They’re adding once-daily service starting March 5 to:
- Kansas City
- Salt Lake City
- San Antonio
All will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and will bring the total of cities served from Miami to over 130.
Each of the flight pairs is an early morning (or in the case of Salt Lake City, redeye) departure for Miami and an evening (7:50pm or 7:55pm) return. That means they’re looking at these flights as bringing passengers to Miami rather than serving the local Miami market.
These flights also work well to take passengers from these cities through Miami to some of their Latin American destinations, and are good for returning from those destinations that have daytime service to Miami.
It’s interesting to see American building up Miami. It’s a huge gateway to Latin America, but that’s also a market where the airline has been hurting — overall economic slowndown relative to a couple of years ago; tons of cash that Venezuela won’t let them repatriate; fears that Argentina could act similarly.
The airport, with all of the construction projects there over the past several years, and that’s ironically been good for American. It’s chased competition away to Fort Lauderdale in search of lower costs leaving the airport for American to dominate heavily.
Key here too is that the cities American is launching service from do not currently have flights to Miami. Salt Lake City, even, though a Delta hub does not have a Miami non-stop. This fits the model we’ve learned to expect in the past from US Airways — looking for flights to and from a hub, where there’s no competition. Potentially smart moves for as many of those city pairs as you can come up with and where there’s potential demand.
American is rebanking its hubs, which is great for passengers when things work well (shorter, more efficient connections) but can be disastrous when they do not work well — too many planes coming into gates that haven’t yet been freed up by other aircraft, missed connections. Miami is one of those places that tightening up banks of flights makes me nervous.
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