American Airlines is returning to one of the busiest travel corridors in the country.
The carrier filed plans over the weekend to resume service between New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) beginning Oct. 29, as seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by a carrier spokesperson.
American will operate the route just four times a day using the 128-seat Airbus A319, which is outfitted with eight first-class recliners, 24 Main Cabin Extra seats and 96 standard economy seats.
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In other news in the Northeast, American will scrap its new route from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Monterrey International Airport (MTY) in Mexico, effective Dec. 19. This route just launched last November and is being cut “due to soft demand,” a carrier spokesperson explained.
Finally, the airline will also cut a frequency on the route between Boston and Louisville, Kentucky — going from twice-daily to once-daily service Oct. 28.
All of these adjustments come just weeks after American and JetBlue Airways began disbanding their Northeast Alliance tie-up following a successful Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit. American plans to appeal the judge’s ruling, but both carriers have already started to wind down the alliance.
The tie-up launched in early 2021 as a way for the two carriers to boost their relevance in New York and Boston — two key Northeast cities that neither airline could win on their own, the two carriers claimed.
So instead of competing with each other, the two airlines launched the Northeast Alliance to coordinate schedules in the Northeast, launch a slew of new domestic and international routes, offer codesharing and loyalty perks and more.
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As part of the network adjustments, the two carriers traded slots (essentially takeoff and landing permissions) in capacity-constrained airports in order to optimize their combined network.
Plus, the airlines could coordinate schedules and timetables, so American decided to pull out of some long-standing markets in order to focus on other opportunities while splitting revenue with JetBlue for the flights it operated between those cities.
One such example is the New York-to-Boston “shuttle” route that American had operated for years. This long-standing service underwent multiple evolutions since it launched in the 1960s, but it finally ended in January 2022 when American decided to let JetBlue take over the route.
But, those opportunities seemingly no longer make sense for American, so the airline is now tweaking its network to account for the loss of the JetBlue feed and the fact that it needs to transfer slots back to JetBlue (and vice versa).
Interestingly, however, American’s four-times-daily flights from New York to Boston may not necessarily move the needle with business travelers who seek nearly hourly frequency on this popular 184-mile route.
If meetings end early or run late, businesspeople can make last-minute same-day adjustments if they fly with another carrier that offers considerably more frequency, such as Delta Air Lines or JetBlue.
But with American, you’ll only have four daily choices to pick from. If those times don’t work for you and this is a route you frequent, it might make sense to start looking into alternative carriers.
After all, this is a far cry from the up to 12 daily frequencies that American used to offer in 2019 before the Northeast Alliance was even enacted.