American Airlines Group Inc. is gambling on a strong travel recovery this summer as Covid-19 vaccinations increase, with plans to fly more than 90% of its 2019 domestic seat capacity and 80% of international.
The carrier will add 150 routes, including new flights and service that’s poised to be restored after getting trimmed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a company statement Wednesday. Like its rivals, American plans to boost flights to mountain and beach destinations, including new routes to Orlando, Florida, from eight cities including Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.
The beefed-up flight schedule underscores American’s bet that travel this summer will take a big step toward normalization. The airline is already in the process of putting most of its fleet back into service this quarter after parking jets when demand collapsed about a year ago. American and United Airlines Holdings Inc. have said their flights have been 80% full in recent weeks, a much higher number than during most of the pandemic.
Uncertainty still abounds, however, especially with changing infection rates and travel restrictions. American said it won’t fly nonstop this summer from the U.S. to Edinburgh; Shannon, Ireland, or Hong Kong.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline is adding service to destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, where it flies more than any other U.S. carrier. American is also increasing seat capacity by shifting some flights to larger wide-body aircraft such as big Boeing Co. 777 jets that the airline will use to link Miami with New York and Los Angeles this summer.
American climbed 1.2% to $22.84 at 9:41 a.m. in New York.