American Announces New Flights To Budapest, Prague, And Venice

American has just announced three exciting new seasonal routes for 2018. In the summer of 2018, American will be adding flights to Budapest and Prague, as well as an additional frequency to Venice.

The services will operate between May 4 and October 27, 2018, which is at least a pretty broad definition of summer, as the routes will operate for nearly six months. You can expect these new flights to be bookable as of August 21, 2017.

Here are the details of these new routes:

Philadelphia to Budapest

American will operate a daily Boeing 767-300 on this route with the following schedule:

Philadelphia to Budapest departing 6:25PM arriving 9:35AM (+1 day)
Budapest to Philadelphia departing 11:35AM arriving 4:00PM

Budapest is finally getting some transatlantic love. Their national airline went bankrupt many years ago, and until 2011 American operated a flight between New York and Budapest. However, since then there has been no nonstop flight between the US and Budapest.

Now they’ll get a new seasonal flight from American. On top of that, LOT Polish will be launching flights from Budapest to both Chicago and New York as of May 2018.

It’s also interesting to see American cross fleeting here. Philadelphia used to be a US Airways hub, so most transatlantic flights were operated by Airbus A330s. Now American is stationing some 767s at the airport, presumably because the smaller plane is a better fit for the seasonal route.

US-Airways-Business-Class-A330-05
American’s A330 business class

Philadelphia to Prague

American will operate a daily Boeing 767-300 on this route with the following schedule:

Philadelphia to Prague departing 6:30PM arriving 9:05AM (+1 day)
Prague to Philadelphia departing 11:30AM arriving 3:10PM

Prague also doesn’t get much transatlantic love. United doesn’t fly there, while Delta has operated a seasonal transatlantic flight out of New York. It’s an increasingly popular destination, so it’s great to see American adding a flight there.

American-767-Business-Class - 3
American’s 767 business class

Chicago to Venice

American will operate a daily Boeing 787-8 on this route with the following schedule:

Chicago to Venice departing 7:00PM arriving 11:00AM (+1 day)
Venice to Chicago departing 2:50PM arriving 6:15PM

Presently American’s only flight to Venice is out of Philadelphia. Chicago is an interesting choice here, as it’s a hub that American hasn’t been focusing on at all lately. I don’t remember the last longhaul flight American added out of the airport, as most growth has been out of Dallas and Los Angeles. So this is great for those in Chicago.

Also, American’s current Philadelphia to Venice route is operated by an ex-US Airways A330, so it’s cool that there will now be a 787 flying to Venice as well.

American-787-Business-Class - 6
American’s 787 business class

Bottom line

I always love seeing new longhaul routes, especially when they’re to destinations that aren’t otherwise served. It’s a lot more exciting to see an airline add a new destination altogether, rather than just an additional frequency on an existing route. While these routes are seasonal, they’ll last for nearly six months.

What do you make of American’s new European routes?

Comments

  1. Nice addition for us Chicago flyers. They added the n/s to Barcelona last year and nice to have another option to Europe….though i won;t hold my breath on too much J award space.

  2. Didn’t AA add ORD to BCN late last year? Other than that I can’t think of any recent long haul routes AA has added here either. Happy to read about this!

  3. May 2018. Things can change a lot in 9 months.

    Prague and Budapest nonstop from the US are wonderful. Way past time!

    PHL being enhanced as an Atlantic hub is great news for me in DC as I can drive the 100 miles. There are rarely connecting flights open out of WAS.

  4. Further emphasises the fact that AA for NY is absolutely atrocious, and the AA-US merger a disaster for the multi NE-hub world that existed prior. Does AA really think that more business people on BUD want to go to PHL than to NYC? Most likely not.

    This makes no sense at any level. Other than the fact that it is AmericaWestdbaAA

  5. American added ORD – BCN last summer. That was the last long haul flight they added.

    @zo – this flight is absolutely not aimed at business travlers from Europe. It is aimed at leisure summer vacationers from the US to BUD and PRG, most of whom pay higher prices in the summer. It actually makes a lot of sense.

  6. The biggest piece of the news wasn’t mentioned here, which was the complete surrendering of JFK-ZRH. So out of the 3 largest financial hubs of Europe, AA will be serving just ONE out of JFK. (online whispers point to AA losing key banking corporate contracts to DL, thus ending its life support)

    (Rumors are that JFK-MAN will be swapped to BA and remaining JFK-CDG upgauged to backfill lost capacity of 2nd daily, so neither is particularly news-worthy)

  7. LOT Polish announced first longhauls from Budapest to the US (JFK and ORD) just a month ago and is/was about to do the same from Prague.

    I guess AA woke up and tries to catch up before whole CEE is taken over by LOT. Still interesting to see if LOT really announces something from Prague, I guess so.

