American Airlines and US Airways have confirmed the introduction of eight new domestic US routes from this autumn as they continue to enhance their offering as they work to bring their networks together as part of the integration of the two businesses. The new routes from across their hubs, includes service to five destinations in the Midwest, including Bismarck, North Dakota, a new destination for the combined carrier.
The first of the new routes will commence on September 3, 2014 and will see US Airways Express introduce twice daily flights to Grand Rapids, Michigan from both Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport. The Charlotte link will be flown by PSA Airlines using a Bombardier CRJ200, while the Philadelphia operation, the first regular flights on the route since Mesa Airlines ended its flights in September 2005, will be flown by Air Wisconsin, also with a CRJ200.
The remaining seven services will all commence on October 2, 2014 and will see US Airways Express resurrect the former Mesa Airlines link between Charlotte and Evansville, Indiana with an up to three times daily schedule using a CRJ200 and add a daily flight between Charlotte and Fort Wayne, Indiana, also using a CRJ200. The carrier will also introduce a twice daily CRJ200 link to Fort Wayne from Philadelphia.
The first flights by the US majors to Bismarck will be flown by American Eagle using Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets and will see the introduction of daily schedules to both Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth International. This will mark the return of direct flights between Chicago and Bismarck, a route that was served by United Airlines regional partners SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines between June 2009 and June 2012.
The domestic growth is not just limited to the regional business and US Airways’ mainline operation will introduce a daily flight between Phoenix and Cleveland from October 2, 2014 flown by an Airbus A320. This marks the return of the airline to a city pair it last served between November 2007 and December 2008. The route is currently flown by United Airlines but it will suspend the former Continental Airlines service from this month.
"As we work to fully integrate our two networks, we remain committed to expanding our domestic service to better serve our customers in small- and medium-size markets," said Chuck Schubert, vice president of network and schedule planning, American Airlines. "By building our network presence in these regional markets, we are providing more people in more places access to our global network covering more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries around the world."
In our analysis below we look at the largest domestic operators in the US market based on this month’s flight schedules and compare this with the same month last year. The data from OAG Schedules Analyser shows that overall US domestic capacity in May 2014 is down 0.4 per cent compared to the same month last year. Of the ten largest carriers by available seats Delta Air Lines has seen the largest growth with available seats up 5.2 per cent, while Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and US Airways also show capacity growth.