Category Archives: American Airlines

American also drops change fees

American Airlines made this announcement:

  • No more change fees. Change fees for all domestic and short-haul international flying on Premium Cabin fares and most Main Cabin fares will be eliminated.
  • Fly standby for free. All customers will have the ability to fly standby on earlier flights for the same destination on the same day at no charge starting Oct. 1, 2020.
  • More to Basic Economy. Basic Economy fares now come with the ability to tailor your travel experience including upgrades, Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, priority boarding and same-day flight changes.
  • Same AAdvantage® benefits during your journey, no matter the fare. AAdvantage® elite members will be able to apply their current travel benefits on all tickets, including when purchasing a Basic Economy fare.

 

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) is making travel easier and less complicated for customers. These new customer-friendly initiatives give travelers even more flexibility when they travel on American.

“In a world that’s constantly changing, American is resolute to our purpose of caring for customers at all points of their travel journey,” said American’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja. “American is offering more flexibility and ease than ever before, should travel plans change. By eliminating change fees, giving customers an opportunity to get where they want to go faster with free same-day standby on earlier flights and providing access to upgrades and seats for all fare types, we’re giving customers the freedom to make their own choices when traveling with American.”

No more change fees

Effective immediately, American will eliminate all change fees for First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Main Cabin tickets for all domestic and short-haul international flying.

No change fee applies with the following locations and cabins:

You’re flying to… And you’re flying in…
  • Any of the 50 U.S. states
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Main Cabin (except Basic Economy)
  • Premium Economy
  • Business Class
  • First Class

American will also allow customers to keep the full value of their original tickets if they change their travel plans prior to the scheduled travel. Although customers will have to pay the fare difference for a new flight, customers will not lose their ticket value if the new flight is less expensive. For example, if a customer paid $500 for their flight and change to a flight that costs $300, American will give the customer a $200 voucher to use for a future trip.

The new change fee policy applies to AAdvantage® award tickets as well.

Fly standby on the same day for free

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, all customers will have the ability to stand by on flights on the same day as their original departure for the same destination at no charge. This flexibility extends to domestic and international travel, regardless of the ticket purchased.

More to Basic Economy

American is enhancing Basic Economy fares, keeping the same competitive low price, but now allowing customers to purchase products to enhance their travel experience. Customers who purchase Basic Economy tickets on Oct. 1, 2020, and beyond will be able to purchase:

  • Upgrades
  • Priority boarding
  • Preferred/Main Cabin Extra seats
  • Same-day confirmed flight changes

As a reminder, American allows one personal item and one carry-on item for customers traveling on a Basic Economy ticket.

Same AAdvantage® benefits during your journey, no matter the fare

Later this fall, members who have achieved Elite status with the AAdvantage® program will receive the benefits they’re accustomed to no matter the ticket they purchase. In addition to enjoying Priority Access/Preferred Boarding, our elite members who purchase a Basic Economy fare will now be able to access their:

  • Upgrade privileges.
  • Elite seat privileges, including access to Main Cabin Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats.
  • Same-day confirmed flight change benefit.

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, Basic Economy tickets will no longer earn elite qualifying dollars, miles or segments toward future status.

Giving customers additional flexibility the rest of the year

In addition, American is also providing customers additional flexibility by extending its offer to waive change fees for customers booking tickets for any new travel purchased by Dec. 31, 2020. This offer applies to tickets that meet the following criteria.

  • Any First, Business, Premium Economy, Main Cabin, or Basic Economy ticket purchased on or before Dec. 31, 2020, for future travel will not incur change fees prior to travel. Customers must pay any fare difference, if applicable, and fare rules may apply depending on the ticket.
  • All AAdvantage® award tickets are included in this offer.
  • Customers are allowed to change their origin and destination cities as part of this offer.

American Airlines to cut its workforce in October

American Airlines is planning to cut its workforce by 40,000, including 19,000 involuntary cuts, in October as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect air travel, unless the government extends aid for airline employee payrolls, according to Reuters.

