American Makes The Week Interesting While Others Do Their Housekeeping

Schedule Changes

Love was in the air in Airlineville this weekend. And by that, I mean the airlines LOVED making more cuts. Too much of a stretch? Ok, well, how about Cirium LOVED to process all these changes? Alright, I give up.

Those in the frozen north continued to face reality, hacking away at their winter and spring dreams. But the Maple Leaf went even further, doing some summer cleaning outside the Americas.

The Eagle and the Eskimo took their shots at April. Now we wait to see if they were right or if further changes are required. Really, the Eagle was the most interesting player this week, including planning to spend a lot more time with the cacti in Phoenix this summer. The rest spent more time doing housekeeping.

All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.

Air Canada Cuts International

Air Canada took time out from slashing and burning through the next couple of months to do some long term work. It’s not going to fly a whole host of international routes through the summer:

  • Calgary – Tokyo/Narita
  • Halifax – London/Heathrow
  • Montreal – Bucharest
  • St Johns – London/Heathrow
  • Toronto – Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Lima, Oporto, Prague, Warsaw, and Zagreb
  • Vancouver – Brisbane and Osaka

Alaska Takes April Down

Alaska has made its April cuts, actually April 4 through May 19. Right now, March is down 28 percent vs last year and April is down 21 percent vs 2019. There is room for more to come down if needed. Beyond that, Austin – San Diego and Missoula – Portland will each get an extra flight this summer.

American Also Does April, Boosts Phoenix

American has also made its April cuts, earlier than normal. March is down 31 percent vs last year with April down 28 percent vs 2019, so this may very well be what American is hoping to fly. There is some real growth here. Interestingly, Washington/National, both New York airports, and Los Angeles see the most growth vs March. The airline is planning to restore several routes that haven’t flown in many months. Internationally, American is betting on London coming back with the return of flights to LA, Miami, Philly, and the start of Seattle.

Looking into the summer, American was busy boosting Phoenix up with an additional daily flight to Grand Junction, Honolulu, Kahului, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, and Sioux Falls. In addition, flights to Cedar Rapids, Madison, Nashville, New Orleans, Tampa, and Tulsa will go year-round instead of just flying through the winter. Lastly, new routes will start to Bozeman (summer only), Eureka/Arcata, and Idaho Falls.

Other new routes were loaded this week including Miami to Tel Aviv, but you can read about those in the press release.

Delta Continues to Target the Mountain West

It was another mild week of Delta adding routes around the West through the summer and increasing frequency:

  • Atlanta – Denver (+2 daily), El Paso (+1 daily), Ontario (+1 daily), and Portland OR (+2 daily),
  • Minneapolis/St Paul – Albuquerque (new), Boise (+1 daily), Bozeman (+1 daily), Kalispell (+1 daily), and Missoula (+1 daily)
  • New York/JFK – Cabo San Lucas (extended through summer)

Frontier Thinks Cleveland Rocks

Frontier made a lot of tweaks as usual, but it also added Cleveland – Cancun service through the summer. And that’s all there is to say about that.

Southwest Adds Where It Can

As usual, Southwest is looking for places where it can add back flying in the March schedule. Florida is again the big winner, especially Orlando and Tampa. All of these routes get at least 10 more flights in March:

  • Charleston – Nashville
  • Denver – Houston/Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Louisville, Phoenix
  • Fort Myers – Milwaukee
  • Las Vegas – Chicago/Midway, Houston/Hobby
  • Orlando – Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas/Love, Houston/Hobby, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham
  • Phoenix – Chicago/Midway
  • Tampa – Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago/Midway, Columbus

Southwest is also expanding its 737 MAX trial runs. Saturdays go from 24 to 44 flights in the first month with new markets: Baltimore – New Orleans and Orlando, Denver – Chicago/Midway and Phoenix, Houston/Hobby – Kansas City and Las Vegas, Orlando – Chicago/Midway and New Orleans, and Phoenix to Portland and Salt Lake.

Spirit Adds a New Route

Huge news. This summer, Spirit will fly… Akron/Canton to Myrtle Beach. I know. Huge.

United Does Some Housekeeping, Delays International

It wasn’t a busy week for United, but it did push back international flying in the markets where it’s most bearish. Havana loses all its flying through the summer schedule, the biggest cut of the bunch. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Newark won’t come back until June now, Chicago is gone through October, and San Francisco goes down from 2x to 1x daily through October. Singapore – San Francisco drops from 2x to 1x daily through the summer as well.

