Despite Recent Adds, American’s New York Strategy Mirrors the Rest of the Network


American has been pretty clear that its network strategy is to rally around its hubs and avoid competition. By focusing on smaller cities where it can use regional jets to get a competitive advantage, it thinks it can make a decent living.

With this background, it might seem kind of strange that just last week American announced it would go back into one of the busiest markets in the country — New York/LaGuardia – Orlando — twice daily this winter. There are already four airlines in the market: Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit. It’s even more if you count other NYC airports.

American will also put 2x daily from LaGuardia to West Palm Beach and 1x daily to New Orleans. This is in addition to the extension of 1x weekly summer service into 1x daily winter to Sarasota. All of these markets have plenty of competition, so what’s the story?

In short, this looks like an AAdvantage/credit card play. If you want people to take advantage of your “very special offer” and get those credit cards, you better be able to get them to Disney.

American continues to try to find the best way to serve New York after the break-up of the Northeast Alliance with JetBlue. As part of that deal, it had moved over a couple dozen daily flights to be operated by JetBlue. With that deal off, American has had to find a new way to use those slots. You can see the history of slot usage by American here.

Average Daily Departures from LaGuardia by Airline

Data via Cirium

Pre-pandemic, American was flying about 150 daily departures from LaGuardia. It had dipped well below that during the pandemic, but even when it built back, it never got back to the high level. At first, it gave up those slots to be operated by JetBlue in winter 2021, as you can see in the chart. But then the FAA also gave airlines a waiver to park 10 percent of slots without losing them. That gave American some added buffer.

JetBlue hadn’t fully given up those slots until this coming winter when it shrinks back to where it was before the whole NEA. American still hadn’t grown back into its portfolio, and there was some speculation that it had been leasing slots out to Spirit and Frontier to keep the slots under American’s control.

But now, in November, it looks like American is planning to fully utilize its slot portfolio. It may see some cuts thanks to the 10 percent waiver, but the airline seems set to actually use what it has to use. The last piece of that puzzle is the addition of these four leisure-heavy routes.

Overall, American has shifted its route focus from LaGuardia. Take a look at this:

American LaGuardia Departures by Destination Type

Data via Cirium

If you compare this coming November (which isn’t finalized) to November 2019, you’ll see where the shifting has happened. Hub departures have dropped from 37 percent down to 32 percent. This includes the 2x daily flights to Philly that didn’t exist in 2019, which are purely for squatting purposes.

Flights to the Top 25 Combined Statistical Areas (CSAs) are also down 5 points, from 20 to 15 percent. These are the markets that are most competitive, and they include both Atlanta and Houston/IAH, markets which American does not serve in 2024.

All of the other markets are up, including mid-size and small city markets where American is trying to build an advantage. If you look at a map, you’d see shifting from close-in markets like the Ohio Valley and the Carolinas to something penetrating further into the west. New markets vs 2019 are Birmingham, Buffalo, Des Moines, Grand Rapids, Greenville/Spartanburg, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Omaha, and Tulsa.

There is some growth in pure leisure markets — I broke those out specifically, including Orlando, Sarasota, and West Palm Beach — but as you can see, these make up a very small proportion of departures. Still, they are useful for the New Yorkers that still have any American loyalty. It’s also probably the next best option.

Looking at this list, American has run out of new smaller cities it can serve within LaGuardia’s perimeter. With those maxed out, it had to look at pure leisure routes where service patterns won’t matter nearly as much and where AAdvantage members will find utility.

This may seem like a new and exciting move, but really it looks like an airline that has just run out of options to use its slots and isn’t willing to let them go.

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54 comments on “Despite Recent Adds, American’s New York Strategy Mirrors the Rest of the Network

  1. The AAdvantage theory is absolutely correct. When asked about the unprofitability of New York on earnings calls by JPMorgan Chase analyst Jamie Baker, Robert Isom and Vasu Raja always responded with the words “AAdvantage” and increasing number of enrollments.

