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Europe’s vaccination program is in disarray, rates of infection are on the rise in a majority of countries on the continent, and cities and regions are being put back into lockdown, but that doesn’t appear to have put off American Airlines which, starting next week, is scheduled to restart ten of its European routes.
American’s European Route Reboots
Of the ten routes that American Airlines plans to bring back starting on 27 March, some are key to the airline’s European plans, others are seasonal routes that are being brought back for the summer and one is a new route for the airline. Most, however, are scheduled to be up and running by this time next week.
Route Recommencing 27 March 2021
- Miami – London Heathrow (Daily Service)
Routes Recommencing 28 March 2021
- Dallas/Fort Worth – Madrid (Daily Service)
- Dallas/Fort Worth – Rome (Daily Service)
- Los Angeles – London Heathrow (Daily Service)
- Miami – Barcelona (Daily Service)
- New York JFK – Paris CDG (Daily Service)
- Philadelphia – Dublin (Daily Service)
- Philadelphia – London Heathrow (Daily Service)
Route Recommencing 30 March 2021
- Seattle – London Heathrow (3x/week) **New Route**
Route Recommencing 4 April 2021
- New York JFK – Milan Malpensa (Daily Service)
[HT: Routes Online]
When you consider what’s going on in Europe right now and what we’ve been hearing leaking out of the Biden administration, it’s more than a little surprising to see all of these routes still in the schedules and available to book on the American Airlines website.
Firstly, the Biden administration isn’t expected to lift the ban on non-US citizens/residents traveling from Europe to the United States until at least mid-May and there are no signs (as yet) that most of Europe is ready to welcome back US travelers.
Secondly, have you seen the news out of Europe recently?
Four of the ten routes are for travel to/from London Heathrow but England is expected to announce an extension of its ban on all non-essential travel through to the end of June in the coming days.
One of the routes that is scheduled to restart next week is for travel to/from Paris CDG but after a huge spike in infections, Paris and various other parts of France have just gone into a month-long lockdown.
Who does American Airlines think will be booking these flights?
If you look at Europe as a whole, things don’t look any better.
Overall, Europe’s vaccine rollout has been nothing short of shambolic and the behavior of some of its leaders truly embarrassing (France’s President Macron has been at the forefront of the indecision and the idiocy), so the continent is way behind the United States in getting its population vaccinated.
The virus is far from beaten in Europe so even if the US administration decides to start opening up the country to up to more visitors from May onwards, it wouldn’t be surprising to see visitors from most European countries continuing to be excluded. If that happens (and it’s likely to happen), who’s going to fill American’s flights?
The UK is one of the few leading lights in Europe when it comes to the vaccine rollout (despite its government showing a staggering amount of incompetence in just about all other areas), but it’s in no hurry to open up its borders to travelers and it has even suggested that it may add the whole of continental Europe to its list of countries from where travel is banned.
Yes, I expect travel between the US and the UK to be a little more ‘normal’ from July onwards, but with British Airways already operating on three of the four London routes that American Airlines plans to restart, I can’t help but wonder why American Airlines is bothering to add more capacity now. Why not wait until the summer months when there may actually be some meaningful demand for travel on these routes?
The American Airlines schedules currently show the airline bringing back a number of its European routes from 27 March and that it plans to launch its service between Seattle and London Heathrow on 30 March, but given how things are shaping up in Europe right now, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a lot of these route restarts postponed in the coming days and weeks.