American plans transatlantic resumptions

As well as restarting nine routes, the carrier will begin a new service between Seattle and London Heathrow.

American Airlines is scaling up its transatlantic schedule over the coming weeks amid rising optimism that traffic will return this summer.

By early April, the oneworld alliance member intends to operate 16 routes between the US and Europe, up from the six that are currently in service.

Barcelona (BCN), Dublin (DUB), Madrid (MAD), Milan Malpensa (MXP), Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Rome (FCO) are among the destinations returning to the carrier’s network.

In addition, American will inaugurate service between Seattle (SEA) and London Heathrow (LHR) on March 30, flying the new route 3X-weekly using Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Frequencies will increase to daily from June 3.

“We will be here for when our customers are ready to fly,” American Airlines VP of EMEA sales Tom Lattig said. “With cleanliness and safety top of mind, we have taken extensive steps to ensure it’s safe to travel including earning STAR certification from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for our entire fleet of aircraft, and all of our Admirals Club lounges.”

Earlier this week, IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said he was optimistic that transatlantic traffic would pick up during the summer season once the European Union and the US agree rules for safe air travel.

“The EU and US should find a system to allow passengers to travel,” he said. “It will probably be active in June we hope—and we have reasons to be optimistic.”

In recent days, Delta Air Lines has also announced that quarantine-free flights from New York John F Kennedy (JFK) to MXP will start on April 2, a day after it launches to FCO.

The services will enable passengers eligible to travel to Italy to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, following a rigorous testing protocol before and after travel.   

“A year after air travel stalled to levels not seen in living memory, these COVID-tested, quarantine-free flights provide a real boost to the aviation industry,” Delta EVP and president of international Alain Bellemare said.

“We are starting to see more global vaccination programs but until they become more widespread, corridor flights like this can help keep our customers and crew safer when they fly.” 

The flights to MXP will initially operate 4X-weekly in April before moving to a daily operation from May 2, while flights to FRO will operate 3X-weekly and increase to 4X-weekly in May and daily in June.  

Photo credit: Joe Pries 

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