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Saturday, May 21, 2022

American Airlines Adds Two New Routes Out Of Austin

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Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines is adding two new leisure routes out of Austin. New flights to Mexico and Jamaica will operate once per week using Embraer regional aircraft. While it is not a significant amount of capacity, it is notable that American continues to expand its schedules out of Austin as its position in the AA network continues to strengthen.

American Airlines Adds Two New Routes Out Of Austin
American Airlines has added two new routes out of Austin. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American Airlines adds two new routes out of Austin

American Airlines this weekend loaded flights, as seen in Cirium, to two new destinations from Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) to:

  • Cozumel International Airport (CZM) in Mexico
  • Sangster International Airport (MBJ) in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Service on both routes will operate year-round and launch on June 11th. American has scheduled flights to operate once a week on Saturdays using 76-seat Embraer E175 aircraft. These planes operate under the American Eagle banner.

Flights from AUS to CZM will depart at 09:20 and arrive at 12:50. The return flight will depart CZM at 12:30 and arrive in AUS at 15:20. Meanwhile, flights from AUS to MBJ will depart at 08:00 and land at 11:23. The return flight will depart MBJ at 12:03 and arrive in AUS at 15:53. All times are local.

American continues to grow out of Austin

Save for Saturdays, American Airlines will operate 74 daily flights out of Austin. However, on Saturdays, according to data from Cirium, American has scheduled 77 departures. Cozumel and Montego Bay join Nassau (NAS) as Saturday-only departures out of AUS on American Airlines.

With the addition of Montego Bay and Cozumel, American will serve over 35 destinations out of AUS:

American Airlines Adds Two New Routes Out Of Austin
American Airlines has a robust schedule planned out of Austin this summer. Photo: Cirium

These two destinations are once-weekly flights, so they will not represent a significant boost out of Austin. However, this helps show the way American continues to think about the city within its network. As Vasu Raja, American’s new Chief Commercial Officer, explained to Simple Flying on an exclusive webinar in September, Austin is an interesting market in large part because of the airline’s significant penetration into the local market and its growing business scene that craves new kinds of air service.

Cozumel and Montego Bay are not the only leisure destinations American serves nonstop from Austin. Instead, they help round out flights to Puerto Vallarta, Liberia, Nassau, Orlando, etc.

American B737
American started expanding significantly out of Austin in 2021, and has continued to beef up its presence in the city. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The addition of flights out of Austin to these nonstop destinations comes as American continues to rebuild its network and focus on the strength of its core hubs. Much of that traffic is routed through Dallas, so moving customers over to the nonstop gives American the ability to open up some new connections through Dallas.

A competitive city

From an air travel perspective, Austin is heavily contested. Delta and United join American in offering a sizable number of services out of the city, though neither offers even close to the same amount of service American offers. However, there is one airline that has historically led the pack in Austin.

American Airlines Adds Two New Routes Out Of Austin
What American has done in Austin is quite unique in AA’s network. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

That distinction goes to Southwest Airlines. The carrier also expects to operate a summer seasonal service on Saturdays to CZM. During the peak in the summer, Southwest has scheduled 108 daily departures, which dips down to 86 on Saturdays, according to data in Cirium. Southwest, however, is much larger than American in Austin, despite American getting closer to closing the gap. Based on schedules in Cirium, this July, Southwest will offer over 500,000 seats from Austin, while American will be just under 320,000.

Southwest continues to schedule more seats out of Austin than American, and the two airlines will overlap on a decent number of routes. Nevertheless, both airlines appear relatively confident that Austin is a market that can sustain the air service and where it makes sense for the two airlines to put their best foot forward.

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