American Airlines just announced a substantial expansion in its domestic flight schedule next month as travel demand recovers after coming to a standstill earlier in March. The announcement led to a 41.3% rise in its share and closed at $16.72. American’s competitors also enjoyed the share jump with Delta (+10.6%), United (+13.5%) and Southwest (+6%) all recording share rise.
The share hike is understandable as the airline prepares to address recovering travel demand which is backed by statistics published in the official press release. The stats further supplement claims made by company officials that travel demand is improving.
American’s Senior Vice President of Network Strategy, Vasu Raja said: “We’re seeing a slow but steady rise in domestic demand. After a careful review of data, we’ve built a July schedule to match.”
More Flights for the Summer
Summer is usually the busiest and most profitable time of the year for airlines. But the unprecedented circumstances caused by the pandemic has stopped airlines from working at full capacity.
It is, therefore, no surprise that airlines will do everything in their ability to capture the remaining market share. American plans to “fly more than 55% of its July 2019 domestic capacity in July 2020.” It is also planning to fly “nearly 20% of its
international schedule in July 2020″ as compared to that of last year.
Since American’s announcement, other US-based carriers have followed suit. United Airlines announced yesterday, plans to resume flights to 30% of its July 2019 network next month. Southwest announced, earlier in May, a summer “Fares Sale” and double reward points for flights running through June 12.
American Airlines’ Key Offerings
American is in no mood of letting the summer opportunity (or what’s left of it) slip away. The airline will fly to many holiday destinations in Florida and Gulf coastal cities. It is placing all bets on flights to America’s third-most populous state, Florida, by offering more seats than any other competitor. Americans seeking adventure in the mountains will also be able to fly to spots in Montana, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
The cherry on top, for passengers, is the double AAdvantage miles they will earn on flights bought in June and completed before September 30, as part of the “Summer of Deals” promotion.
Between all the lucrative offerings, however, in-cabin social distancing remains a controversial topic for US carriers. While American has shown leniency in its policy; by leaving out the possibility of using middle seats, other US airlines are not too fond of uncapped seat numbers. Delta Air Lines for one will block middle seats throughout the summer until September.
To be fair, however, in its latest release American is giving customers the option to re-book fuller flights without additional charge.
American Reopening Admirals Clubs
American will open its Admirals Club lounges, from June 22, at select locations including its Dallas (DFW) and Charlotte (CLT) hubs. However, the airline has modified its lounges under guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s New York locations, for instance, will offer only prepackaged food and water.
Other measures, universal to the lounges include:
- Plexiglass shields at reception and service desks.
- Foot-operated door openers to enable touchless operation of restroom doors (where feasible).
- Hand sanitizer stations for customers.
- Signage and floor decals to remind customers to practice social distancing.
The summer quarter has given airlines, in particular American, a new lifeline. By offering excellent incentives besides implementing strict safety and health protocols, US carriers can take due advantage of the opportunity. The following months will see further growth for America’s domestic network and an expansion of international routes.
Passengers can book their seats on the official American Airlines’ website, starting from June 7.
Let us know what you think of American’s summer schedule in the comments below!