American Airlines to Revamp Schedule – US Airways Style

Significant changes are coming to schedules at American Airlines. The Dallas Morning News shared a presentation that CEO Doug Parker made to the Allied Pilots Association regarding the changes last week. Essentially, flights at hubs will now land and take off in a “narrow time period”…banking is coming back to AA starting with Miami (MIA) in August. Get ready for a significantly more crowded terminal during peak banks!

“From a network perspective, it’s going to be really a matter of realizing the value that we can create putting the two airlines together,” Kirby told the union board and national officers, who represent pilots from the pre-merger American. The result is “we now have the ability to compete with United and Delta where before American had a challenge,” he said. Kirby, who with the others came over from US Airways, laid out two major changes from American’s pre-merger practices: Beginning with its Miami hub next August, American will “re-bank” its hubs. That means dozens of flights will all land within a narrow time period, then take off within a similarly narrow time period. American will vary its schedule according to demand, rather than operate the same schedule throughout the month.

Kirby said that after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequent industry downturn, all major U.S. carriers went to “rolling hubs,” also known as “continuous hubs.” In that concept, the arriving and departing flights are spread out over a longer period with smaller peaks and valleys of activity. “Instead of being scheduled to maximize connections, it was scheduled to lower costs. And it does lower costs — better asset utilization, better pilot and flight attendant utilization. It is lower cost,” Kirby told pilots. “But you give up some of the revenues,” Kirby said, because there are fewer flights during a time window to offer connecting passengers. “You lose all that revenue, and it overwhelms the cost savings.” Kirby said every airline experimented with rolling hubs during the post-Sept. 11 downturn, “but in just a few months, every airline with the exception of American went back to flying a banked schedule.”

Check out the other major change and further details on the re-banking at the Dallas Morning News.

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