    So in other words, yes this is all strategic.

    With the firing of nearly the entire sales team, I’m surprised AA hasn’t made the decision to abandon the market yet. I imagine internally they were the biggest voice for keeping/growing their presence in Americas largest aviation market.

    Nevertheless we all agree that AA needs to stop procastrinating here and make a decision.
    Either make the investment, or get out.

    1. “Either make the investment, or get out.”

      Well… that is the problem , American wants a piece of the big apple, but their structure being focused on Dallas, Phoenix, Miami & Charlotte makes that difficult. Also if the northeast was so important to them, they wouldn’t have gotten involved in the NEA in the first place.

    2. Make an investment how, exactly? They don’t have sufficient slots at any of the NYC airports to be a major presence – aligning with JetBlue was probably their best alternative given that situation.

      United has Newark, Delta has the leading position at LGA and a strong one at JFK. American has what? American either has to accept that it’s a NYC also-ran, and, I suppose, cater to what FF members it does have there (but over time you’d expect them to dribble away to the other airlines), do a good job in ensuring great NYC access to where it does have strength, or do some really out of the box thinking.

      What kind of out of the box thinking? Don’t know. Just saying that conventional approaches will likely result in it just seeing a steadily diminishing position in terms of NYC point of sale. So for them it’s managed decline in NYC point of sale or try stuff that’s unconventional.

      1. Lacking slots?

        Did we not read the same blog post?

        And that’s just LaGuardia.

        At JFK, AA has 105 slot pairs, many of which are in peak hour, being wasted on regionals to Cleveland and Toronto.

        Meanwhile there are many big markets they don’t serve at all. They also lack frequency to many of the ones they do.

        They have the slots. American has chosen to waste them.

        1. This is correct. The argument that AA doesn’t have sufficient slots doesn’t hold up to fact. They do hold 105 slot pairs at JFK and they squat on many of them by flying to CVG, CLE, CMH, YYZ, ORH, IND, PIT, and ORF to minimize losses, rather than redeploy those slots to potentially money-making routes.

          1. Aren’t most of those flights used for international feed? O&D pxs can’t fill up all of those seats to London.

    3. Not so simple. When you say “get out”, are you just expecting them to roll over and abandon the routes and liquidate the slots? If so, to whom? Delta? The DoJ will not allow it. To United? Likewise. Both DL and UA each control enough NY slots. The rest of the airlines jockeying for any AA slots, specifically NK and F9 would not know what to do with them. AA has to stay in NY and has to provide more perks to its customers to, if not level the playing field with Delta, at least come closer. AA won’t leave NY but it doesn’t have enough slots at JFK to make NY consistently profitable. The long term solution will be for AA to find the financing needed to acquire JetBlue, which is a slowly dying airline with unreliable service and anxious shareholders.

      1. There’s no way the current administration would allow AA to acquire B6, so unless the election changes the situation at DoJ, this is right out. The operation is already showing signs of improvement and the shareholders have calmed down. Icahn has even reduced his stake.

        The only way I see JetBlue being part of the solution to AA’s NYC problem is for JetBlue to either enter a simple codeshare agreement with AA, or for JetBlue to join OneWorld, mirroring Alaska. JetBlue’s recent codeshare announcement with BA suggests this could be possible.

        1. Some sort of tie up with B6 will happen again. Perhaps not one that is seen as open collusion. In the further future, JetBlue will be acquired by American Airlines. The writing is on the wall.

  2. AA knows it has to use its slots at LGA and JFK or face losing some; even if it cycles through a list of markets, they can prove that they are committed to using their slots even though the FAA has already extended exemptions into 2025. The implications are that if AA tries to do another deal w/ B6, it will not involve slot swapping and also that the chances of UA gaining access to JFK are slim to none.

    JFK and LGA function together for AA and DL even though UA tries to argue that “EWR is enough” even though they operate 18% fewer flights than DL from NYC; serving all 3 NYC airports matters in creating size.

