American Airlines on Thursday announced five new routes set to begin in 2020, setting course for its first flights to Africa and a return to Israel while expanding its reach into Eastern Europe.
The new routes have been rumored for months but are still exciting. The airline will begin a summer seasonal service to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN) from its hub in Philadelphia (PHL). It will fly year-round between Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV). And it will start flying from its Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) hub to Budapest (BUD), Krakow (KRK), and Prague (PRG) in the summers.
These flights will go on sale Aug. 12, with the exception of the route to Tel Aviv, which won't be available until Oct. 10. Here's a look at each new route in more detail:
Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca (CMN)
It's American's first foray into Africa, and Casablanca, Morocco is the perfect spot to go.
From there, travelers can connect onward throughout Morocco and the rest of Africa Royal Air Maroc, which is set to join the Oneworld alliance in early 2020. American will fly 3x weekly from June 4 to Sept. 8, 2020.
It's one of the few nonstop routes into Morocco from the U.S. Royal Air Maroc currently flies there from New York City-JFK (JFK), Miami (MIA), Boston (BOS), and Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD).
“Our customers and team members have been asking when we’re going to start service to Africa, and I couldn’t be more pleased to make this announcement for service beginning in 2020,” Vasu Raja, American’s vice president of Network and Schedule Planning, said in a statement.
All flights will be on a Boeing 757.
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Tel Aviv (TLV)
It's not “Hello,” it's: “Nice to see you again.”
American previously flew from Philadelphia (PHL) to Israel but scrapped that route in 2016. The airline will operate flights 3x weekly starting Sept. 9, 2020.
It's the sole new route among American's crop of five that is scheduled to run year-round after it launches late next summer.
While it's a new route for American, the airline will have plenty of competition to get passengers to Israel from the U.S. Delta flies nonstop to Tel Aviv from New York City-JFK (JFK), as does United from its hubs in Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), and Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD). And Israel's own El Al Airlines also flies there from eight U.S. cities.
The airline will fly a Boeing 787-900 between the two cities.
Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Budapest (BUD)
American is planning to fly between the two cities 4x weekly from May 7 to Oct. 24, 2020. And Budapest is one of our favorite cities in Europe, so this is an exciting addition.
American is adding service into the Hungarian capital due to popular demand. It already flies to Budapest from Philadelphia on another summer seasonal route. And LOT Polish Airlines currently flies between Chicago and Budapest.
“There’s strong local demand to Eastern Europe in Chicago, and it’s important that we provide more service for our customers to visit family and friends or explore a new part of the world,” Raja said.
The airline will use a Boeing 787-800 on the route.
Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Prague (PRG)
American will fly to Prague 5x weekly from May 8 to Oct. 24, 2020.
It's another route to a city that American knows well. The airline already flies to the Czech Republic capital from Philadelphia. And United Airlines also offers seasonal flights to the city from Newark (EWR).
American will use a Boeing 787-800 on these flights.
Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Krakow, Poland (KRK)
Finally, American is also heading to Poland. The carrier will fly to Krakow 5x weekly, from May 7 to Oct. 23, 2020.
LOT Polish already flies between the two cities, so it's not a new possibility for Midwestern travelers. Still, it's a welcome addition that deepens American's reach into Eastern Europe.
The airline will operate these flights on a Boeing 787-800.
These are big moves for American. The airline is clearly eager to try new things and see what sticks. And that opens up some exciting possibilities for American travelers.