American Airlines is planning to furlough 1,600 pilots and 8,100 flight attendants in October due to COVID-19 and decreased flying demand, despite attractive low fares.

 

The company has been aggressive with encouraging voluntary retirements in order to reduce the number of layoffs.

American Airlines will fly less than 50% of its normal schedule in the fourth quarter, with international flying reduced to only a quarter of 2019 levels.

Fleet:

American Airlines boosts its clean commitment with sustained virus-killing coating to help safeguard customers from Coronavirus

American Airlines has made this announcement:

SurfaceWise®2 the first-ever long-lasting product approved by the EPA that will help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus

  • SurfaceWise2 creates a protective invisible layer that actively kills viruses.
  • American will be the first airline to use SurfaceWise2 from Allied BioScience as its electrostatic spraying solution.
  • The airline’s multitiered Clean Commitment strategy will continue.

American Airlines is upgrading its Clean Commitment by adding the electrostatic spraying solution SurfaceWise®2 from Allied BioScience to its multitiered cleaning and safety program in the coming months. The SurfaceWise2 solution is the first-ever long-lasting product to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus that is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The American Airlines Clean Commitment is our promise that we’re taking bold measures and using the latest products and technology to help ensure our customers’ well-being when they travel with us,” said David Seymour, American’s Chief Operating Officer. “Thanks to rigorous evaluations conducted by the experienced professionals at the EPA, the American Airlines team and Allied BioScience, our multitiered program will become even stronger at safeguarding our customers and team members from virus such as coronavirus and the flu.”

“SurfaceWise2’s long-lasting defense provides a layer of protection against viruses not offered by any other solutions on the market,” said Maha El-Sayed, PhD, Allied BioScience Chief Science Officer. We look forward to also seeing SurfaceWise2 used in offices, schools, gymnasiums and other high-traffic areas to support the nation in safely reopening.”

In the coming months, American will begin using SurfaceWise2 for electrostatic spraying on surfaces inside its aircraft with plans to use the product throughout its entire fleet, including those in its American Eagle regional partners. Other elements of the airline’s multitiered Clean Commitment, include enhanced aircraft cleaning performed before every mainline flight and an even deeper overnight cleaning.

“SurfaceWise2 creates an invisible barrier on surfaces, which physically breaks down and kills virus cells,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, a leading infectious disease expert. “This helps protect passengers and crew members against the transmission of coronavirus via surfaces, particularly on high-touch areas such as seats, armrests, tray tables and overhead bin doors.”

SurfaceWise-Infographic

Paired with the use of face coverings, thorough cleaning protocols and HEPA filters, the use of SurfaceWise2 will help make the travel experience even safer for team members and customers who are ready to return to the skies.

HEPA filters purify cabin air once every 2 to 4 minutes

High-efficiency particulate air (commonly known as HEPA) filters have purified the air on American’s entire mainline fleet — and most regional jets — since the late 1990s. HEPA technology is also used in hospitals and medical facilities around the world, helping keep medical environments clear of bacteria and viruses while providing clean air.

American’s Clean Commitment to Guests

American continues to build on its commitment to the safety and well-being of its customers and team members throughout their travel journey. The airline has implemented multiple layers of protection, including enhanced cleaning of American’s spaces in airports and its airplanes and enforcement of its face coverings policy. Only those under the age of 2 are exempt from wearing a face covering while traveling with American.

American has expanded the frequency of cleaning in airport areas under its control, including gate areas, ticket counters, passenger service counters, baggage service offices and team member rooms. Customers on every flight receive sanitizing wipes or gel, and American has also limited food and beverage delivery on board aircraft to reduce touchpoints between flight attendants and customers.

In addition to using SurfaceWise2 as its new electrostatic spraying solution in the coming months, every mainline aircraft is disinfected at every turn, including hand-cleaning seat buckles, seats, tray table and numerous other surfaces. Located in the seatback pocket, American Way magazine is now printed with a new paper treatment process called Biomaster®, which is an antimicrobial technology that helps prevent the growth of unwanted microbes.

