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American Airlines to Suspend Nearly All Long-haul International Flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America Due to Coronavirus

American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) will implement a phased suspension of nearly all long-haul international flights from the U.S. starting on March 16. This suspension will last through May 6. This change is in response to decreased demand and changes

Benzinga · 03/15/2020 16:55

American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) will implement a phased suspension of nearly all long-haul international flights from the U.S. starting on March 16. This suspension will last through May 6. This change is in response to decreased demand and changes to U.S. government travel restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The airline will:

Reduce international capacity by 75% year over year - from March 16 to May 6
Suspend nearly all long-haul international flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America
Continue to operate one flight daily from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to London (LHR), one flight daily from Miami (MIA) to LHR and three flights per week from DFW to Tokyo (NRT)
Continue short-haul international flying, which includes flights to Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central American and certain markets in the northern part of South America, as scheduled
These changes to long-haul flying will result in the airline parking approximately 135 widebody aircraft - nearly its entire widebody fleet - during this time. In addition to the international changes, the airline anticipates its domestic capacity in April will be reduced by 20% compared to last year and May's domestic capacity will be reduced by 30% on a year over year basis.

International Route Changes

By region, the new schedule changes include the following:

Asia, effective March 16

American will suspend all remaining flights to Asia, except for three flights per week from DFW to NRT
Australia and New Zealand, effective March 16

Suspending service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland (AKL) effective March 16, which was slated to end seasonal flying on March 28
Suspending service from LAX to Sydney (SYD) effective March 16
Europe, phased suspension

American will continue to operate one flight daily from DFW to LHR and MIA to LHR·
Suspending flights from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), and LAX to LHR gradually over the next seven days to reaccomodate passengers and crew·
LHR flights from Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL) and Phoenix (PHX) will be suspended faster, as these airports are not approved gateways by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Final eastbound flights from CLT, PHL and PHX will be on March 15; final westbound flights returning from LHR will depart March 16·
Continued suspensions in other parts of Europe, as previously announced, including the delayed start of some seasonal routes as well as flights to and from Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN), Frankfurt (FRA), Madrid (MAD) and Munich (MUC) Paris (CDG) and Zurich (ZRH) through early May, or later, based on guidance from the U.S. government and customer demand
South America, effective March 16

Suspending service from JFK and MIA to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and Georgetown, Guyana (GEO)
Suspending service from DFW, JFK and MIA to São Paulo (GRU)
Suspending service from DFW and MIA to:
Chile: Santiago (SCL)
Columbia: Bogota (BOG)
Ecuador: Guayaquil (GYE) and Quito (UIO)
Peru: Lima (LIM)
Suspending service from MIA to:
Brazil: Brasilia (BSB) and Manaus (MAO)
Columbia: Barranquilla (BAQ), Cartagena (CTG), Cali (CLO), Medellin (MDE) and Pereira (PEI)
These capacity reductions assume no slot waivers are in place other than those previously granted. At airports where demand exceeds airfield and/or terminal capacity, access is governed by slots that grant airlines permission to take off and land at specific times. Given the decrease in demand related to COVID-19, American has requested temporary relief from this usage requirement - otherwise known as requesting a slot waiver - to better align capacity with demand without the risk of losing valuable takeoff and landing slots for the future. American will continue to review its network and make adjustments as needed if waivers are granted.

Taking care of customers

American will continue to take care of customers as this situation develops. The airline has announced its offer to waive change fees for customers who purchased tickets prior to March 11 for travel to Europe, including the United Kingdom, through May 31. Additionally, American's Reservations team will contact customers whose flights have been canceled directly by email or telephone. Customers who booked through a travel agent will be contacted by their agency directly. If a flight is canceled and a customer chooses not to be rebooked, they may request a full refund by visiting aa.com/refunds.