American Airlines is adding three new routes to its winter schedule.
The new routes listed here were first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by the carrier:
- Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to Cancun International Airport (CUN)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to Quad Cities International Airport (MLI) in Illinois
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) in Kansas
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The first of the new services will launch in mid-December, with all three starting by early January. More details are below.
The first of the new routes begins Dec. 9, when American launches a seasonal route connecting Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to Mexico’s Cancun International Airport (CUN). The carrier will operate one daily round-trip flight each Saturday through March 30.
The PIT-CUN route is technically a resumption, as American last flew the route in 2018.
Cancun’s popularity exploded as travel rebounded after the depths of the pandemic. Demand for flights to the Mexican beach resort has remained high, and a number of U.S. airlines are beefing up service to the destination.
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In announcing its Pittsburgh service, American billed itself as “the largest airline connecting the U.S. to Cancun,” with up to 40 daily departures from across the carrier’s network. Most recently, American announced plans for nonstop service to Cancun from both Cincinnati and Nashville. Like the Pittsburgh service, both of those routes will operate seasonally and only on Saturdays. In total, American will offer either seasonal or year-round service to Cancun from 18 U.S. cities.
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The Cancun flights also grow American’s presence at Pittsburgh, where the carrier will now have a total of 11 nonstop destinations.
For now, American appears to have the PIT-CUN route to itself. Southwest previously offered seasonal Saturday-only service on the route, but the route is not currently on the airline’s winter schedule.
The second of the routes begins Dec. 20, when American starts nonstop service between Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and Quad Cities International Airport (MLI) in Moline, Illinois.
American’s flights will be operated by its regional affiliates on CRJ-900 regional jets. American will be the only carrier flying nonstop on the route, which will be its third from MLI. American also flies from MLI to its hubs at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
MLI airport officials welcomed American’s new Charlotte flights, saying securing that route had been a priority.
“We’ve been fighting for more air service during and post-pandemic, using all the tools in our toolbox to advocate for the Quad Cities,” MLI executive director Benjamin Leischner said in a statement. “Charlotte was at the top of our list as the most logical and sustainable route to meet the needs of our business travelers looking to travel up and down the east coast, as well as leisure travelers looking for convenient service to Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.”
American’s Washington, D.C.-Wichita service will begin Jan. 8, with the company’s regional affiliates flying one daily round-trip flight on Embraer E175 jets.
DCA will become American’s fifth destination from Wichita, joining the carrier’s existing routes to its hubs in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix. Seasonal flights to Miami are set to begin in November.
American will be the only carrier flying nonstop between Wichita and the Washington-Baltimore metro area. Notably, American says it did not drop any other routes to add the Wichita service from DCA, where flights are restricted by slots.
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“The addition of DCA-ICT adds service to a previously unserved route without exiting any other in-perimeter markets,” American said in a statement to TPG. This indicates that the carrier likely shifted one flight from another route with multiple daily flights to make room for the Wichita service.
As in the Quad Cities, Wichita’s new route was lauded by local officials.
“This has long been a void I have heard from industry and business owners, and I am thrilled our hard work to fill this void is accomplished. It will also make travel to Washington, D.C. faster and more affordable for Kansans,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said in a statement.