    It is far cheaper to use LGA slots esp. in the winter to Florida than it is to try longhaul international flights; AA will focus on the LGA flights and then add domestic regional carrier flights from JFK in the spring.

    1. Personally, I do wish AA would develop more critical mass at JFK and build out T8 further. Even if they don’t mirror the triangle shape head terminal building like the original plan, there seems to be space to build a pier at least for regional aircraft around the eastern apron perimeter and along the JFK Expressway, with space for more widebodies towards the end of a hypothetical pier. [I’m sure Cranky could illustrate this perfectly]. AA can then bring in more Oneworld/JB partners to T8 and/or operate more regional flights to offer better connections and develop more of a focus terminal.

      1. They already did this only to realize they didn’t have enough use for what they built so they convinced / coerced OW partner BA to move into T8 and bail them out.

        I’m just bitter because I loved the T8 Bobby Van’s but there’s nowhere to go on American.

      2. Critical mass at JFK? JFK is slot controlled. To build critical mass means buying a bunch of slots. From whom exactly?

        United tried to get back into JFK and couldn’t find enough slots to make it worthwhile. Absent some industry dislocation, American has the slots that it will ever have (for the foreseeable future).

    2. Tim, honestly curious why you keep pointing out that DL operates 18% more NYC flights than UA when the most recent passenger figures show that UA carried almost 1.3 million more passengers in NYC than DL in April.

      Your figures point to a DL reliance on RJs while UA continues to upgauge its flying to larger mainline planes. The results are seen in the traffic figures and point to the success of the EWR hub which allows more customer options around the world.

      1. Mark,
        I include the number of flights in a discussion of size in NYC because it is a relevant statistic. Delta has more slots at JFK and LGA as well as flights at EWR than UA has slots and flights at LGA and EWR. And DL is considerably larger than AA at JFK and LGA and both also serve EWR while UA does not serve JFK, something it has repeatedly said it wants to be able to do again. AA’s ability to hold onto its slots at JFK will likely be the determining factor in whether UA succeeds at returning to JFK.

        DL’s presence in NYC is different from UA’s because LGA, like DCA, has a perimeter which means that UA is able to offer more outside perimeter domestic flights at both EWR and IAD than DL can from NYC or AA can from WAS. but the inverse is also true.

        And, despite the recent surge in international demand, the domestic market has consistently been more profitable for U.S. airlines and DL has an advantage in the NYC domestic market – where Port Authority data confirms that DL carries more domestic passengers to/from NYC than UA does – just as is true in WAS.

        As is true elsewhere in its network, UA flies a higher percentage of international flights from NYC and that has translated into higher total local market revenue. But DL with Latam just overtook AA and UA as the largest carrier from NYC to Latin America and is certain to add flights to Asia from NYC again which will further erode if not overtake the single network advantage that UA still has from NYC.

        The total number of passengers includes connections which UA needs in order to feed its larger international network. DL simply does not and likely will not fly to the number of international destinations that UA serves from NYC but DL does serve the vast majority of markets that UA serves and does a better job of translating that smaller international portfolio into profits better than UA – or AA. ATL and DTW are built for connecting DL’s domestic and international networks outside of the NE which makes connections over NYC or BOS much less of a necessity. DL’s total eastern U.S. international network is larger than UA’s – but less reliant on NE hubs while the opposite is true west of the Rockies.

        Of course, UA is upgauging but so is and can DL. When you factor in the slot usage exemptions and DL’s stated intent to grow its international network, DL very well could be 25% larger than UA in NYC within a couple years and a big part of DL;s larger size could be an international operation that is comparable to UA’s which has never been the case even while DL retains a larger domestic presence. Port Authority data shows that UA’s total boarding premium over DL is shrinking.

