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?