American continues to work with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for GBAC STAR® Accreditation for its fleet of aircraft and customer lounges. American is the first airline to seek GBAC STAR accreditation and expects to receive the designation by the end of 2020.

American Airlines suspends service to 15 markets in October as CARES Act service commitment expires

American Airlines Group Inc. will adjust its October schedule to remove service to 15 markets as a result of low demand and the expiration of the air service requirements associated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This is the first step as American continues to evaluate its network and plans for additional schedule changes in the coming weeks.

These station suspensions will be effective October 7, 2020. For now, these changes are only in place for the October schedule period, which runs through November 3.

The airline will continue to re-assess plans for these and other markets as an extension of the Payroll Support Program remains under deliberation. The full, updated October schedule will be released August 29, and American anticipates releasing its updated November schedule by late-September.

The full list of suspensions is below and will be reflected on aa.com Aug. 29.

Service suspensions beginning October 7

City Airport Code
Del Rio, Texas DRT
Dubuque, Iowa DBQ
Florence, S.C. FLO
Greenville, N.C. PGV
Huntington, W.Va. HTS
Joplin, Mo. JLN
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Mich. AZO
Lake Charles, La. LCH
New Haven, Conn. HVN
New Windsor, N.Y. SWF
Roswell, N.M. ROW
Sioux City, Iowa SUX
Springfield, Ill. SPI
Stillwater, Okla. SWO
Williamsport, Pa. IPT

In other news, American is increasing the number of cargo-only flights in September:

When American Airlines relaunched cargo-only flights in March, its Cargo team started with 20 flights to two cities. This September, its cargo-only schedule will total more than 1,000 flights serving 32 destinations — doubling its cargo-only flying compared to August.

Since being reintroduced after a 35-year hiatus, these flights have helped the airline’s customers move more than 45 million pounds of critical goods around the world amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. But getting the first flight off the ground was nothing short of a symphony, played by team members from across the company.

“We didn’t have a playbook. We’d never done this before,” said Maulin Vakil, American’s Director of Cargo Customer Care. “We began to explore how much cargo we could take if we couldn’t transport passengers.”

Team members from the airline’s Cargo, Network Planning and Operations teams joined forces to write a new strategy. The plan would allow American Airlines Cargo to better serve its shippers despite a decreased passenger flight schedule resulting from the pandemic.

“We’re a passenger airline that also carries cargo, but the pandemic impacted that model,” said Chris Isaac, Director of Cargo Revenue Management at the time. “COVID-19 made parts of our passenger schedule unpredictable.”

After walking through dozens of what-if scenarios, team members discovered it would be possible to successfully fly regularly scheduled long-haul service with nothing but cargo in the aircraft’s belly. The first flight, however, would have to be planned with no stone unturned.

The final push to plan American’s first cargo-only service since 1984 came as the COVID-19 outbreak progressed and the vast majority of passenger air travel to Asia and Europe was suspended. On March 17 — four days after most air travel between the United States and Europe was paused — the team that had originally explored the possibility of cargo-only flying was called to put their plan in motion.

After exploring their options, the group began planning a cargo-only flight from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Frankfurt (FRA) scheduled to take off on Friday, March 20.

While figuring out the safety, logistics and economics of the flight was a challenge, team members were prepared for the test. Crews were briefed, safety procedures were established and international rules were carefully followed.

Four days after the team set their plan into motion, American operated a Boeing 777-300 from DFW to FRA as its first cargo-only flight of the 21st century.

With the flight to FRA a success, American began operating cargo-only flights to Hong Kong (HKG) shortly after. A few weeks later, team members planned safe and efficient ways to serve Shanghai (PVG), Beijing (PEK) and Seoul (ICN). Many of these flights deliver PPE and medical supplies from Asia to U.S. soil, as well as mail, clothing and hard goods.

An idea that initially started as a few test flights has since flourished, quickly becoming a dependable service for Cargo customers as demand around the world continues to grow. This September, more than 1,000 scheduled cargo-only flights will be accompanied by more than 1,200 passenger flights also offering cargo services — giving Cargo customers access to more than 2,200 flights throughout the month.

