By Winston Shek
American Airlines Expands Austin Operations with 14 New Routes, Grows Tampa Presence
Last March American Airlines announced eight new routes from Austin, reinforcing its position in the fast-growing city. Three months later, Thursday, June 11, the Dallas-based carrier unveiled an ambitious ramp-up of its Austin operations, adding fourteen new routes, beginning in the fall.
Specifically, American Airlines will launch ten domestic destinations, targeted primarily towards business travel, and four international “beach” destinations, targeted towards winter leisure travel. These include the following:
|Domestic Destination||Frequency||Start Date|
|Cincinnati, Ohio||2x Daily||September 8|
|El Paso, Texas||Daily
|Jacksonville, Florida||Daily||September 8|
|Kansas City, Missouri||Daily
|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||Daily||October 7|
|Reno, Nevada||Daily||September 8|
|San Juan, Puerto Rico||Daily||October 7|
|St. Louis, Missouri||Daily
|Tulsa, Oklahoma||Daily||November 2|
|International Destination||Frequency||Start Date|
|Cancun, Mexico||Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays||November 2|
|Liberia, Costa Rica||Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays||November 2|
|Puerto Vallarta, México||Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays||October 7|
|Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays||November 2|
In addition to these international routes, American Airlines intends to convert two summer-seasonal flights to Los Cabos, Mexico and Nassau, the Bahamas to year-round service, These flights operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, respectively.
Additionally, a small selection of cities will receive a boost in frequencies from Austin, including Dallas-Ft. Worth and Miami, which will receive two additional daily frequencies. Meanwhile, Orlando, New Orleans and Tampa will receive one additional daily frequency.
“Earlier this year we added more flights from Austin, and customers have spoken: they want more,” states Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning. “We’re eager to offer our customers even more opportunities to reconnect with family, friends and colleagues. Together with our partners, we’re making it easier than ever to connect Austin with the world.”
Steve Alder, Mayor of Austin, adds, “For the past 40 years, American Airlines has connected Austin and Central Texas with the world. We couldn’t be happier with today’s announcement of new and expanded service in AUS. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with American for many more years to come.”
These flights will be bookable by June 14, 2021, with its mainland domestic operations flown by 76-seat Embraer E175 and its Caribbean/Mexico operations flown by 172-seat Boeing 737-800s.
With these new routes, American Airlines and its partners, Alaska Airlines, British Airways and JetBlue Airways, provide a total of more than 100 flights daily on peak days, mirroring a “focus city” operation. However, American Airlines still sees the airport as a regular destination in its strategy.
“We’re delighted our customers will continue to benefit from our joint business and alliances through these increased routes,” said Alison Taylor, American’s Chief Customer Officer. “Austin is an increasingly important market for both our leisure and business customers, and we will continue to deliver our world-class customer service as the market expands.”
On four of its new mainland domestic routes, American Airlines has no direct competition, including flights to Jacksonville, Florida; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Reno, Nevada and Tulsa, Oklahoma. On its other five mainland domestic routes, American Airlines faces competition with Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air, among others. Meanwhile, most of its Caribbean/Mexico operations see no direct competition, except its flights to Cancun.
In addition, Tampa International Airport announced that American Airlines would add three new routes to the airport, including a daily transcontinental service to Los Angeles and twice-daily service to Nashville and Raleigh-Durham. These flights begin on October 7 and November 5, respectively.
“We are thrilled that American Airlines sees the same opportunity in Tampa Bay that we see,” states Tampa International Airport CEO, Joe Lopano. “Any time an airline adds more service at TPA it’s a win for our region, but American’s addition of five new daily point-to-point flights – including a transcontinental nonstop to LAX – is a terrific demonstration of its confidence in our vibrant market. We’re very appreciative to the entire American team and look forward to helping make these new flights a hit.”
Primarily, the airline will utilize the Airbus A319 and Embraer E175 on its Raleigh-Durham route, though it is unknown what aircraft the other two services will use. Flights will be bookable by June 14. In November 2014, American Airlines launched a flight between Los Angeles and Tampa with a Boeing 737-800, according to RoutesOnline, before terminating the route in 2015.
Competitively, American Airlines will face heavy competition on these routes to their stronger spokes in Nashville and Raleigh-Durham and its hub in Los Angeles. For example, Nashville sees competition from Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines, while Raleigh-Durham sees competition from Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines. Meanwhile, its Los Angeles flights see competition from flights on partner-airline Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
“As more people take to the skies, American Airlines is helping customers reconnect with friends and loved ones by providing more choice, convenience and flexibility than ever before,” said Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning. “New year-round service to Los Angeles as well as the growing Raleigh and Nashville markets builds on our strategy to offer customers the industry’s best network, with easy access to hundreds of destinations across the globe.”