AA Dropping US Charlotte (CLT) – Rio (GIG) Route

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.

CLT GIG US Airways Flight

Comments

  1. CLT the new CLE, MEM, STL….. Just a slight glimpse into your long term future. It won’t happen next week or next year but AA “will” de-hub you some day. Get ready.

  2. I don’t see CLT being dehubbed the way MEM and CVG were for two reasons. First, it is a fortress hub with high fares and little competitions, surely quite profitable. Second, AA has lacked a good hub in the southeast, so CLT is a good addition to AA’s route map. However, it may not be a strong international hub, and so more of the international traffic may flow over MIA, DFW, and PHL/JFK

    If the new AA is going to drop hubs, I see PHX and maybe even ORD as more likely to find themselves on the chopping block. Both have big competition from WN, and in ORD’s case, AA is smaller than UA.

  3. What might I expect as far as flexibility on an award booked CLT-GRU off the “US Airways + Other Partners” chart?

    I assume I’ll be rebooked on AA out of MIA, but what if I don’t like the times? Am I getting my hopes up that I might be able to fly flagship JFK-GRU or DFW-GRU? Any chance I could switch the date of travel? Would really like to hear some angles. Might need to cancel this otherwise.

    • @Ed – I’ve had quite good luck with US/AA being quite generous with re-routings caused by this cancellation. If you call up already knowing what other flights you prefer (CLT-JFK-GRU and flight numbers / times) and know there are available seats, you will more than likely get the flights you prefer.

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