Exhaust valves or vents will no longer be allowed on American Airlines

American Airlines made this announcement:

  • New policy is effective Wednesday, August 19
  • Allowed face coverings must be worn correctly, covering the nose and mouth, and only can be removed briefly for eating and drinking
  • Face coverings made with materials such as mesh or lace fabrics are also not allowed

Effective August 19, 2020, and following the most recent recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face coverings with exhausts valves or vents will no longer be allowed for travel with American Airlines. The CDC notes that face coverings with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled through holes in the material. These can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Wearing a face covering is a responsibility we all share. An effective covering, worn properly, is one of the best ways we can control the spread of COVID-19 to protect our team members and customers,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer at American. “Since American began requiring face coverings in early May, the vast majority of customers have welcomed our continuing efforts to strengthen the policy based on the CDC’s guidance.”

American began requiring face coverings on board its flights in May and, in July, announced it would only allow exemptions for customers under 2 years old. The airline requires all other customers to wear a face covering from the time they enter the airport where their trip begins until they leave the airport where their trip ends.

Based on the updated CDC guidance, below are examples of face coverings customers can and cannot wear while traveling with American.

Allowed:

  • A well-secured cloth or mask that fits snugly against the face and covers an individual’s nose and mouth. It must be made of a material that prevents the discharge and release of respiratory droplets from a person’s nose or mouth.

Not allowed:

  • Face coverings with exhaust valves.
  • Face coverings made with materials such as mesh or lace fabrics.
  • Face coverings that do not cover the nose and mouth.
  • Face shields without the addition of a face covering.

Only children under the age of 2 are exempt from American’s face covering policy. Customers without an approved face covering will be provided with an approved one, upon request, at the airport. Face coverings can only be briefly removed while the customer is eating or drinking. Customers will be reminded of these guidelines throughout their time traveling with American. Those unwilling to comply with American’s face covering policy at any time during their journey may be denied boarding or barred from future travel for the duration of this policy.

Clean Commitment

American’s face covering policy is a part of the airline’s Clean Commitment to provide customers peace of mind while traveling. This commitment includes partnerships with leading health and safety institutions to support American’s efforts by providing guidance on health matters and cleaning procedures. The airline has implemented multiple layers of protection for customers that include clean airports and airplanes and looking out for the health of team members.

During the check-in process, customers are asked questions to certify that they have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for the past 14 days. At the airport, American has created a touchless check-in experience for customers, allowing them to proceed to the gate without touching the kiosk screen, even if they are checking a bag. The airline also expanded the use of plexiglass barriers and the frequency of cleaning in airport areas under its control, including gate areas, ticket counters, passenger service counters, baggage service offices and team member rooms.

Customers on many flights receive sanitizing wipes or gel, and American has limited food and beverage delivery to reduce interactions between flight attendants and customers. Every aircraft is disinfected, including hand-cleaning seat buckles, seats, tray table and other surfaces. American also applies an electrostatic spray inside the aircraft and all mainline aircraft and the majority of regional jets use HEPA filters. On all of American’s aircraft, the air is refreshed every two to four minutes, which is similar to hospital standards.

The airline continues to work with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for GBAC STAR accreditation for its fleet of aircraft and customer lounges. American is the first airline to seek GBAC STAR accreditation and expects to receive the designation by the end of 2020.

American Airlines Group loses $2.1 billion in the second quarter

American Airlines Group Inc. reported its second-quarter 2020 financial results, including:

  • Second-quarter pretax loss of $2.7 billion. Excluding net special items1, second-quarter pretax loss of $4.3 billion.
  • Second-quarter net loss of $2.1 billion, or ($4.82) per share. Excluding net special items1, second-quarter net loss of $3.4 billion, or ($7.82) per share.
  • Boosted available liquidity by a net $3.6 billion in the quarter through offerings of common stock, convertible bonds and secured bonds.
  • Ended second quarter with approximately $10.2 billion of available liquidity. Additionally, signed term sheet with the U.S. Department of the Treasury for $4.75 billion secured loan, which is expected to close in the third quarter, and announced two senior secured note transactions totaling $1.2 billion. The company’s second-quarter pro forma liquidity balance including these transactions would be approximately $16.2 billion.

