American Airlines announced today that they are ending their Chicago – Beijing flight in October, adding new flights to Hawaii and the Caribbean, and swapping out London flying with their joint venture partner British Airways (which has implications for quality of product and upgrades).
An End to Chicago – Beijing
American is ending Chicago – Beijing service, while continuing to operate to the Chinese capital from both Dallas and Los Angeles. The route hasn’t performed well, though you wouldn’t know it from how tough it’s remained to get premium cabin award seats on the flight. The last flight to Beijing will be October 20 and the last flight back from Beijing will be October 22.
Even though they don’t want to operate the flight anymore, they will still ask the Department of Transportation to allow them to keep the route authority, rather than letting another airline have it. Perhaps it will return to the schedule next year – the airline says they intend to seek access to the new Beijing airport when it opens.
American Boeing 787-8 in Chicago
New Chicago – Honolulu Service
Chicago may be losing Beijing but will gain Honolulu service, competing with United on the route. While speculated about for years — Chicago – Honolulu was on again off again under consideration and years ago a previous labor contract required too many pilots in the cockpit to make it economical — it will finally come to fruition as winter service and it will be operated with a Boeing 787-8 offering fully flat direct aisle access ‘Concept D’ seats in business class.
The daily seasonal flight goes on sale May 7 and begins December 19.
American Boeing 787-8 Concept D Business Class
Swapping Out London Flights With British Airways
British Airways and American are anti-trust immunized joint venture partners, sharing revenue and coordinating schedules and pricing across the Atlantic.
Effective October 18 American is dropping one of its two Miami – London flights. British Airways will replace American’s Boeing 777-300ER with a new Boeing 747-400 flight.
- That’s more capacity on Miami – London
- But it’s BA’s inferior product in business
- And it means one fewer flight with passengers eligible for the already-deserted Miami Flagship Dining
American will be moving the Boeing 777-300ER to add an additional Dallas Fort Worth – London flight.
There’s still the long-running rumor that American might replace one of the two British Airways Washington Dulles – London Boeing 747-400 frequencies, so it’s possible this isn’t the last joint venture swap that gets announced.
Increased Flying to the Caribbean
American is adding four new Caribbean flights from Chicago: Aruba, Grand Cayman, Nassau, Turks & Caicos. They’re adding new year-round Saturday service Miami – St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are two new routes from Charlotte, Eleuthera and Marsh Harbour in The Bahamas. And they’re starting up Dallas Fort Worth – Aruba service. In addition they’re adding seven additional daily frequencies on existing Miami – Caribbean routes.
These are the new routes:
And these are the increased frequencies:
Notably they’re not adding any Caribbean flying to New York JFK, a place where they focus on business routes rather than meeting the needs of business customers across the board (a frequent refrain of mine is that business travelers are leisure travelers, too).