American and Frontier Shift in New York While China Gets Further Away

Schedule Changes

The residents of Airlineville were again busy this week. It seems like they’re hustling to get everything buttoned up before the quiet holiday season arrives. And by that, I mean the quiet holiday “planning” season. The season will be plenty busy in executing those plans… or so we hope they actually execute.

The Cirium data this week showed the Eagle as remarkably active. There were many changes on multiple levels. This wasn’t any kind of blunt force move; the Eagle clearly plotted well in advance. The Widget was feeling a little prickly this week as he shot some daggers at “friends.” And let’s not forget about the Animal which decided once and for all to walk away from one of his biggest ideas.

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

Air Canada Gives Up on China

As the world continues to reopen, China continues to lag. And now Air Canada has given up on flying from Canada to China through the end of the schedule. That’s a pretty big statement right there. It will continue with 4x weekly flights via Incheon to Shanghai/Pudong, and that’s it.

In other news, Vancouver – Brisbane is gone for good. Budapest and Zagreb service won’t operate next summer.

Alaska Works on Spring Break

Alaska brought down March and April by a couple percent each. They’re both mostly impacted by reduced frequencies in existing markets. The one winner, however, is Austin. It gets more service to Palm Springs, San Francisco, and San Jose. (Partner American also boosted Austin as I’ll talk about below, but remember, they aren’t able to coordinate.) Interestingly, Dulles – LA also gets a bump up from 1x daily to 10x weekly and Paine Field gets a little more Palm Springs, Orange County, and Tucson.

American Sets January and February

American pulled down January and February schedules about 20 percent, trying to get close to reality. As part of this, there were a slew of new and canceled routes.

  • Austin – Albuquerque starts in January while Dulles and Denver get extended. (Dulles is now 1x daily instead of 2x.)
  • Boston – Grand Cayman, Raleigh/Durham won’t operate next year.
  • Charlotte – Champaign/Urbana, Toledo won’t operate next year; El Paso, Ontario, Sioux Falls won’t operate in the winter.
  • Chicago/O’Hare – Charlottesville won’t operate next year; Boise, Grand Cayman, Ontario, San Jose (CA) won’t operate in the winter.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth – Grand Cayman, Montreal won’t operate in the winter.
  • Fort Lauderdale – Port-au-Prince won’t operate in the winter.
  • New York/JFK – Liberia, Montreal, San Antonio, Toronto won’t operate next year; San Jose (CR) won’t fly next summer; Worcester will fly in the winter and there are frequency increases to midwest business markets.
  • New York/LaGuardia – Asheville, Bangor, Boston, Charleston (SC), Martha’s Vineyard, Myrtle Beach, Nantucket, Orlando, Pensacola, Philly, Portland (ME), Savannah, Traverse City won’t operate next year but there are frequency increases primarily to AA hubs.
  • Philly – Baltimore, Charleston (WV), Ottawa won’t operate next year.
  • Phoenix – Calgary, Vancouver won’t operate next year.

That Boston – LaGuardia cancellation is most notable with flights all being operated by JetBlue going forward.

Delta Strikes Back

It was another week of minor cuts for Delta with January and February each losing about a point and a half. But there was some growth in ULCC markets. New/increased frequency markets are:

  • Minneapolis/St Paul – Asheville, Burlington, Jackson Hole (as a summer market), Myrtle Beach, Portland (ME), Providence, Savannah
  • New York/JFK – Sarasota
  • New York/LaGuardia – Albany, Myrtle Beach, Pensacola (as a summer market), Providence

Boston – Nassau won’t operate. And Delta did add frequency from Detroit to Lansing, notable because United just pulled out of that market entirely.

Frontier Leaves Newark

As was publicly announced this week, Frontier is walking away from Newark. Service ends in February. Routes that remained until this point were Atlanta, Cancun, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Montego Bay, Nassau, Orlando, San Juan, Tampa, West Palm Beach with most ending after the holidays and only Atlanta, Cancun, Miami, and Orlando staying until the end on February 16.

United Cuts Down on Regional Again

United continued with a slew of regional cuts, but this week it was just frequencies in January and February. But there was also a new regional destination buried in there. Houston – Texarkana starts in February.