“This was one of the most challenging quarters in American’s history,” said American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “COVID-19 and the resulting shutdown of the U.S. economy have caused severe disruptions to global demand for air travel. In spite of these challenges, the American Airlines team has done a phenomenal job taking care of our customers and our fellow team members.

“We have moved swiftly to improve our liquidity, conserve cash and ensure customers are safe when they travel,” Parker continued. “There is much uncertainty ahead, but we remain confident we will emerge from this crisis more agile and more efficient than ever before.”

Supporting team members, customers and communities

Caring for team members, customers and the communities it serves remains the top priority for American as it navigates the current environment.

To ensure the safety and well-being of team members and customers, American:

  • Updated its policies to make face coverings mandatory throughout the customer journey and for team members while at work.
  • Instituted temperature checks for team members across the system and began asking customers to certify they are symptom-free before traveling.
  • Created a Travel Health Advisory Panel, comprising internal leaders and outside experts in the field of infectious disease prevention, to advise on health and cleaning matters.
  • Started working with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council on GBAC STARTM Accreditation for cleaning and disinfection practices for its aircraft and lounges.
  • Further enhanced its cleaning and disinfection procedures throughout the operation, including the use of an electrostatic spray inside each aircraft every seven days, which kills 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria within 10 minutes.

To provide customers additional flexibility, American:

  • Waived change fees for customers who book new tickets for future travel by July 31, 2020.
  • Extended its change fee waiver for customers who have existing tickets for travel through Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Began notifying customers whose flights may be full, allowing them to move to more open flights when available at no cost.
  • Expanded flexible travel waivers and name changes for corporate customers.
  • Eliminated the reinstatement fee for AAdvantage® award ticket changes made more than 60 days prior to travel.
  • Provided eligible AAdvantage elite members with a credit of up to $400 to use toward an American Airlines Vacations package.

To support the communities it serves, American:

  • Expanded its cargo service to transport critical goods between the United States and Europe, Asia and Latin America. American currently operates more than 310 weekly widebody and cargo-only flights and transported more than 100 million pounds of mail, goods and supplies critical to the global economy in the second quarter.
  • Announced a program to provide up to 1 million Business Extra® points to small businesses and nonprofit organizations in need of travel support.
  • Worked with Deloitte to deliver more than 40,000 medical gowns to first responders at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
  • Partnered with Hyatt Hotels Corporation to give free vacations to thousands of employees at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst Hospital.
  • Donated more than 600,000 pounds of food to food banks, nonprofit organizations, schools and other groups fighting food insecurity.

Conserving cash

American continues to take steps to reduce costs and preserve cash. The airline estimates that it will reduce its 2020 total operating and capital expenditures by more than $15 billion, achieved primarily through cost savings resulting from less flying. In addition, the company implemented the following cost actions:

  • Retired four aircraft types, consisting of 20 Embraer 190s, 34 Boeing 757s, 17 Boeing 767s and nine Airbus A330-300s, along with a number of older regional aircraft. In addition, the company placed its Airbus A330-200s and certain older Boeing 737s into a temporary storage program. In aggregate, these changes remove more than 150 aircraft from the fleet and bring forward the cost savings and efficiencies associated with operating fewer aircraft types.
  • Introduced additional voluntary leave of absence and early-out programs to help right-size its frontline team. American anticipates having over 20,000 more team members on payroll than needed to operate its fall schedule. In total, more than 41,000 team members have opted for an early retirement, a reduced work schedule or a partially paid leave.
  • Consistent with the CARES Act, reduced its management and support staff team, including officers, by approximately 5,100 positions, or 30%.
  • Announced changes to its international schedule for 2021. American expects its summer 2021 long-haul international capacity to be down 25% versus 2019 and also plans to exit 19 international routes from six hubs. These changes will allow the airline to reset its international network for future growth as demand returns.
  • Reduced non-aircraft capital expense by $700 million in 2020 and another $300 million in 2021 through reductions in fleet modification work, the elimination of all new ground service equipment purchases, and pausing all noncritical facility investments and IT projects.

