Today American Airlines announced the launch of 5 routes for summer 2020.
- Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN) begins 4th June – 8th September 2020
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV), year round beginning 9th September 2020
- Chicago (ORD) to Krakow, Poland (KRK) between 7th May – 23rd October 2020
- ORD to Budapest, Hungary (BUD) begins 7th May – 24th October 2020
- ORD to Prague, Czech Republic (PRG) begins 8th May – 24th October 2020.
The above flights will be available for purchase from 12th August 2019, while Tel Aviv will be available for purchase on 10th October 2019.
Morocco, first forays into Africa
The route between Philadelphia – Casablanca is the first time American Airlines connects up with the African continent. This is probably likely to result in some codesharing with Royal Air Maroc who are scheduled to join OneWorld soon. This route will operate 3x weekly on a Boeing 757.
Being approximately 3700 miles this is a Zone 5 redemption costing 20750/41250/62000 for economy/premium/business classes respectively.
New US connections for Tel Aviv.
I believe this will be American Airlines' first route to Israel, and will be operated by Boeing 787-900s on a 3x weekly service.
At 6980 miles this is amongst the longer of flights from North America to ‘Europe', though I hesitate to call Israel Europe given its location firmly in the Middle East. Redemptions on this route would just fall within Band 8 (6501-7000 miles) and would cost 36,250/72,250/108,250 Avios.
Expansion in Eastern Europe
With the addition of Krakow, Budapest and Prague, American Airlines will be the only US carrier connecting Chicago to these cities. All three routes will be operated by Boeing 787-800s which have 20 Business class seats.
Budapest will be 4x weekly, while Krakow and Prague are 5x weekly.
All of these three destinations fall into the Band 6 redemption zone for Avios (4001-5500 miles) which means they will cost 25,750 / 51,500 / 77,250 Avios.
Given the OneWorld transatlantic joint venture between American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair this could lend itself to some very interesting fares and positioning opportunities for longer haul routings. While you may not be inclined to take the non-stop routes you can be relatively confident that there will be some decent Avios space available especially in the lower loads periods towards the start and ends of the flight schedule.