American announces four new international routes, including service from Dallas to Seoul Incheon!

Woohoo, it looks like my American systemwide upgrades will be taking me to some new destinations next year, as American has just announced four new international routes, all set to launch next year.

Let’s start with the less exciting ones first, which are merely new routes and not new destinations.

The first is New York to Dublin, for which service will start June 12, 2013. American already serves Dublin out of Chicago, so it’s simply an added option for getting to Dublin. American recently axed New York to Brussels service, so I suspect the 757 operating this route will be coming from there. The schedule will be as follows:

New York – JFK-Dublin (DUB)
AA290 Leave JFK: 6:55 p.m. Arrive DUB: 6:55 a.m. (next day)
AA291 Leave DUB: 9 a.m. Arrive JFK: 11:30 a.m.

The next route will be Dallas to Lima, which launches on April 2, 2013 and will be operated by a 757. This route makes perfect sense. As of now American serves Lima only out of Miami, so it’ll be more convenient for many passengers not on the east coast to connect through Dallas instead. Also, American’s OneWorld partner LAN is based in Lima, so this opens up plenty of connection opportunities to the rest of South America. The schedule for that will look as follows:

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Lima (LIM)
AA2193 Leave DFW: 5:30 p.m. Arrive LIM: 12:25 a.m. (next day)
AA2194 Leave LIM: 2 a.m. Arrive DFW: 9:15 a.m.

Now, on to the new routes. The first is Chicago to Dusseldorf as of April 11, 2013, which will be a daily service operated by a 767-300. As a German I’m always quite embarrassed by the fact that my preferred airline’s only service to Germany is a once daily flight between Dallas and Frankfurt. It alienates anyone on the east coast, given that you have to do 2+ hours of backtracking from the east coast to connect to Germany on American.

This route makes sense since Dusseldorf is Air Berlin’s biggest hub, so this will allow passengers to connect to the rest of Europe. And frankly, any alternative to London Heathrow is an enhancement as far as I’m concerned.

Interestingly Air Berlin is launching service between Chicago and Berlin as of March 23, 2013, so there will be quite a bit of added OneWorld capacity next spring between Chicago and Europe.

The schedule for the American flight between Chicago and Dusseldorf will be as follows:

Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Dusseldorf (DUS)
AA242 Leave ORD: 5 p.m. Arrive DUS: 8:15 a.m. (next day)
AA241 Leave DUS: 12:10 p.m. Arrive ORD: 2:20 p.m.

And the last new route announcement, which is simultaneously the most exciting and most puzzling is daily Dallas to Seoul Incheon service as of May 9, 2013, operated by the 777. My biggest frustration with American has always been that they fly to just about every single city in Latin America, but only have service to three destinations in Asia — Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo. It amazes me that a “global” carrier wouldn’t have more service to Asia.

I sure hope it works out for American, as I can’t really rationalize the route. While both SkyTeam and Star Alliance have partner airlines based in Seoul Incheon, OneWorld doesn’t, so I assume they’re relying almost entirely on passengers originating or terminating in Seoul, which seem risky. Furthermore, Korean Air already serves the route, so you’ve really gotta wonder if there’s sufficient demand for two carriers to operate the route, especially given the advantage Korean Air has of offering connecting service out of Seoul.

It would’ve made a lot more sense to me if they launched service between Dallas and Hong Kong, so passengers can connect onwards on Cathay Pacific.

The schedule for the Seoul Incheon service will be as follows:

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Seoul (ICN)
AA27 Leave DFW: 10:30 a.m. Arrive ICN: 3 p.m. (next day)
AA26 Leave ICN: 5 p.m. Arrive DFW: 4:20 p.m.

Either way, any new service is exciting service, and I look forward to trying the Dusseldorf and Seoul Incheon routes within the first few months of service.

What do you guys think? Do the new routes make sense, or which routes would you like to see American launch?

Comments

  1. Excited about the Dusseldorf route, but wish they would bring back ORD>FRA.
    Agree a route to HKG would be nice.
    But any new service is a good sign, IMO.

  2. @ Michael — I sure did. Not my favorite city in Asia (still prefer Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Beijing, for example), but I still really liked it.

  3. DFW-HKG falls about half way between DFW-ICN and the now dead ORD-DEL. Given the weight restrictions that were on the DEL route, could flying from DFW to HKG be similarly (albeit less so) impractical?

  4. Sure there is no one world partner at ICN, but you could make a similar argument against Korean Air operating the route, namely there is no connecting traffic on the DFW end for them. But they make it work and I think AA can make this work also.

  5. BA launched flights to ICN a few months ago and Finnair, JAL & Cathay already serve it. However, I suspect Malaysia Airlines could be the biggest feed for the new AA route given that they too serve ICN and that their only North American route is KUL-NRT-LAX.