Bolstering liquidity

In addition to reducing its operating and capital expenditures, American has taken a number of steps to strengthen its liquidity position. The company:

  • Ended the second quarter with $10.2 billion of available liquidity, including a net $3.6 billion raised in the quarter through offerings of common stock, convertible bonds and secured bonds. The company also raised $360 million through municipal facility bonds, the net proceeds from which are included in its restricted cash and short-term investments.
  • Refinanced the delayed draw term loan credit facility the company entered into in March 2020, which was set to mature in March 2021. By refinancing this loan, American does not have any large non-aircraft debt maturities until its $750 million unsecured bonds mature in June 2022.
  • Signed a term sheet with the U.S. Department of the Treasury for a $4.75 billion secured loan under the CARES Act. The company expects the loan to be finalized in the third quarter.
  • Announced $1.2 billion of committed financing subject to final documentation and other closing conditions in the form of two senior secured note transactions to be collateralized by intellectual property and other assets with Goldman Sachs Merchant Bank. The company expects these notes to be issued in the third quarter.
  • Reduced its daily cash burn rate from nearly $100 million in April to approximately $30 million in June. This improvement was driven by higher than forecast revenue and larger savings resulting from the company’s cost-reduction initiatives. The company’s second-quarter cash burn rate2 was approximately $55 million per day vs. its previous forecast of $70 million per day.

Demand and capacity outlook

Passenger demand and load factors have improved since bottoming out in April, but continue to be significantly below 2019 levels. While May and June revenue trends were encouraging, demand has weakened somewhat during July as COVID-19 cases have increased and new travel restrictions have been put into place. The company will continue to match its forward capacity with observed bookings trends and presently expects its third quarter system capacity to be down approximately 60% year over year.

Notes

See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation, including a reconciliation of all GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

The 2020 second quarter mainline operating special items, net principally included $1.8 billion of Payroll Support Program (PSP) financial assistance, offset in part by $332 million of salary and medical costs associated with certain team members who opted in to voluntary early retirement programs. Second quarter 2020 regional special items, net primarily included $216 million of PSP financial assistance, offset in part by $24 million of fleet impairment charges and $14 million of salary and medical costs associated with certain team members who opted in to voluntary early retirement programs.

Second quarter 2020 nonoperating special items, net principally included charges associated with debt refinancings and extinguishments.

The company defines cash burn as the sum of all net cash receipts less all cash disbursements, but excluding the effect of new financings and new aircraft purchases.

American Airlines strengthens its commitment to safety with expanded face covering requirements and enforcement

American Airlines has made this announcement:

American Airlines will require all customers over the age of 2 to wear face coverings at airports and on board, strengthening the airline’s commitment to keep customers and team members safe. This requirement will become effective on July 29, 2020. Due to safety risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission by individuals without face coverings, all customers must wear a face covering from the time they enter their departure airport and not remove it until they exit their arrival airport. This updated policy expands American’s face covering requirement to include all areas of the airports at which American operates, including Admirals Club lounges, as well as on board all American flights and does not allow for exemptions for those over 2 years old.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one of the best ways we can slow the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a face covering,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer of American Airlines. “Customers and team members have been clear that they feel more safe when everyone is wearing a face covering. In light of this important feedback, we are expanding and enhancing our requirements onboard and at airports.”

The only time face coverings may be removed at the airport or on board is when the customer is eating or drinking. Those unwilling to comply with this face covering requirement at any time during their journey with American may be barred from future travel for the duration of this face covering requirement.