        All of that makes AA’s future in NYC difficult but also highlights that AA cannot close the gap because of size. It is hard not to acknowledge that the same size disadvantage AA has relative to DL and UA won’t also give DL an advantage over UA.

        1. For some reason you seem to have an urge to defend DL all the time? Are you afraid of United and your predictions on other sites not coming through? There is no question that DL runs a good operation but at the same time I find it overhyped by people like you. I had pleasant flights with United and AA – same as with DL latetly.
          Asked about 18% more flights you respond with taking traffic numbers from AA and UA vs DL&LATAM combined? That doesn’t seem to be a fair comparison in the first place.
          When you factor in ‘intent’ than almost all airlines are the market leader in one way or another in a couple of years. Take a look at United’s order book and see the intend over there.
          The truth is that Delta’s competitive edge is decreasing over time and sometimes they have already lost it. United seems to work on not only following Delta but sometimes Delta follows United now. CRJ 550? United first. Change in boarding priorities? United first. Better lounges for international premium passengers? AA and United first.
          United is working on getting high speed wifi on all airplanes. And you don’t have to share the bandwith with all passengers on board for now. Reliability in comparable markets almost the same and we know that DL is more creative for the statistic. (for example delay the flight to the next day to not cancel and fly an empty flight the next day?).
          Is DL all great – no; is United all great – no; is AA all great – no. Every airline is executing it’s strategy. I just wonder why you feel the urge to defend DL all the time. If they are so great….it should speak for itself.

          1. This must be your first day on CrankyFlier if you’re just noticing what a huge Delta apologist Tim Dunn is. He has an uncanny ability to torture and cherrypick data to fit whichever Delta supremacy narrative he’s pushing that day. He claims he doesn’t work for Delta, but Delta should put him on the payroll given the amount of free PR he gives them.

          2. The issue that was discussed and to which Mark is size in NYC. It is accurate to note that DL has more flights but they have a higher percentage of domestic inside the perimeter flights because of the LGA perimeter and use a higher percentage of RJs.

            DL is the largest DOMESTIC airline from NYC; domestic has been the most profitable segment for US airlines for years and yet DL is growing its international presence which is exactly the advantage that UA has right now.

            But LGA and JFK are both constrained by the FAA’s “requests” for airlines to not fully utilize all slots. When the slot exemptions are lifted, DL’s lead in the number of flights at NYC will probably grow to 25% more than UA. DL simply has more current and potential flights to work with in NYC and also more large international markets that they can enter which they do not serve than UA.

            None of that is defending anything other than the facts.

            CNBC had an article yesterday related to the opening of the Delta One Lounge at JFK and noted that DL and UA are the two carriers that are succeeding by chasing the premium travel and international market from the US. But they also accurately note that DL is more profitable and that DL started the process to becoming more upscale years ago.

            We are all free to post opinions but facts show that UA is still expected to trail DL’s profit numbers by a significant margin in 2024, just as was the case in 2023. UA has made some pretty big announcements about their strategies that they are working on while DL is much more reserved. DL just announced that they are opening yet another D1 lounge in SEA next year even though they announced the opening of LAX, BOS and JFK lounges quite some time ago.

            Competition is good. Facts about it are even better.

            The world is big enough for both DL and UA. For now, DL still has a substantial lead over UA in terms of profits and of yield that is derived from how “premium” the market perceives DL’s products.

            And the problem for AA is that they have intentionally not pursued a premium market strategy but instead tried to cut costs and alienate their best revenue all while losing focus and share in the largest coastal markets where DL and UA are fighting it out for dominance.

          3. Cranky could write an article about Ryanair’s strategy out of STN and Tim will find some way to work in Delta’s superiority in LHR.

            1. I literally laughed so loudly my wife asked what I was reading. I said honey, even if I told you, you wouldn’t believe me!

      2. @Mark : Notorious DL apologist Tim Dunn is likely cherry picking just mainline only in order to get that “Delta is 18% more flights than UA” BS, since DL possesses the ability with slot-hoarding 717 flights then call it “mainline”, despite the plane only a wee bit more seats than E190.