Down in Oceania, Auckland is now down from daily to 3 days a week from SFO through the summer. Houston – Sydney is gone through the summer schedule. LAX – Melbourne is gone through June, and then it’s reduced from daily to 3x weekly. San Francisco – Melbourne has it worse; it’s gone entirely through the summer schedule.

Two more things of note. United’s return to JFK has been delayed again, this time to March 28. And United will launch Honolulu – Orange County flights with the 737-700, the only airplane that can make it with a full load.

Other Randomness

  • Air Europa won’t fly to JFK until late June at the earliest.
  • The mini-Air France hub in Miami is following Delta’s lead. Port-au-Prince won’t resume until late June at the earliest. Guadeloupe is gone through the entire summer season.
  • Alitalia’s pandemic schedule to the US has been extended through May.
  • British Airways will run its pandemic schedule to the US through April.
  • China Eastern’s pandemic schedule to the US has been extended through May.
  • Eastern changed its mind again. It had ditched Boston – Santo Domingo for Boston – Mexico City. Now it’s reversing that plan.
  • Iberia’s pandemic schedule to the US has been extended through May.
  • Jeju Air is feeling bullish. It is bringing back Incheon – Guam in April/May when it wasn’t supposed to operate, and it’s doubling service starting in June. Meanwhile, Busan – Guam has extended through the summer.
  • LATAM is making changes through the summer, including LAX-Lima being cut in half and Miami – Recife and Salvador out of the schedule.
  • WestJet will extend its reduced Europe schedule into June.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s episode of Skeds of air Lines.

22 comments on “American Makes The Week Interesting While Others Do Their Housekeeping

  1. I could just hear Dave’s groan and snarky comment after reading the first line of this post. The two of y’all make great foils for each other in the podcast.

  2. Just shows how fickle route planning can be.

    Also if anyone missed it, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had his first episode of the season on HBO & the topic was “the next pandemic.” It’s up on YouTube.

      1. Buy cranky said HNL-SNA, not the reverse. Maybe he meant both ways, but you would think the rocket that the 757 is could launch from SNA to HNL fully loaded.

        1. SNA is listed as having a 5701′ runway. From a quick Google, United’s 752s would need up to ~2,000 feet more than that (obviously dependent upon weight, engine choice, density altitude, etc) for takeoff, and even the engine with the best takeoff performance in the 752 is listed as requiring a 5,450′ runway, which would be very tight.

          I’m sure others with more knowledge/experience have done more detailed analyses, but from a 5 minute armchair analysis, I’d be nervous trying to attempt a takeoff from SNA in a 752 at MTOW, especially in the warmer months or with a rain-slicked runway, as a rejected takeoff might be interesting in that situation.

            1. Cranky, you’ve finally found the one thing that a 737 can do that the 757 can’t! :)

          1. HP used to fly SNA-JFK. Don’t know if there were load restrictions.
            757-200. 2x/day. 2454mi/2133nm.

            SNA-HNL is 2584mi/2245nm.

            1. oldies – I don’t believe America West did fly that, but American did at one point. The problem is that the fuel requirements for the long overwater trip are significantly more than an easy transcon. You need a lot more fuel to be able to have an engine failure at the mid-point of the trip and still be able to limp back to one airport or the other.

            2. Sammy – Oh my mistake, in the WAY back times. Sorry about that. Sure enough, T100 data shows that it flew 232 times between May 1991 and December 1991 (with a load factor of 51%, I might add). So I’m guessing that flight never actually need to go out with a full load!

  3. I am surprised it took a covid like event for AA to add routes from PHX that appeared to be no brainer decisions before covid.

  4. I’m wondering if AA is through with April yet. Over the weekend, the changes came through for all AA routes at ORF. But just from April 1-15. They have usually been doing one big monthly cut, but in this case it was half the month. Either they are seeing demand increase in the latter half, or they’re shrinking their planning window.

  5. There is no “mini Air France hub” in Miami. Air France has an A320 based in Fort de France that flies regional routes in the Caribbean, including to Miami. Air France has flown to Miami from the French Caribbean since the early 1960s.

  6. Wonder if the AA flight from MIA-TLV means they aren’t planning on doing DFW-TLV now. It was obviously killed by the pandemic but maybe they will keep MIA instead.

    Not much connection potential there in MIA, but lots of originating traffic due to the high Jewish population in S Fl.

    1. Plus a significant Jewish diaspora in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia into a lesser extent Central America.

  7. Those DFW Caribbean routes sound really damn nice right about now.

    -5 at my house this am here just north of Dallas. But I’m not complaining…at least I have power (knock on wood).

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Cranky Flier