American Airlines celebrates 30 years in Miami

This month, American Airlines celebrates the 30th anniversary of its bold move to establish a hub at Miami International Airport (MIA).

In October 1989, American operated just 19 flights a day to six cities from MIA. Today, Miami’s hometown carrier operates more than 350 flights a day to nearly 130 destinations from the hub — American’s largest international gateway— including service to more than 70 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean. American’s Cargo operation has also grown substantially. In 1989, American moved 39.5 million pounds of mail and freight. Today, it moves nearly 380 million pounds annually.

The Most Service to Latin America

No other carrier at MIA offers as much service to Latin America as American. Last month, American announced increased service between MIA and:

  • Santiago, Chile (SCL)
  • Lima, Peru (LIM)
  • São Paulo, Brazil (GRU)

Earlier this year, the airline added new service to Cordoba, Argentina (COR), and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba (SCU) — destinations that can only be reached from the U.S. on American.

A $21 Billion Economic Impact

American is a critically important economic engine for Miami and South Florida. What started out as a small hub in 1989 with fewer than 300 employees has grown to be the third-largest private employer in Miami-Dade County with more than 13,500 team members and an annual payroll exceeding $1.8 billion.

American’s economic impact also goes far beyond the team members that care for our customers. More than 162,000 additional jobs are created through businesses that support our MIA operations, meaning that American’s Miami hub contributes more than $21 billion annually to South Florida’s economy.

“American Airlines has a significant economic impact on our county,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Its Miami hub helps drive South Florida’s economy, and its robust schedule is critical to our community’s economic development. We value American’s commitment to this community and know that its growth in the coming years will continue to stimulate our local economy.”

Investment in Miami and South Florida

American’s commitment to MIA doesn’t stop with its network and team members. The airline has invested heavily in the community over the last three decades and supported dozens of organizations, including the United Way, Camillus House, Autism Speaks, Feeding South Florida and the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation. In 2018, American’s corps of caring team member volunteers, the DoCrew, dedicated more than 30,000 hours of their time to these and other nonprofit organizations.

American is also committed to promoting Miami as a great place to live, work and play. The carrier partners with the Beacon Council, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, amongst other civic organizations, to ensure the continued growth of both the city of Miami and the hub. American’s success in South Florida has helped grow the city’s reputation as a premier destination for travelers around the world.

“Greater Miami is a global gateway and welcomes a high volume of international visitors daily,” said William D. Talbert, III, CDME, President and CEO of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Today, the GMCVB celebrates American Airlines Miami hub 30 year anniversary alongside our partners in travel. With the majority of Greater Miami’s visitors arriving via air, American Airlines infrastructure investment in our community serves as a foundational platform to the local tourism industry’s vitality.”

Help for Neighboring Communities

American has also been committed to providing disaster relief for neighboring communities after a number of hurricanes impacted the region over the past few years. After hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc across the Caribbean islands in 2017, MIA team members immediately stepped up to help people impacted by the storms. American transported 460,000 pounds of relief supplies to Puerto Rico, including food, water, cots, tarps and generators, in wake of the storm. In total, the number of cargo and relief items delivered to the Caribbean totaled more than 3 million pounds.

Most recently, the MIA team helped colleagues in the Bahamas who were impacted by Hurricane Dorian. American’s Miami hub raised more than $55,000 for team members who lost nearly everything in the storm. The team also shipped more than 14,000 pounds of relief supplies within days of the hurricane.

“At American, we know that what’s good for Miami-Dade is good for American,” said Liscano. “Our commitment to Miami remains as strong as ever. We will continue to be the airline of choice for our customers, the premier gateway to Latin America and a loyal member of the South Florida community.”