  6. Before, East coasters had to backtrack throguh DFW to get to Germany. (“It alienates anyone on the east coast, given that you have to do 2+ hours of backtracking from the east coast to connect to Germany on American.”)

    Now somebody in Boston can travel directly to DUS, through Chicago…

    (Plus, with Lufthansa and Turkish, isn’t DUS more of a * hub anyway?)

    More routes is better than less routes. Hopefully these all make AA some money.

  7. A lot of airlines make have routes that don’t make much sense passenger wise but they make money on cargo contracts, reason for many of the weight restrictions, ICN could be one of those cases as they have a lot of product exportation.

  8. I’m also confused why they would do DFW-ICN instead of either DFW-HKG or at least LAX-HKG. Every time I try to book a Cathay flight from LAX, SFO, or YVR to HKG, they seem pretty full in all classes, so if DFW-HKG was impractical, at least they could do something from LAX.

    Plus, having CX connections onward from HK would make much more sense.

  9. LAN is based in Santiago, Chile. Peru is a hub for LAN, where it used to operates the LAN Peru (LP) affiliate/subsidiary as a separate entity due to political restrictions. While those restrictions have been lifter, and it markets itself as LAN there, some of the international trafic rights are under the LP code so you will still see a mix of LA and LP flight numbers even if they both are LAN flights.

  10. Samsung has a large operation in the DFW area, hence the KE flight. I’m sure AA is looking to tap into that market of business and leisure travelers now in the DFW area. Shouldn’t overlook Seoul as a business destination outside of Samsung/DFW either. It might not be on the level of Tokyo/Shanghai/Hong Kong, but Seoul certainly is a business destination folks in the US would need to get too.

    I’m hoping to see much more AA metal into Asia in the next few years. The gaping hole in the “global” network needs to be patched in the near future.

  11. I seriously do not understand why AA does not serve HKG. The only way to fly to most Asian destinations on AA metal over the Pacific is to fly to Tokyo and connect to JAL. Now we can fly to PVG, PEK & ICN but no connection service. Why is AA not flying into HKG? I don’t want a CX codeshare. I want to use my SWU on AA metal! 😉

    So when can we mileage run to ICN together? lol

  12. Hurray!! Glad to see that AA is expanding their international portfolio. I’ve always wanted to visit ICN, and now I can with SWUs. But seriously, why no HKG/SIN/BKK/TPE?!?

  13. Good news about ICN, AA will now have 50% more flights to Asia than UA has to HKG, instead of just 33% more (making the not unreasonable assumption that UA won’t launch new routes).

  14. I vote for Hong Kong as well, but if they are worried about cutting too much into CX, why not consider flying into CAN, seeing as how United is still not likely to start the SFO-CAN route any time soon

  15. My 2 cents on the new DFW-ICN route. The US Army and AF have 27,000 service members(and plus all the defense contractors) in Korea. Currently, DL/UA getting all the govt fares. Whenever I am on a UA ICN bound flight in business–my seatmares are defense contractors. Also, during Christmas/beginning of school year–you can’t find seats in and out of ICN due to all the Korean students studying in the US.

  16. I wonder how long Air Berlin lasts in One World. With its financial problems and Etihad ownership stake, and links to Skyteam, sure seems likely that One World is short-lived for them. Then Duesseldorf makes less sense for AA. Doesn’t LH or UA already serve it ex ORD?

    Agree that ICN seems strange in that there is no OW hub there for flow traffic. And for much of USA, DFW isn’t an efficient connecting point to head to ICN. Wouldn’t ORD have made more sense?

  17. Interesting how American is going to Seoul. But why do it from DFW. I would do it from ORD and LAX because DFW focuses on the Americas, not Asia. But it’s very exciting and a great way to earn some miles.

  18. @ Aidan — I suspect they’re trying to take advantage of military/government traffic, of which there’s quite a bit in Texas.

  19. Contrary to many beliefs, DFW-ICN will actually prove to be quite a successful route (unless war ignites in the Korean peninsula). I travel to Seoul 4 or 5 times a Year and its tiresome to have to do a third connection in NRT. Plus, you’d be amazed on the amount of US travelers flying to Korea for either business or pleasure. If you add to all Korean where within top 10 travelers to US during 2012 and that American is the only main US carrier currently not flying to ICN, you can do the math.

  20. Any competition for Korean Air is good. They have a monopoly on many routes which leads to outrageous fares. The DFW-ICN route will give Korean Air competition as long as AA provides good service.

  21. Does anyone know what Business Class Lounge and terminal the ICN -> Dallas flight uses in Seoul?

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