AA announced today that they are cutting their Charlotte (CLT) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) flight in early 2015. They will however maintain their CLT to Sao Paolo (GRU) flight and highlight that customers can still connect via AA’s DFW, JFK, and MIA flights. The Charlotte Observer adds:
Michelle Mohr, spokeswoman for American, said the decision to discontinue the Charlotte-Rio flight was made as part of the “constant evaluation” of routes that the airline is undertaking as it combines the American and US Airways networks. The flight will end in early 2015, but an exact date hasn’t been set. US Airways started its Charlotte-Rio flight in 2009 and alternates between a Boeing 767 and Airbus A330 jet, depending on seasonal demand.But travel industry industry analyst Henry Harteveldt of Hudson Crossing said the dropping the Charlotte-Rio flight points to the fact that in a combined route network, some flights will be more profitable to operate from American hubs than former US Airways hubs. “As American did its route analysis, I’m sure that Charlotte to Rio surely was not performing at the level that would justify keeping the plane on the route,” Harteveldt said. “These are expensive airplanes, and they have to be paid for.” A comparison of the number of passengers flying from Charlotte to Rio and Miami to Rio in June shows the larger size of Miami’s Brazilian travel market. Including connecting passengers, Department of Transportation statistics show 3,305 people flew from Charlotte to Rio on US Airways, while 8,884 flew from Miami to Rio on American.
This was a pretty easy post-merger prediction to make give the existing AA flights – see The Motley Fool prediction from December.