    1. AA has structural problems that are hard to overcome in NYC. Not enough slots to become dominant at LGA or JFK. AA’s management since the merger has been unimpressive, but there are some things that even the best management would find hard to overcome.

      What would you do? I’m not saying that to be snarky, genuinely interested.

      1. I’ve always wondered, going back to the US days that maybe US, now AA might try one-stop, frequent service from LGA to beyond perimeter markets via markets within the perimeter. Say LGA-XXX-SAN/LAX/PHX/LAS/SFO etc…via non-hubs such as IND/CMH/PIT and so forth. People prefer non-stops, but would probably still prefer a one-stop, no-change-of-planes service rather than connect. Just throwing it out there. Flame awAAY…

        1. They should just do a touch-and-go at an airport near the edge of the perimeter. For example, LGA-SUX-SFO is <1 mile off the LGA-SFO great circle route, and also provides a memorable route for marketing purposes.

          1. Alex, that brings up an interesting point. How much of a landing is required? Would a touch and go (the literal don’t stop the plane on the ground) count? Or would they at least have to taxi around the airport?

            But then once you get there you might as well just do a plain direct flights with one stop.

      2. JT8D – the structural problems are largely of their own making. They weren’t an also ran at LGA until they made the slot swap with DL for more control of DCA, an airport they already dominated. If they don’t have enough slots to compete at LGA, they have only themselves to blame.

        Same for JFK. Big expansion of T8 ended up sitting around half empty so they coerce BA into moving over to bail them out of expenses. CF would know better but did they ever try a coherent strategy for a larger JFK operation after the T8 expansion? Or were they worried about cannibalizing PHL?

        Whatever they did or didn’t do, the result is they retreated their way into irrelevance at both airports. Which is at least consistent with their current strategy at every airport that isn’t DFW, CLT, MIA and DCA, having given up (or in the process of giving up) strong positions at BOS, SEA, LAX and now ORD while still managing to lose market share at important hubs like MIA, PHL and PHX.


        1. Bill – I struggle to fault them the way you do. After all, the LGA/DCA slot swap was US Airways, not American. US Airways was never going to be a really important player in New York on its own, but it could lock down DCA a lot more. It made sense at the time. Of course they had no idea they’d be taking over American or they would have done something differently.

          As for the T8 expansion, you talking about the work finished at the end of 2022? They were deep into the NEA at that point and were looking to use more slots as part of that. But that’s gone, so no more options there.

          1. You are correct in that the slot swap was US and would have required a crystal ball vis a vis its effect on a future American.

            However at JFK I’m referring to the mid 2000s project that gave us the current T8 and midfield concourse and demolished the previous T8 and T9. Per Wikipedia, AA began an eight-year program to build the largest passenger terminal at JFK. The new terminal was built in four phases, which involved the construction of a new midfield concourse and the demolition of old Terminals 8 and 9. It was built in stages between 2005 and its official opening in August 2007.

            Seems like they had big plans for JFK back then that ultimately fizzled out. Colocation of the other OW airlines in this new T8 was only contemplated in the recent 2020 era expansion.

            1. Bill – Oh you’re talking about the initial T8 opening, not the recent expansion. Got it. Remember that pre-merger they had this whole cornerstone idea which was to grow like crazy in LA, NY, Chicago, DFW, and Miami. I honestly have no idea how they thought they were going to be able to really grow in NY, but the terminal was part of it.

            2. Yep they clearly had big plans at JFK in the 2000s and early 2010s. By the late 2010s, however, the place always seemed half empty (especially on the midfield concourse) and they were probably already cajoling the OW partners to move over there and help fill it up and pay for it.

              Again, that’s not much of a strategy, more like a capitulation. Furthermore it can’t be blamed on the lack of anything besides a plan because they had the unique opportunity to develop a brand new terminal from the ground up.

