American Adding Service To Africa, Middle East, And Eastern Europe

by Chris Dong

It’s no longer a rumor, American confirmed service for seasonal routes in Summer 2020 and beyond. Check out the full press release here

american seasonal routes

There has been a bit of a buzz about American’s new seasonal routes for 2020.

Ben over at OMAAT highlighted the quirky, ASMR-like video teaser featuring VP of Network Planning Vasu Raja which American ran yesterday on its social media platforms. Gary Leff at VFTW also wrote about his speculation about the possible routes, including expanded Australia service with the newly approved joint venture with Qantas. Of course, last but certainly not least, there’s the ever-knowledgable JonNYC on Twitter with the inside scoop.

Piecing together the puzzle a bit, here’s what may be announced. I don’t think the Australia and New Zealand or Asia routes will be announced this time around. Instead, the focus will be on Europe (and perhaps even Africa & the Middle East).

Potential New Seasonal Routes For 2020:

  • Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca (CMN)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Krakow (KRK)
  • Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) to Tel Aviv (TLV)
  • Other existing European routes but from different hubs

Related: American Seasonal Routes For 2019 Have Begun

Why These Destinations?

American will enter both Africa and the Middle East in one fell swoop. Previously, American had a short-lived service between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, but this would be the first time the airline will have service to Africa.

With Royal Air Maroc (RAM) joining the Oneworld alliance in mid-2020, that would align perfectly for American to have a partner in Casablanca. RAM is based in Casablanca so that will provide connecting traffic to more destinations within Morocco like Marrakech and Fes.

Chicago is the city with the largest Polish population outside of Poland, and no US carrier currently flies to any city in Poland. American would go head-to-head with LOT with its daily service between the two cities on a Boeing 787.

Dallas to Tel Aviv will avoid any competition to Israel and also capture connecting traffic from the south and western regions of the US.

American has been less adventurous compared to Delta and United when it comes to expanding its route portfolio. Now, that looks like it may be starting to shift. The Skift’s Brian Sumers had a great article on why and AA’s potential future plans in an article back in February.

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Mak August 7, 2019 - 1:54 pm

A nearly empty and underutilized Terminal at JFK — with tons of demand from banking, legal, tech, and VFR passengers going back and forth to Israel — and AA wants to fly to TLV from . . . DFW! Good grief. What are they smoking over there? It’s like they’re trying to force their passengers onto other carriers and alliances.

Chris Dong August 7, 2019 - 2:16 pm

AA views JFK as a “business” centric hub and while TLV does have a thriving tech scene, the purpose of this seasonal route will likely be for leisure so I doubt AA would select JFK. Plus NYC already has competition from the likes of El Al, Delta, and United.

Mak August 7, 2019 - 4:23 pm

I strongly suspect that you’re right, but don’t think this makes a lot of sense. There is a ton of business demand for TLV from New York, as United has proven better than anybody, and which AA has basically ceded to them. Nobody likes flying out of EWR for United, LY isn’t in an alliance, and DL only has a single JFK flight, so you would think AA could compete with all of its advantages. As an AA JFK flyer I’m constantly amazed at how they have abandoned me as a business traveler — was shocked today to find out that I can no longer fly AA from JFK to Seattle, an unimportant podunk town for AA I guess (and Seattle is in pretty good company).

Julien August 7, 2019 - 4:31 pm

American cancelled the PHL-TLV route once they officially merged with US Airways because they still owe Israeli ex-TWA employees over $15 million. Until that’s settled (which is likely never), they won’t be launching any routes to Tel Aviv anytime soon.

ghostrider5408 August 7, 2019 - 4:32 pm

who in their right mind would fly American to TLV or CMN ? If nothing else security and second paying to fly on American Airlines internationally? Really? In all the years of my international travel the past 15 have NOT been on US metal two reasons I like comfort and service clean planes and second lower exposure flying foreign flags example EK to the MidEast. AF and BA elsewhere

Paul Nagy August 7, 2019 - 5:05 pm

Israel / Tel Aviv is in Africa. Not Asia. Aye yi yi.

Chris Dong August 7, 2019 - 7:59 pm

Um Israel is in the Middle East, which while technically is in its own region, is geographically part of Asia. But also nowhere in the post does it say it’s part of Asia?

Mak August 9, 2019 - 10:31 am

@Julien I guess that story turned out to be a myth, as AA management always said it was.


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