American Airlines Counters Spirit Airlines With Miami Growth

Table of Contents American Airlines adds two new international destinationsNew routes in American’s networkTaking on Spirit Airlines Spirit Airlines is coming to Miami this winter, and American Airlines is bringing on the competition. The dominant carrier at Miami, American, is growing services to several destinations that Spirit also intends to […]

Spirit Airlines is coming to Miami this winter, and American Airlines is bringing on the competition. The dominant carrier at Miami, American, is growing services to several destinations that Spirit also intends to serve while shoring up other key routes for the airline. This will see American continue to remain dominant at the airport while giving passengers more options, including two new destinations.

American Airlines is doubling down in Miami, with new growth planned at the airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American Airlines adds two new international destinations

American Airlines is adding two new routes out of Miami International Airport (MIA). Both are international destinations that will start this December. The first one is Chetumal in Mexico. The airline will fly to Chetumal International Airport (CTM) on Wednesdays and Saturdays using an Embraer E175 from December 1st.

The second new international destination is San Andres Island in Colombia. American will service Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ) from December 4th. Flights will run twice a week, also on Wednesdays and Saturdays, using an Embraer E175. Flights on this route will start from December 4th.

AA E175
The Embraer E175 will fly both of the new routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

This will take the airline to 28 destinations in Mexico with nonstop service on American Airlines, which is the most of any airline. Meanwhile, American will fly to seven destinations in Colombia with the addition of San Andres Island.

New routes in American’s network

Six new domestic routes will join American’s schedule this winter. They are as follows:

  • Saturday-only flights to Albany (ALB) running from November 6th through April 2nd using an Embraer E175
  • Saturday-only flights to Burlington (BTV) running from November 6th through April 2nd using an Embraer E175
  • Saturday-only flights to Madison (MSN) running from November 6th through April 2nd using an Embraer E175
  • Daily flights to Salt Lake City (SLC) from December 16th through April 4th using a Boeing 737-800
  • Saturday-only flights to Syracuse (SYR) from November 6th through April 2nd using an Embraer E175
  • Saturday-only flights to Tulsa (TUL) from November 6th and running year-round using an Embraer E175

In addition to the new routes, American will expand daily seasonal service to Oklahoma City (OKC) to year-round service. Daily seasonal service running to Des Moines (DSM) and Milwaukee (MKE) will operate between November 2nd and April 4th. Lastly, to Fayetteville (XNA), American will begin year-round Saturday service from November 6th.

AA 737-800
American Airlines is planning winter growth, including heading into rival Delta’s hub in Salt Lake City. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Separately, American Airlines will add two more routes to its network. The first is a three-times-weekly nonstop service from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) in Jamaica starting on November 4th.

Next up is a six-times-per-week nonstop service between Tulsa and Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). This flight will start on November 2nd.

American Miami
The new routes and expanded services will help provide more feed for the airline’s long-haul international flying out of Miami. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Taking on Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is coming to Miami in a huge way, and American Airlines is hitting back with a response. Starting from November 2nd, the following routes will get a huge boost:

  • Baltimore (BWI) goes from two to three daily flights
  • Cleveland (CLE) goes from two to three daily flights
  • Detroit (DTW) goes from two to three daily flights
  • Guatemala City (GUA) goes from two to three daily flights
  • Jacksonville (JAX) goes from five to seven daily flights
  • Nashville (BNA) goes from three to five daily flights
  • New Orleans (MSY) goes from four to five daily flights
  • Orlando (MCO) goes from six to ten daily flights
  • Raleigh (RDU) goes from four to five daily flights
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) goes from five to six daily flights
  • San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) goes from two to three daily flights
  • San Pedro Sula (SAP) goes from two to three daily flights
  • Santo Domingo (SDQ) goes from four to six daily flights
  • Tampa (TPA) goes from five to eight daily flights
AA A321
In this round of growth, 14 destinations will see more service on American Airlines to Miami. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Meanwhile, American Airlines will make other adjustments in other markets– all for the better for passengers:

  • Atlanta (ATL) will see most flights operate on mainline aircraft
  • Austin (AUS) will receive all-mainline service
  • Birmingham (BHM) will receive dual-class aircraft on all flights (including dual-class regional jets)
  • Cincinnati (CVG) will receive dual-class aircraft on all flights (including dual-class regional jets)
  • Columbus (CMH) will receive dual-class aircraft on all flights (including dual-class regional jets)
  • Indianapolis (IND) will receive dual-class aircraft on all flights (including dual-class regional jets)
  • Kansas City (MCI) will see more flights operate on mainline aircraft
  • Minneapolis (MSP) will see more flights operate on mainline aircraft
  • Pensacola (PNS) will receive dual-class aircraft on all flights (including dual-class regional jets)
  • Pittsburgh (PIT) will receive dual-class aircraft on all flights (including dual-class regional jets)
  • St. Louis (STL) will receive all-mainline service
  • San Antonio (SAT) will operate with larger mainline aircraft
  • Tallahassee (TLH) will receive dual-class aircraft on all flights (including dual-class regional jets)
American is moving away from single-class regional jets on routes to key destinations from Miami. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

This is a significant expansion after Spirit’s announced entrance into the market. Spirit Airlines will serve the following routes where American Airlines is adding new flights or upgrading services:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Guatemala City
  • Santo Domingo
  • Cleveland
  • Detroit
  • Orlando
  • Raleigh
  • San Pedro Sula
  • San Jose
  • San Juan

American is directly responding to Spirit’s entrance on 11 routes. Spirit is planning about 30 routes and could expand flying to additional destinations if demand warrants and infrastructure does not constrain its plans.

Spirit Airlines is coming to Miami with about 30 routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

However, while there is a significant response to Spirit Airlines, American Airlines is also responding to the growing competitive threat in Miami.

During the pandemic, Miami has appeared as one of the strongest destinations for tourists from the US and around the world. In addition, with strong visiting friends and relatives (VFR) demand for flying across Latin America and the Caribbean, American Airlines saw the hub come back strong and is continuing to build it up.

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American Airlines has historically been the strongest US airline in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is not willing to give that designation up and is moving to shore up its connecting hub. It is unclear if American will reduce flying from other hubs to some destinations, but the expanded capacity should be sustainable.

American Airlines is hoping to unlock the power of its Miami hub. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The new routes scheduled to start this winter will also tap into demand from the Northern US for travel to the warm South Florida city. In the crisis, several new airlines have come to Miami, including JetBlue and Southwest Airlines, and have continued to grow their networks out of the city.

Nevertheless, American Airlines is the largest carrier in Miami, and it is showing that it will not bow down to the competition. With the new additions, this winter, American will fly 341 peak daily flights at MIA.

Moving to dual-class regional jets also means that passengers will be able to access premium cabins on more flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American has also shown that it is willing to go head-to-head against ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCCs) like Spirit because they have shown themselves powerful in growing market share in the markets they enter.

For passengers, this means more options for nonstop travel down to Florida and more options for connections to Latin America and the Caribbean. Tickets will go on sale from July 5th.

What do you make of American’s growth in Miami? Let us know in the comments!

Lashell Coykendall

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