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American Airlines add 2 new routes, boosts 2 others with latest schedule update

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 1/19/2021 Zach Griff
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Another week, another round of route changes for American Airlines.

The latest additions for the Fort Worth-based carrier are to two destinations in Louisiana — Alexandria (AEX) and Lafayette (LFT). 

Starting April 2, American will fly from Charlotte (CLT) to both AEX and LFT with its regional affiliate PSA Airlines, according to Cirium schedules and confirmed by the carrier. Both flights will be operated by a CRJ-900 offering a first-class cabin, as well as extra-legroom economy and standard coach seating.

Alexandria flights will be operated once-daily in each direction, while Lafayette will be operated twice-daily in each direction. The flights are already bookable with introductory fares beginning at around $100 each way.

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These aren’t new pins on AA’s route map.

The carrier already flies to both Louisiana cities from its mega-hub in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Adding flights from Charlotte, however, opens up a range of connecting possibilities for American flyers living east of Dallas.

In a statement, Brian Znotins, American’s vice president of network planning said these “flights to CLT introduce several new connections up and down the East Coast and internationally as customers begin to resume travel.”

American is also boosting service to another warm-weather destination, Daytona Beach, Florida (DAB).

Last year, the carrier started seasonal service from DFW to DAB that was scheduled to run from Dec. 19, 2020 to April 5, 2021. In American’s latest schedule update, however, the new nonstop was extended through the end of the year, confirmed by Cirium schedules and the carrier.

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American Eagle partner Mesa Airlines will fly the once-daily flight with a CRJ-900.

Another overperforming route, DFW to St. George, Utah (SGU), got a big boost over the weekend.

Previously, the once-weekly Saturday service was scheduled to end on May 1. Not only is American extending the route through the summer, but it’s also going up to daily.

a canyon with a mountain in the background: Outdoor-friendly destinations like St. George, Utah are top destinations for leisure-focused flyers (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Outdoor-friendly destinations like St. George, Utah are top destinations for leisure-focused flyers (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The carrier confirmed to TPG that the DFW to SGU route will operate daily from April 2 to Sept. 7, operated by a SkyWest Airlines CRJ-700. However, Cirium schedules show that the St. George connection is slated to end on Nov. 5, though it’s possible that the carrier intends to further extend this route.

A common theme across all four schedule changes is the focus on outdoor-friendly destinations. With the pandemic raging, American seems to be betting that leisure-focused flyers will continue seeking vacations with built-in social distancing, like hiking in Utah or sunbathing in Florida.

Altogether, American’s moves are aimed at capturing traffic on routes where people are currently flying. Nevertheless, mid-pandemic passenger numbers and flight counts are still down significantly compared to the historic highs of 2019.

More: American Airlines adds 3 new leisure-focused routes in latest route-map adjustment

Cirium schedules show that American plans to fly 35% fewer flights in the first quarter of 2021 compared to two years prior. In February alone, the carrier is scheduled to operate 74% fewer flights than in February 2019.

Now, all eyes turn to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings, which will be announced in just over a week.

Featured image by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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