American Airlines is growing its international network once again.
This time, the Fort Worth-based carrier is adding a brand-new dot to its route map and expanding service to Latin America.
Furthermore, the airline is proposing a new route to connect New York with Tokyo.
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Catch all of the details below.
American’s 3 new routes to Tulum
American has just become the third U.S. carrier to announce flights to Tulum’s new airport (TQO). The airline will commence four daily flights — across three routes — to Tulum beginning March 28, 2024.
This includes twice-daily year-round flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, as well as once-daily frequencies from Charlotte and Miami. In total, the carrier says it can offer one-stop itineraries to Tulum from 200 destinations across the U.S.
American will exclusively operate the Boeing 737 on these routes.
In the past, getting to Tulum hasn’t necessarily been easy.
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One of the most common ways to get there has been to fly to Cancun and then drive to your hotel or vacation rental. Cancun is already incredibly well served by American — the airline offers up to 40 peak-day flights from 18 U.S. gateways — but the drive within Mexico hasn’t necessarily been too appealing.
Private transfers cost around $100, and they add about 90 minutes or more to the overall travel journey.
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It’s no surprise then to see American launching service to Tulum’s new international airport, which is scheduled to open by the end of the year.
In fact, American isn’t the first U.S. airline to announce flights there. Last month, Delta Air Lines unveiled a new route from Atlanta to Tulum.
This was followed about two weeks later by Spirit Airlines announcing new flights to Tulum from Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
With its four daily flights, American will be the largest airline serving Tulum, which jibes with the carrier’s network strategy of being the largest U.S. airline serving Latin America — more on that below.
American’s expanded Latin America service
American has long been one of the largest U.S. airlines flying south of the border, and now the airline is out with a notable expansion.
The carrier is increasing service on 11 routes during the upcoming summer season, as you’ll see in the chart below.
All of these increased frequencies begin on June 5, 2024.
|Charlotte||Bridgetown, Barbados||Expand to daily service|
|Charlotte||Liberia, Costa Rica||Expand to daily service|
|Charlotte||St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands||Expand to two daily flights|
|Dallas/Fort Worth||Guatemala City, Guatemala||Expand to two daily flights|
|Dallas/Fort Worth||San Jose, Costa Rica||Expand to two daily flights|
|Miami||Antigua||Expand to two daily flights|
|Miami||Anguilla||Expand to two daily flights|
|Miami||Georgetown, Guyana||Expand to two daily flights|
|Miami||Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||Expand to two daily flights|
|Miami||Providenciales, Turks and Caicos||Expand to three daily flights|
|Miami||Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic||Expand to two daily flights|
In total, American will serve more than 90 destinations in Latin America next summer. This easily makes American the largest U.S. carrier in the region.
The second-largest carrier, United, operates to “just” 58 airports in Latin America, Cirium schedules show.
American’s proposed New York-to-Tokyo flight
U.S. airlines can’t simply decide that they want to fly to Tokyo’s convenient Haneda Airport (HND) and then just start service there.
That’s because the Japanese authorities have kept a tight control on slots — or takeoff and landing permissions — for long-haul flights at the Haneda Airport.
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) worked with the Japanese authorities to allocate additional slots at Haneda to several domestic carriers. These slots came with a use-it-or-lose-it clause, and while this wasn’t enforced during the pandemic, that temporary relief is now history as of last month.
We’ve since seen two carriers — Delta and Hawaiian — announce that they wouldn’t use their entire slot allocation to Haneda. As such, this allows other U.S. airlines to swoop in and pitch the DOT on why they should be allocated these extra slots.
So far, we’ve seen United Airlines request permission to launch flights to Tokyo Haneda from Guam and Houston (the latter of which was just formalized in a press release on Thursday).
And last month, American petitioned the DOT to award slots for a new route from New York to Tokyo Haneda.
American is pitching a new daily daytime route, operated by the Boeing 777-200, to complement the existing one operated by Japan Airlines, its Oneworld alliance and Pacific joint venture partner, in the market.
- New York to Tokyo: 10 a.m. — 1:05 p.m. (next day)
- Tokyo to New York: 3:05 p.m. — 3:10 p.m.
Though the airline already filed its motion with the DOT last month, the carrier is just now promoting the pitch as part of its latest press release.
“American looks forward to presenting our competitive application to provide new and enhanced service to Tokyo’s convenient Haneda Airport,” said Molly Wilkinson, American’s vice president of regulatory and international government affairs, in a statement.