Cranky on the Web: Why American is Adding Europe From DFW


Why American Airlines is adding nonstop flights from DFW to these cities in EuropeFort Worth Star-Telegram
Why? Well, because American is growing DFW to be a massive hub. And the more feed it has, the more it can support additional markets. (I’m sure there are other reasons too that I didn’t mention here.)

Get Cranky in Your Inbox!

The airline industry moves fast. Sign up and get every Cranky post in your inbox for free.

16 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Why American is Adding Europe From DFW

  1. The simple fact is that any airline can make money flying from the US to Europe in the summer. Fares are fairy high and the strong US economy and good exchange rates make Europe one of the strongest markets from the US ever.

    Most of AA’s DFW to Europe additions – as at ORD and PHL – are summer seasonal.

    AA has the largest summer seasonal to year round European route ratio of all large operators across the Atlantic. The challenge is that AA has to figure out how to profitably use its longhaul aircraft during the winter as well, esp. as it commits to more 787s. Rapidly pulling down the 767s allows a lot of year round capacity to be flown by 787s but AA’s summer seasonal strategy to Europe won’t work based on economics once the 767s are gone and there is no aircraft that can be parked or lightly used for half of the year.

    1. Tim – Indeed Europe is pretty easy in the summer. Although I do find the Munich changes somewhat strange. American added DFW seasonally and Charlotte year-round, but it canceled year-round from Philly, all in the same change. Not sure what that’s all about.

  2. Have to wonder if AA exited PHL-MUC not only because of PHL competition from LH, but also because PHL is bracketed by larger local markets with IAD to the South and EWR/JFK to the North. All three have many seats to MUC on multiple carriers, which weakens PHL’s draw on local customers from NJ, PA, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland.

    1. TVmccabe – Hah, I responded to Tim’s comment before seeing yours. It couldn’t just be about LH competition. After all, AA went into Charlotte year-round when Lufthansa already has a flight. This one I couldn’t quite figure out.

      1. AA CLT-MUC is simply a fool’s gold attempt at trying to steal the BMW contract currently backing the LH flight. What key corporate backs PHL-MUC ? Siemens ? or not even ?

    1. With their 767 fleet so old it is probably paid for and fully depreciated, they can catch up on the maintenance (because they need a lot) and/or just park them.

      Although they are in the process of grounding and scraping the 767 fleet, and replacing them with 787’s. Can’t park them because the cost is too high. Have to imagine this is an issue they are trying to figure out.
      Maybe sub them for some 777-200’s in lower volume periods to catch up on overhauls, etc on the 777-200’s which are pretty old now. We’ll see,

      1. All of the AA 767 fleet has been sold. The market for used 767’s is hot, and they are being converted for Cargo. AA will still have some over the next few years but they are all spoken for when AA is done with them.

        1. Flew a few times recently MIA-MVD on some very tired and tawdry AA 767’s.
          Experienced very long maintenance delays, one of which went into the next day at 14 hours. It is very clear they are flying them until their heavy checks with no investment before they retire them.

          They have a non-stop monopoly on the route, so there is little risk people will walk away from AA because of the awful airplanes they use. BUT I would walk away in ten seconds if a competitor had a more nicely appointed airplane.

          DL and UA keep their 767 product and interiors in good shape and they are fine. Not AA.

    2. Brian – You see a lot more domestic and Caribbean, but they also just do more maintenance in the off peak period.

  3. Perhaps some of the DFW to Europe routes would have enough off-season traffic to support narrow body metal, using an A320 neo, or A321 neo, or B737 MAX? (which I assume could just manage that range?)

    1. Stewart- Those airplanes don’t have the range for DFW-Europe. In theory the A321XLR when it comes out might touch western Europe, but I wouldn’t count on it. The best Airbus for that market now is the A330neo. And the eventual 797 would be good for it too.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I just did some quick reading and find that you are right!

        Google tells me that A321neoLR = 240 pax with a range of 4,000 nmi.

        Dallas (DFW) – London (LHR) = 4128 nmi

        Close, but no cigar. Considering prevailing winds, the north-east bound flight would probably make it fine depending upon whether or not the 4000 nmi included reserves, but not the south-west bound return flight, which probably needs about 15% more fuel.

        What will the range of the A321XLR that you spoke of be?


        I also agree with you that A330’s would be good on the route, but their capacity probably would not work much differently in the off-season to that of the 767?

        Norweigian are operating 787’s from Austin to Europe. If they can find enough passengers for that with no American feed-in network, surely AA should be able to make things work out of DFW.

  4. more like AA is absolutely pathetic in their coverage for the metro that is the largest economic engine in the nation, and doesn’t know how to do jack in any hub that isn’t a fortress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cranky Flier