Clean Commitment

American’s more stringent face covering policy is a part of the airline’s Clean Commitment to provide customers peace of mind while traveling. This Commitment includes partnerships with leading health and safety institutions to support American’s efforts by providing guidance on health matters and cleaning procedures. The airline has implemented multiple layers of protection for customers that include clean airports and airplanes and looking out for the health of team members.

During the check-in process, customers are asked questions to certify that they have been free of coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms for the past 14 days. At the airport, American has created a new touchless check-in experience for customers, allowing them to proceed to the gate without touching the kiosk screen, even if they are checking a bag. The airline also expanded the use of plexiglass barriers and the frequency of cleaning in airport areas under its control, including gate areas, ticket counters, passenger service counters, baggage service offices and team member rooms.

Customers on many flights receive sanitizing wipes or gel, and American has limited food and beverage delivery to reduce interactions between flight attendants and customers. Every aircraft is disinfected, including hand-cleaning seat buckles, seats, tray table and other surfaces. American also applies an electrostatic spray inside the aircraft every seven days, which kills 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria within 10 minutes and lasts for 14 days. All mainline aircraft and the majority of regional jets use HEPA filters. On all of American’s aircraft, the air in our cabins is refreshed every two to four minutes which is similar to hospital standards.

The airline continues to work with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for GBAC STAR accreditation for its fleet of aircraft and customer lounges. American is the first airline to seek GBAC STAR accreditation and expects to receive the designation by the end of 2020.

American Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

American Airlines aircraft slide show:

https://airlinersgallery.smugmug.com/frame/slideshow?key=x6kpth&speed=3&transition=fade&autoStart=1&captions=0&navigation=0&playButton=0&randomize=0&transitionSpeed=2

JetBlue and American Airlines announce strategic partnership

JetBlue Airways Corporation and American Airlines Group Inc. today announced a strategic partnership that will create seamless connectivity for travelers in the Northeast and more choice for customers across their complementary domestic and international networks. In addition, the relationship will accelerate each airline’s recovery as the travel industry adapts to new trends as a result of the pandemic.

The partnership includes an alliance agreement that proposes codeshare and loyalty benefits that will enhance each carrier’s offerings in New Yorkand Boston, providing strategic growth and driving value for customers and crewmembers of both airlines. Customers will experience a number of benefits from the new partnership, including:

  • New and expanded routes: The partnership enables new strategic growth opportunities for both airlines. As a result, American will launch international service from New York(JFK) to Tel Aviv (TLV) and to Athens(ATH) and JFK to Rio De Janeiro (GIG) will return as a daily seasonal route in winter 2021, in addition to continuing to serve popular long-haul destinations like London (LHR) and Madrid (MAD). JetBlue will also accelerate its growth in key cities, bringing its award-winning service to more customers. JetBlue will grow in greater New York City, adding flights at LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR), while also increasing its presence at JFK for seamless connections to American’s expanded international network. JetBlue plans to enhance service to strategic markets on the East Coast, West Coast, and in the Southeast, building on JetBlue’s recently announced service between EWR and nine markets, including Mint® service to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).
  • More choice and loyalty benefits: Through their integrated networks,JetBlue and American will operate reciprocal codeshare flights, giving customers new options with improved schedules, competitive fares and nonstop access to more domestic and international destinations. JetBlue will gain connectivity to more U.S.destinations, a broad global network and an improved frequent flyer proposition, while American will complement JetBlue’s improved and expanded service with new international routes. JetBlue and American loyalty members will also enjoy new benefits while the carriers are exploring additional premium experiences for customers.
  • Seamless experience: Customers will enjoy a seamless experience across both airlines, including the ability to book a single itinerary on either website, convenient connections and an improved on-the-ground experience — resulting in a compelling proposition for both leisure and corporate customers. Additionally, customers seeking more comfort in transcontinental service will have access to both JetBlue’s Mint and American’s three-class Transcon service.

“Pairing JetBlue’s domestic network with American’s international route map creates a new competitive choice in the Northeast, where customers are longing for an alternative to the dominant network carriers,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “This partnership with American is the next step in our plan to accelerate our coronavirus recovery, get our crewmembers and our aircraft flying again, and fuel JetBlue’s growth into the future.”

