American Airlines plans to add its first flights to Africa and Poland next summer and is resuming service to Israel next fall.
The world’s largest carrier is also boosting summer service to other Europe destinations.
American, continuing its focus on underserved international routes, on Thursday announced these route additions:
- Nonstop flights between Philadelphia and Casablanca, Morocco, beginning June 4, 2020. The seasonal flights will be offered three times a week through Sept. 8, 2020,on a Boeing 757.
- Nonstop flights between Chicago O’Hare and Krakow, Poland, beginning May 7, 2020. The seasonal flights, on a Boeing 787, will be offered five times a week through Oct. 23.
- Nonstop flights between Chicago O’Hare and Budapest, Hungary, beginning May 7, 2020. The seasonal flights will be offered four times a week through Oct. 24 on a Boeing 787.
- Nonstop flights between Chicago O’Hare and Prague, Czech Republic, beginning May 8, 2020. The seasonal flights, on a Boeing 787, will run five times a week through Oct. 24.
- Nonstop flights between Dallas Fort Worth and Tel Aviv, Israel, beginning Sept. 9, 2020. The flights will operate three times a week, year-round on a Boeing 787.
Tickets will go on sale Monday for all flights except Tel Aviv. Reservations for Tel Aviv will begin Oct. 10, American said.
Vasu Raja, American’s vice president of network and schedule planning, said American has been studying Africa for a “really long time” and that Casablanca is a great starting point because it only requires a Boeing 757, and travelers will be able to connect there to other points in Africa, including Marrakech, Morocco; Lagos, Nigeria; and Accra, Ghana; via its partner Royal Air Maroc. Royal Air Maroc, which has a hub in Casablanca, is the Moroccan national carrier.
American’s long-range plan is to offer its own flights between the United States and other destinations in Africa, Raja said.
“We think there’s a huge opportunity there,” he said. “This is the first step along the way.”
Earlier this year United announced plans to return to Africa after a three-year absence. It will offer nonstop flights between its Newark, New Jersey, hub and Cape Town, South Africa, this fall.
American is returning to Tel Aviv after a four-year absence. It ended service between its Philadelphia hub and Tel Aviv in 2015 because the route wasn’t profitable, Raja said.
The new flights to Israel will operate from Dallas, the airline’s largest hub. The technology industry is a big target for the flights, Raja said.
“Nobody can really connect the center of the United States and Mexico with Israel in the way that we can,” he said.
American will be the first airline offering nonstop service between the United States and Poland. Raja said American’s Chicago hub is the logical place for the flights because of strong local demand. The only carrier offering nonstop flights between Chicago and Poland is LOT Polish Airlines.
“Chicago’s got a huge Polish population,” he said. “We assume it will be successful.”
American is also adding flights to Budapest and Prague from Chicago because the flights to those destinations from Philadelphia have done well since they were introduced in 2018, he said.
American is canceling one European route for summer 2020. The airline’s flights to Bologna, Italy, which begin this summer, will not return, Raja said. The airline was hoping to attract vacationers headed to Tuscany but found they preferred Florence.
“(The flight) did well, but it didn’t do as well as some of these next-best options,” he said.