flight daily from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to London (LHR), one flight daily from Miami (MIA) to LHR and three flights per week from DFW to Tokyo (NRT); continue short-haul international flying, which includes flights to Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and certain markets in the northern part of South America, as scheduled.”

In addition to the international changes, the airline anticipates its domestic capacity in April will be reduced by 20% compared to last year and May’s domestic capacity will be reduced by 30% on a year-on-year basis.

International route changes

Effective March 16, American will suspend all remaining flights to Asia, except for three flights per week from DFW to NRT. It will suspend Australia and New Zealand services, effective March 16 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland (AKL) effective March 16, which was slated to end seasonal flying on March 28; Suspending service from LAX to Sydney (SYD) effective March 16.

Europe, phased suspension 

American will continue to operate one flight daily from DFW to LHR and MIA to LHR; Suspending flights from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), and LAX to LHR gradually over the next seven days to reaccommodate passengers and crew; LHR, Dublin (DUB) and Manchester (MAN) flights from Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL) and Phoenix (PHX) will be suspended faster, as these airports are not approved gateways by the US Department of Homeland Security. Final eastbound flights from CLT, PHL and PHX will be on March 15; Final westbound flights returning from LHR, DUB and MAN will depart March 16

Continued suspensions in other parts of Europe, as previously announced, including the delayed start of some seasonal routes as well as flights to and from Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN), Frankfurt (FRA), Madrid (MAD) and Munich (MUC) Paris (CDG) and Zurich (ZRH) through early May, or later, based on guidance from the U.S. government and customer demand

South America, effective March 16 

Suspending service from JFK and MIA to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and Georgetown, Guyana (GEO); Suspending service from DFW, JFK and MIA to São Paulo (GRU)

Suspending service from DFW and MIA to: Chile: Santiago (SCL); Colombia: Bogota (BOG); Ecuador: Guayaquil (GYE) and Quito (UIO); Peru: Lima (LIM); Suspending service from MIA to Brazil: Brasilia (BSB) and Manaus (MAO); Colombia: Barranquilla (BAQ), Cartagena (CTG), Cali (CLO), Medellin (MDE) and Pereira (PEI)

These capacity reductions assume no slot waivers are in place other than those previously granted. At airports where demand exceeds airfield and/or terminal capacity, access is governed by slots that grant airlines permission to take off and land at specific times.

Given the decrease in demand related to COVID-19, American has requested temporary relief from this usage requirement — otherwise known as requesting a slot waiver — to better align capacity with demand without the risk of losing valuable takeoff and landing slots for the future. American will continue to review its network and make adjustments as needed if waivers are granted.