American Airlines announced the cancellation of 27 flight routes beginning in January in order to strategically manage its network by 2022, with New York City airports being the hardest hit.
The airline will eliminate 27 different routes, both domestic and international. Of that number, 18 depart or arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport or LaGuardia Airport. The other nine routes include service to Canada and part of the airline’s domestic service from Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte and North Carolina.
“Over the weekend, American optimized its flight schedule to better connect customers to the destinations most important to them,” Brian Metham, a spokesman for the airline, said in an email.
“Part of that process resulted in the liquidation of a handful of routes, including our dedicated transportation service. We are proactively reaching customers affected by these changes to offer alternative travel arrangements,” he added.
Routes to be canceled include JFK to San Antonio, a change that will take effect on January 4, as well as JFK to Costa Rica, Montreal and Toronto.
From LaGuardia, the airline will eliminate summer and spring flights to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Myrtle Beach, Asheville, Savannah, Pensacola and Traverse City. Additionally, American Airlines will discontinue service at various locations from LaGuardia, including Boston, Charleston, Orlando, and Philadelphia.
The decision to cancel the routes comes after the airline launched a new class of cabin service, called Main Select. Under the program, fares are refundable, offer free same-day flight changes, and allow passengers to choose any available seat in the main cabin (including those with extra legroom and complimentary drinks).
The new fare class will only be available on certain routes, such as those through New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.
Last week, the airline announced that it is strengthening its partnership with Northeast Alliance JetBlue Airways despite a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in September. The agency says the alliance violates antitrust laws and will negatively affect customers and competition. However, both companies have been increasing their operations outside of the Northeast since July 2020, and even with American’s route cancellation, the alliance with JetBlue still offers a wide range of routes.
JetBlue is preparing to operate 10 of the 18 routes canceled by American from New York, according to Cirium.
American argues that demand for flights remains too low since it limited operations in June 2020, prompting the airline to suspend service indefinitely.
The following five routes will be canceled from JFK in January and the following months:
- San Antonio, until January 4
- Montreal, until January 4
- Toronto, until January 4
- Liberia, Costa Rica, until April 5
- San José, Costa Rica, until April 5
The following 13 routes will be canceled from LaGuardia:
- Bangor, Maine, through January 4
- Boston, until January 4
- Charleston, South Carolina, through January 4
- Orlando, Florida, until January 4
- Philadelphia, until January 4
- Portland, Maine, through January 4
- Asheville, North Carolina, through March 27
- Pensacola, Florida, through May 5
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, through June 2
- Traverse City, Michigan, through June 2
- Savannah, Georgia, through June 3
- Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, through June 17
- Nantucket, Massachusetts, through June 17
The following nine routes will also be canceled:
- Boston to Raleigh-Durham, South Carolina, through January 4
- Charlotte, North Carolina, to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, through April 5
- Charlotte, North Carolina, to Toledo, Ohio, through April 5
- Chicago to Charlottesville, Virginia, through April 5
- Philadelphia to Baltimore, through April 5
- Philadelphia to Charleston, West Virginia, through April 5
- Philadelphia to Ottawa, Ontario, through April 5
- Phoenix to Calgary, Alberta, through April 5
- Phoenix to Vancouver, British Columbia, through April 5