American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) will adjust its long-haul international schedule for winter 2020 through summer 2021. In an effort to match low demand resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the airline will realign its network with the goal of improving long-term profitability.
In response to the prolonged downturn in international travel, American expects summer 2021 long-haul international capacity to be down 25% versus 2019. As the airline begins planning for next summer, American will also discontinue several routes that were once popular leisure destinations but are expected to exhibit decreased demand.
American Airlines is providing customers additional flexibility by expanding waived change fees for customers booking tickets for any new travel purchased by July 31, 2020. Any first, business, Premium Economy and Main Cabin tickets purchased on or before July 31, 2020, for future travel will not incur change fees prior to travel. Customers are allowed to change their origin and destination cities as part of this offer. Offer excludes Basic Economy and AAdvantage® award tickets. Customers must pay any fare difference, if applicable, and fare rules may apply depending on the ticket.
Vasu Raja, American’s Chief Revenue Officer
COVID-19 has forced us to reevaluate our network. American will have a significantly smaller international network in the year ahead, but we are using this opportunity to hit reset and create a network using the strength of our strategic hubs that we can build and grow upon and be profitable in this new environment.
For American, every new partnership means future growth opportunities for our airline. We’re going to rely on our hubs’ greatest strengths with our existing international network, and further integrate into our partners’ hubs to provide connectivity that’s been untapped in the past.
American will be well poised to emerge from this crisis with a stronger network that provides improved connectivity for our customers.
Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning
American has spent the past few years right-sizing its international network, discontinuing underperforming routes while adding leisure destinations like Dubrovnik and Prague. Now, as demand has significantly diminished due to COVID-19, we have to be nimble, creating the network that our customers desire.