  8. AA should bring back the PHL-TLV route they took over from US Airways, and stoped flying it after a few months. They should also re-introduce the JFK-TLV route they inherited from TWA, which they never flew. UA is flying twice daily 777’s to TLV and racking it in. El Al is about to swap their 777’s and eventually 747’s for 787’s, so less seats, so room for AA to move in. If delta had any brains, they would beat AA to it and opt for a second daily JFK-TLV.

  9. I am surprised to see how long it took for a U.S. airline to fly to Budapest. Previously only Air Canada Rouge has been linking North America to BUD, now there will be LOT flying to both ORD and JFK and AA flying to PHL. Even with LOT starting JFK-BUD and Delta flying JFK-PRG, I am surprised to see AA pick PHL-BUD and PHL-PRG over JFK. I guess PHL has a decently large population and that some people on these flights will be connecting to other American cities.

  10. I consider this to be completely strange, especially since NYC-BUD is a route I fly from time to time, and I would never consider flying through Philadelphia to go to Europe. I really would like to understand the economic and business rationale for flying this route from Philadelphia, rather than from the largest City and largest economy in North America. Why is it more advantageous for AA to fly from Philadelphia? I would like to think that they know more about their business than I do, but as a formerly happy and loyal AA customer who feels that my preferences are undermined by these odd decisions — like the decision to close the route to TLV — AA management seems positively inscrutable.

    For many years Malev and PanAm/Delta had NYC-BUD nonstops — and that was in the days when Budapest had very little business going on. I remember reading at some point a year or two ago that Emirates was going to open the route as a stop to Dubai. I’m surprised nobody has made a go of this.

  11. @Mak – Mexico City is the largest city in North America. Not that this affects your argument at all.

  12. As someone who travels to Venice three or four times a year, I’m happy to see an additional flight from ORD – the departure times on both ends are a bit late for my preferences but it wouldn’t stop me from using them. Last year AA discontinued its April flights to VCE from PHL that had been a mainstay for many years and delayed their seasonal flights to the first Friday in May. It would be nice if AA would reinstate one of these routes in April.

  13. Is there a reason the map forgot to include the islands of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island? Two of ten Canadian provinces missing… !

    Also, why is Chicago situated in Northern Ontario on this map? Chicago is on the coast of Lake Michigan, not James Bay.

    Perhaps a geography lesson is in order. I would be embarrassed if I was AA. Just use a real map for goodness sakes.

  14. @Chuck Lesker:

    Like most airlines, capacity shifts from winter to summer. In the winter, these aircraft will likely be deployed on routes to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and other seasonal destinations where capacity increases are warranted.

  15. 1. How many more tourists can Venice accomodate? The city is overrun thanks to the cruise ships.
    2. Do many people begin cruises in Venice? I ask because I don’t know what someone would do in Venice for more than a couple of days.
    3. The same is true for Prague and Budapest. Everyone I know–American, Canadian, British–who has visited Prague and/or Budapest has went for a weekend at the most. For multi-city tourists, you generally do 1-2 days in Prague, 1-2 days in Budapest, and 1-2 days in Vienna before flying home.
    4. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is paying subsidies for these flights. Maybe the Philadelphia airport authority. Or American locked in some big tour group operators.

  16. @FNT Delta Diamond

    I have work in the Venuto region (not Venice) of Italy and this airport serves that area of Italy. I meet others traveling on business as well as Italians who live within the region traveling back from a visit the USA. But, you are correct, most of the passengers on these flights are meeting or departing their cruise ship in Venice. And yes, the cruise ships are ruining Venice IMO.

  17. This is interesting – great to see new routes to Central Europe, but AA really seems abandoning JFK as a hub, which is upsetting.

    They presumably know what they are doing but it seems they are slowly losing critical mass in NY area to maintain a realistic hub operation?

  18. American seems to be focusing on expanding service and additional routes only to hubs where they are the Dominic carrier i.e. Dallas, Philadelphia and Charlotte, and LAX. New York JFK is a very competitive airport with several airlines operating the same routes.

  19. BEN! I have a question that i’ve been meaning to ask…

    In our daily email newsletter we get a certain amount of articles, yet more often then not I run into articles on your website that WEREN’T in your email newsletter.

    Why is that? I have major FOMO so I wanna make sure im getting everything you post.

  20. And I hope they kill that ridiculous thing of connecting flights having to pay their own cab fare and carry luggage from LGA to JFK. on international flights. That is the most outrageous “connection” I’ve ever heard of.

  21. @rip I question your geography since both the Czech Republic and Hungary are in central Europe, not eastern Europe.

  22. @FNT Delta Diamond

    To see everything worth seeing in the Venice area you need more than one week. One-two days is for the basic tourist lane only, where everything you see is other people taking pictures. If you’re a tourist, 2 days are enough and you can take home a small leaning tower (it’s not in Venice, but nobody will notice). If you’re a traveller, you need one week.

    Plus, VCE serves the most export-intensive area of Italy. Lots of Biz travellers down there.

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