“This is an incredible opportunity for both of our airlines,” said American Airlines President Robert Isom. “American has a strong history in the Northeast, and we’re proud to partner with JetBlue as the latest chapter in that long history. Together, we can offer customers an industry-leading product in New York and Boston with more flights and more seats to more cities.”

New routes from the Northeast

The partnership between American and JetBlue enables sustainable international growth for customers in the Northeast from JFK, which will continue to complement the robust international service from Philadelphia (PHL), for even more options.

Upon the implementation of the alliance agreement, American intends to launch service between JFK and TLV and will introduce new seasonal service between JFK and ATH next summer, to meet the strong local demand. The new nonstop service to TLV and ATH from JFK will be the first long-haul international flights that American has launched from New York in more than four years. American will also operate daily seasonal service to GIG beginning in winter 2021 during the peak summer travel period in Rio de Janeiro. And, once the coronavirus pandemic has ended, the new partnership is certain to facilitate American adding new long-haul markets in Europe, Africa, India and South America

As New York’s Hometown Airline®, JetBlue plans to increase flying out of New York’s three major airports, bringing its award-winning experience to more customers. Its growth at JFK will be aimed at offering even more connection opportunities to American’s growing international network of destinations. From both New York and Boston, JetBlue plans to enhance service to strategic markets, including those on the East Coast, West Coast, and in the Southeast. This will further build on JetBlue’s recently announced growth between EWR and nine markets, including Mint service to LAX and SFO.

More choice and loyalty benefits: Codeshare creates more options for customers

JetBlue and American will begin a new codeshare relationship, giving customers seamless access to more destinations, including international service. The codeshare will introduce JetBlue customers to more than 60 new routes operated by American and will introduce American’s customers to more than 130 new routes operated by JetBlue. Codesharing allows customers to book a single itinerary combining flights from both airlines, which will result in a one-stop check-in experience and seamless flight connections from origin to destination.

“JetBlue customers will have more routes and destinations to choose from through American Airlines’ extensive global network,” said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning, JetBlue. “Together we will offer customers better options than either of us could alone. This partnership enables JetBlue to bring our low fares and great service to even more customers by expanding our presence in our hometown, growing relevance in Boston, and supporting our successful Mint franchise.”

“Leisure travel is important to our customers, and JetBlue’s network paired with their award-winning service, are the perfect fit,” said Vasu Raja, Chief Revenue Officer at American Airlines. “Both airlines’ customers value access to more destinations, whether it’s a JetBlue customer who wants more direct access to South America from New York, or an American customer who wants more robust service to Florida. Together, we can give our customers the best of both worlds.”

Exceptional experience: Industry-leading products and enhancements to existing service

JetBlue and American will offer customers more options on Transcon service from New York to the West Coast. American’s popular three-class service on the Airbus A321T will join JetBlue with its Mint premium experience and thoughtful core seating.

The premium experience will also be expanded to the fleet. American intends to operate more dual-class regional aircraft featuring first class beginning next year, providing the premium experience customers in the Northeast prefer.

JetBlue is not joining oneworld® or the AA/IAG Atlantic Joint Business Agreement and will continue with plans to independently launch and operate transatlantic flights to London in 2021.

The implementation of the alliance agreement and other arrangements described herein is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive documentation and governmental review.

 

AP: American Airlines threatens to cancel some Boeing 737 MAX orders

From the Associated Press:

“American Airlines is warning Boeing that it could cancel some overdue orders for the grounded 737 MAX unless the plane maker helps line up new financing for the jets, which has become more expensive as the coronavirus pandemic has crippled airlines, according to people familiar with the discussions.

American had 24 MAX jets before they were grounded in March 2019. It has orders for 76 more but wants Boeing to help arrange financing for 17 planes for which previous financing has or will soon expire, according to three people who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity to discuss private talks between the companies.”

Read more from Reuters.