In other news, Amman service is now official, starting in May from Washington/Dulles. There were also filings for one-off flights to CES in Las Vegas in January and a variety of college football flights.

Other Randomness

  • El Al won’t fly from Tel Aviv to Chicago through the winter.
  • Finnair filed flights from DFW to Helsinki starting in February.
  • Gol has delayed the restart of US services to May.
  • Porter has now gone from 78 seats back to 74 seats again in its filing. I give up.
  • Public Charters has filed flights from Scranton to Atlantic City. Hurry up and book, because this route is clearly going to be in high demand. I’m not sure who this is operating for.
  • Singapore must be seeing some success on LA – Tokyo/Narita, so it’s going from 3x to 4x weekly.
  • Vietnam Airlines will fly 2x weekly from SFO to Ho Chi Minh City starting this month.
  • Zip Air will start flying 3x weekly from LA to Tokyo/Narita.

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

36 comments on “American and Frontier Shift in New York While China Gets Further Away

  1. Even with the CLT hub somewhat nearby, it’s a little surprising to see AA cut BOS-RDU, given the substantial academia/bioscience/tech industries in both of those markets, but I guess that doesn’t make for enough pax for AA to justify keeping that route.

      1. I thought of checking that, but don’t know of an easy way to do so, short of plugging in random 2022 dates into Google Flights.

        I imagine that B6 probably is flying the route, and to your point, that would make sense.

    1. Here is the truth. AA announced BOS-RDU pre-COVID and never operated it. Saying they cut the route really does mislead the situation.

  2. I saw your comment on Alaska/American not being able to coordinate. Is the same true for JetBlue and American? Because this quote from Vasu sure makes it sound like they are coordinating.

    “In our partnership with AA and JetBlue, in order for us to compete, we are able to move AA and JetBlue out of markets in the same way we move a 737 and a 319 in and out of markets. And there’s going to be a lot more of that. So in the January schedule what you’ll see is there won’t be an AA in Boston – LaGuardia. It doesn’t mean were never flying Boston – LaGuardia again. What we’re designing to do, as JetBlue moves out of the Marine Air Terminal, and co-locates with us here, eventually we will run almost the entirety of the LaGuardia schedule as hourly patterns and we will move our metal in and out.”

    Source: https://viewfromthewing.com/how-american-sees-its-new-york-strategy-going-forward/

  3. Looking at AA’s PHX schedule, there are big cuts to NorCal and SEA/ PDX. Pre- pandemic these markets had 5 flights per day:

    – SEA / PDX / SJC are down to 2 flights per day. (Note- they cannot code share with AS on SEA & PDX)
    – SFO/ SMF down to 3 flights. (SMF includes never before CR7).

    From LAX, service to RNO & SLC appears gone. The recently delivered OO E-175s do not appear to be fully utilized. There is also very limited service going Northbound. The CR7’s are still flying much of their overall service, including major markets.

  4. Tweeted about this, but AA+AS+B6 share in AUS is 30-31% right now to WN’s 35. AA hopping on an increasing number of routes seems to be a “you never have to think about flying on airlines other than us/partners again” play, which has the side effect of stunting anything Spirit or Delta would want to do in the market. It’s taking a bunch of E75s to get to this point (around 1 in 7 flights out of AUS is on an E75 now) and fares are taking a hit in an increasing number of markets, but it’s great for anyone living here.

    In related news, AS seems to be all-E75 to SFO/SJC/SAN early next year on a few dates I checked. Guessing that between their SkyWest contract and business traffic (in part thanks to the AA FF base here) they can make that work vs. WN 737s (to SAN/SJC) or UA’s mix of regional and mainline (to SFO), and those make sense as more business-y routes, but interesting to see nonetheless.

    1. Purely anecdotal but the AA gates at AUS were slammed on a random Tuesday afternoon when I was there. Full 319s to and from IAD, praying they are able to carve out a slot or two and run that from DCA!

      1. They’d have to cancel service to either LAX, PHX or LAS to make that work. I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

  5. “The Continued Capitulation of American Airlines” would be an equally appropriate title for today’s thread. It saddens me.