              This is by far their biggest failure in NYC and I’d love to know what strategies were tried (or even considered) before they decided to give up the ghost barely a decade after opening their brand new, state of the art terminal, no doubt designed to cement their NYC standing. Again… Yikes!

            3. Cranky – sorry but now I’m kinda obsessed with this JFK bungle after building the big, shiny, new terminal of their dreams only to abandon a good chunk of it barely a decade later.

              Apparently one of their brilliant plans in 2007 was twice daily flights from JFK to London Stansted!!!!! (Head exploding emoji goes here)

              Shockingly this initiative proved unsuccessful and this particular patient was pulled off life support in July 2008.



            4. Bill – Yeah, that was back when those all-biz airlines were flying.
              American loved stupid retaliatory flights like this. You had eos and MAXjet in Stansted + Silverjet at Luton. So American thought this was a good idea. It was not.

  3. You write “American has been pretty clear that it’s network strategy is to rally around its hubs and avoid competition.”

    It should be its, not “it’s”. “It’s” is NOT the possessive for the word “it”. It is a contraction of two words – “it” and “is”. So you literally just wrote: American has been pretty clear that it is network strategy is to rally around its hubs… Which makes no sense.

  4. So much hate for AA.

    They are really limited in NY due to slot arrangements. They can’t get enough of them to dominate the city, so they tried to do an end run with JetBlue. Didn’t work. So…plan C or D here.

    What a lot of people miss is that routes out of NYC are not just locals. People do actually travel TO New York from other places, and AA has a decent network to get them there.

    With only so many planes, and only so many pilots, AA has picked their strategy of tripling down on their hubs. And they are doing okay at that.

    This almost makes me think of the conversation about Southwest. Sometimes a company needs to do what they do best, and not try to be something different.

    Just because other airlines make money with a certain strategy doesn’t mean AA (or WN) will make similar dollars with the same strategy.

    Do what you do best. Not what others think you should be doing.

    1. The problem is American doesn’t know what they do best and have been ping ponging back and forth from one half baked strategy to the next for quite some time and the stock price reflects that

  5. Seems AA could use some of its slots at JFK to fly non stop to Las Vegas or San Diego in the winter. There are large gaps in the AA network that can be filled

  6. I thought the NEA was an inspired idea. However there were many potential decisions by American, particularly at JFK, that led them to need such a desperate end run as the NEA in the first place.

  7. I just want to add here that I don’t think anyone here actually read the blog post.

    > “Looking at this list, American has run out of new smaller cities it can serve within LaGuardia’s perimeter. With those maxed out, it had to look at pure leisure routes where service patterns won’t matter nearly as much and where AAdvantage members will find utility.”

    > “This may seem like a new and exciting move, but really it looks like an airline that has just run out of options to use its slots and isn’t willing to let them go.”

    And that is just New York LaGuardia.

    What about New York Kennedy?

    Toronto: 2x daily
    Cleveland: 2x daily
    Pittsburgh: 2x daily
    Columbus: 2x daily
    Indianapolis: 3x daily
    Worchester: 1x daily

    And that’s just 12/105 slot pairs they have here at Kennedy. They can afford to (upgauge and) trim those flights to hubs and places where AA thinks it has a strong presence (ie RDU or BNA).

    Inside perimeter routes don’t do well from JFK, especially on all these high casm regionals. They don’t have the large customer base or the need to feed a TATL flights here either.

    They have the slots.

    AAs real New York problem wasn’t the lack of slots, it’s that they got lost in the shear amounts of slots they have.

    1. You clearly don’t understand the problem AA has in NYC nor do you understand American Airlines and just wish they would go away or hand over their slots to Delta.

      American doesn’t have the slots it needs to be a serious competitor in NYC so it either needs to consider whether to focus on traffic TO the region or FROM it. JFK long haul is all about O&D and OW, not connections.