    1. I think AA is retreating to it’s base hubs of DFW, CLT, PHX & MIA & more or less contracting out up & down coastal flying to AS & B6 as they cant make that type of flying profitable for some reason. Also their hubs in ORD & LAX just don’t work with massive hubs by UA & DL on top of them.

      1. Unfortunately, no major carrier has ever shrunk its way to profitability. I hope this will be the exception.

        1. From what I’m seeing, this really isn’t a dramatic shrink. It’s mostly focused on New York and is tied into the NEA. America West shrunk quite a bit during its lone bankruptcy. It’s also shrunk a number of other times when the situation warranted it. During its second bankruptcy especially, US Airways shrunk quite a bit. It had gotten too big for the post-deregulation environment. Peter Greenberg observed that the entire industry took out the equivalent of a major airline’s capacity in the post 9/11 time period when many legacy carriers were in bankruptcy. I can tell you from personal observation that service to western Canada from Phoenix has come and gone for decades. Outside of New York and Los Angeles (which were a drag), American’s hubs all had fairly good margins pre-Covid based on what I saw (including Chicago, where American has had a very large presence for decades). No one knows how long this situation will last or what the new normal will look like. All the carriers can do is try to put capacity where it will earn the most (or lose the least).

          1. To clarify, American had probably been overly aggressive. That’s why there were operational meltdowns. This reduction is probably more in line with what the airline can realistically fly given its labor situation and uncertain aircraft delivery schedule. Again, no one knows how long these cuts will last. I tend to think many of them are short-term (except in New York), but we’ll see.

      2. Any tboughts on what this means for the future of the PHL hub? For many years PHL was also important for trans Atlantic flights.

        1. The question of the future of the PHL hub was answered in an article in the Tuesday, November 16, 2021 Philadelphia Inquirer “American Airlines will add flights from PHL to Europe in 2022 to meet pent-up demand.” So PHL will remain a transatlantic hub.

          But after dumping many of the transatlantic airplanes (A330, B757, B767) and delays in getting new B787’s, any idea of what aircraft AA will use?

          https://www.inquirer.com/business/american-airlines-philadelphia-international-airport-europe-flights-2022-20211115.html

      3. There is no ‘massive’ DL hub at LAX. If anything, it is AA that is massive at LAX by virtue of their As/B6 partnership.

    2. Agreed.

      With no new slots available at JFK the only way jetBlue can get its hands on more slots is through this partnership. JetBlue simply wants more JFK slots and they will use American to that end and once jetBlue has what it wants they are going to leave American high and dry. Shrink your way to profitability does not work and right now American appears to be retreating to the safety of CLT, MIA, DFW. They have pulled quite a few routes out of PHX but haven’t added anything at LAX, or DCA and over at ORD they continue to just spin their wheels.

      1. It’s tough to add flights at DCA, it’s slut controlled. Rest assured that they dominate there regardless.

        They added tons of service to AUS recently too.

          1. To be fair, you were talking about an airport in the nation’s capital, so… ;-)

            I’ll stop there, both in the interest of good taste and because there’s little value to be gained by insulting our representatives (from both sides of the aisle).

  6. What’s up with EWR?

    First WN flies the white flag and now F9.
    WN isn’t known for a history of retreating (outside of inherited FL markets) and it’s not like EWR is some 4X a week outpost for F9.
    Is this dust from the terminal reconstruction project (s)? Is EWR evolving into a more premium heavy market? (I’m including B6 in upscale mix)? I just find F9s decision to shift from EWR to Newburgh/Stewart, of all places, really bizarre.

    1. No EWR isn’t evolving into a more premium heavy market. The reason WN and F9 abandon EWR is because of EWR CPE cost which currently is at $59.29. F9 has been know to advertise $29, $39, $49 dollar fares at those prices they aren’t covering their CPE cost out of EWR let alone cover their basic operating cost.

  7. AVP-ACY is clearly operating for Michael Scott’s surprise trip to Atlantic City for a free kind of weekend with his team. Though, he did ask for a free bus, but perhaps the plane was an upgrade. It’ll be nice when they get a pile of chips, and comped food and hotels!

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