      1. What an incredible strawman. Maybe go respond to the actual Tim Dunn who would be more than happy to argue why DL deserves more slots.

        Without writing an essay, I very much do understand their issue here, -they’re not profitable here in NYC.

        My comment that you responded to quite literally debunked the whole lack of slots claim. Heck have you even read this blog piece?

        Repeating a lie, or three in your case, doesn’t make it true.

        AA unflipped it’s LaGuardia schedule ages ago. They haven’t had any sort of plan here since the NEA ended.

        1. 220
          I agree with most of your post but let me know where I ever said that AA should just go away or that DL deserves more slots.

          DL is the only one of the big 3 that has not had the FAA or DOT intervene because of failure to use slots as required – the removal of slots at EWR because of UA’s failure to use slots at EWR and the DOT’s attempts to get AA to use its slots which AA turned into the NEA which was found to be illegal.

          The arguments that AA does not have the slots to compete in NYC rings very, very hollow. US, under Parker and Kirby, sold 1/4 of the slots at LGA to DL for net/net $60 million by the time of the AA merger. And US’ presence at DCA didn’t grow because US was already above 50% which the DOJ has long said is problematic when mergers or asset swaps are in play.

          US had the LGA slots but Parker and Kirby said that US couldn’t figure out how to use them. Then they took over AA which was the only legacy carrier left besides US.

          If size in any market matters, then AA’s fate in NYC was sealed with the US’ slot giveaway.
          UA’s size was destined to be overtaken when it left JFK and doubled down on EW.

          While some find it hard to accept, DL is the only one of the big 3 that has played its NYC cards right and will increasingly benefit from the hand it has played.

          1. “While some find it hard to accept, DL is the only one of the big 3 that has played its NYC cards right and will increasingly benefit from the hand it has played.”

            I know I’m going to regret asking this but…

            How is United owning EWR as a profitable domestic and international hub not playing their cards right in NYC?

            1. We’re all going to regret you asking this. His answer will no doubt invoke pulling out of JFK and in this case he’d be absolutely correct. Kirby and Co. have been trying to put that toothpaste back in the tube since arriving at UA.

            2. UA, under previous management, underutilized its slot portfolio at EWR, the FAA intervened and removed slot controls, and EWR is a more competitive market than when it was slot controlled and UA had over 70% of the slots.

              UA, also under previous management, and as noted below, walked away from JFK, a decision current management says was a mistake, but the result is that AA, B6, and DL all serve all 3 NYC airports and UA’s total number of flights is 18% less than DL’s.

              EWR operates at maximum capacity and schedules are coordinated by the FAA. JFK and LGA are slot-controlled and the number of flights is below the number of slots due to the FAA’s inability to staff its operation.

              AA, B6, and DL can fly more flights at LGA and JFK than they currently do while it is unlikely that can happen at EWR.

              btw, neither airlines nor the DOT released profitability by hub. While UA at EWR is likely profitable, it is speculative to argue what hubs are or are not profitable.

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong but most of those shorter routes to JFK are for international feed.

      1. In theory. they should be, but they aren’t timed for connections. The short haul flights are an exercide in slot-squatting, rather than building a connecting complex

    3. Actually AA does have a slot problem.

      This mistake you are making is looking at AA’s slots in isolation without looking at how they compare to UA and DL in the NYC area.

      Even with those slots, AA is dwarfed by both DL and UA in NYC and thus are the lesser option for corporate businesses and other FF’s.

      AA has a lot of slots relative to Alaska or Southwest, but they are also not attempting to be something that cannot be in NYC.

      So AA continues to bleed in NYC because they don’t have the necessary mass to fill up flights with reasonable fares.

      Maybe AA’s problem is they have too many slots and therefore feel compelled to keep them even though by keeping them, they are losing their a**.

  8. “All of the other markets are up, including mid-size and small city markets where American is trying to build an advantage.”

    Are they trying to build an AAdvantage?

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