AA International Strategy

Old Mar 7, 2024, 7:22 am
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AA International Strategy

With United announcing nonstop service to Marrakech in Morocco and a 2nd frequencies from LAX to Hong Kong and Shanghai, how long can American sit on the sidelines and not compete?

American had plans to serve Morocco pre-COVID and Royal Air Maroc is in OneWorld and the major carrier there, Hong Kong is obviously the major OneWorld Asia hub alongside Tokyo yet American doesn't fly there, and if they're ever looking to make use of that investment in China Southern who is the largest Chinese carrier, it would probably behoove them to not continue to fall further behind United and less-so Delta in flying to China w/ only Dallas - Shanghai daily.

At this point honestly their international strategy makes no sense - they're giving up opportunities in regions where they should have the advantage and have partnerships and barely competing in other geographies.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by norcalfiend
With United announcing nonstop service to Marrakech in Morocco and a 2nd frequencies from LAX to Hong Kong and Shanghai, how long can American sit on the sidelines and not compete?

American had plans to serve Morocco pre-COVID and Royal Air Maroc is in OneWorld and the major carrier there, Hong Kong is obviously the major OneWorld Asia hub alongside Tokyo yet American doesn't fly there, and if they're ever looking to make use of that investment in China Southern who is the largest Chinese carrier, it would probably behoove them to not continue to fall further behind United and less-so Delta in flying to China w/ only Dallas - Shanghai daily.

At this point honestly their international strategy makes no sense - they're giving up opportunities in regions where they should have the advantage and have partnerships and barely competing in other geographies.
But look at all the places reachable in one stop from ELP!
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 8:34 am
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AA has no strategy, period. Applies to both domestic and international network.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 8:44 am
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I heard this way back (could be close to decade ago or more) that AA's international strategy is to make use of partner airlines with codeshares. Because of this AA will have less international presence using own metal compare with DL or UA. When AA reduced trans-Pacific operation out of LAX way before covid, I think AA said they would make use of partner airlines and serve destinations with codeshare flights. The recent announcement by AA of aircraft order had only narrow bodies, and no wide bodies. This also looks as in alignment with AA's strategy of serving international destinations using partner airlines with codeshares.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by norcalfiend
With United announcing nonstop service to Marrakech in Morocco and a 2nd frequencies from LAX to Hong Kong and Shanghai, how long can American sit on the sidelines and not compete?

American had plans to serve Morocco pre-COVID and Royal Air Maroc is in OneWorld and the major carrier there, Hong Kong is obviously the major OneWorld Asia hub alongside Tokyo yet American doesn't fly there, and if they're ever looking to make use of that investment in China Southern who is the largest Chinese carrier, it would probably behoove them to not continue to fall further behind United and less-so Delta in flying to China w/ only Dallas - Shanghai daily.

At this point honestly their international strategy makes no sense - they're giving up opportunities in regions where they should have the advantage and have partnerships and barely competing in other geographies.
Their strategy is to be the top legacy carrier with superior schedules and pricing to small and medium-sized cities in the U.S. International is secondary to that, as is onboard product.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 8:54 am
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AA's hubs are located in cities that are further away from, and with lower demand to Europe and Asia than UA's hubs (DFW vs SFO, PHL vs EWR), and AA has far fewer widebodies than UA.

Last edited by m.y; Mar 7, 2024 at 9:20 am
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 9:13 am
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I think flying anywhere outside the Republic of Texas is considered international network to AA. By that measure nobody else even comes close.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by norcalfiend
With United announcing nonstop service to Marrakech in Morocco and a 2nd frequencies from LAX to Hong Kong and Shanghai, how long can American sit on the sidelines and not compete?.
Indefinitely. At least until the Board forces a management change. So basically indefinitely.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:22 am
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Outside of the US, Caribbean/South America and a few profitable routes to Europe/Asia (primarily OW hubs), I've never thought of American as being very keen on flying the international routes that United or even Delta does. On the other hand though, I'd have no issue flying most OW partners and am glad that redemptions to do so haven't been beat to death yet.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by norcalfiend
With United announcing nonstop service to Marrakech in Morocco and a 2nd frequencies from LAX to Hong Kong and Shanghai, how long can American sit on the sidelines and not compete?

American had plans to serve Morocco pre-COVID and Royal Air Maroc is in OneWorld and the major carrier there, Hong Kong is obviously the major OneWorld Asia hub alongside Tokyo yet American doesn't fly there, and if they're ever looking to make use of that investment in China Southern who is the largest Chinese carrier, it would probably behoove them to not continue to fall further behind United and less-so Delta in flying to China w/ only Dallas - Shanghai daily.

At this point honestly their international strategy makes no sense - they're giving up opportunities in regions where they should have the advantage and have partnerships and barely competing in other geographies.
Has China demand returned to pre-pandemic levels yet though?

AA does have a strong partner in CX, but given the turbulence with HK pre-covid and general lag in TPAC recovery since then, I can't imagine they're missing out on much right now. Once demand returns, as you've said, given their partnerships they could certainly do more to remain competitive with DL and UA.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:46 am
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These are the types of the routes you can try when you have a lot of widebody planes. By my count, UA has nearly 100 widebody aircraft more than what AA flies. This is in addition to 40 757-200's with lie flat seats that can do the shorter European flights.

AA's decision in 2020 to retire the 757/767/A-330 fleets continues to haunt them.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:46 am
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UAs Marrakesh will eventually go away. But, it put them on the news and probably managed some temporary aircraft utilization scramble, it might make money for a little bit.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:50 am
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I've seen this discussed in a few threads in the past year, but it bears repeating that AA's flying to Asia has been exceptionally slow to come back post-pandemic. For some time in the 00s and early 10s AA served Japan only, albeit from multiple gateways. Then there was slow expansion to ICN, HKG, mainland China. Many routes cut in the pandemic still haven't come back. With JFK-HND resuming (finally) this summer, most gateways to Japan are back (not ORD though). But they are otherwise 1x daily DFW-ICN and DFW-PVG, in addition to JFK-DEL. If you want to fly to Asia using AA, there would be a heavy reliance on partners, notably JL. But schedules aren't well coordinated (especially between the two Tokyo airports) and fares are often high. Bottom line, if you want to get to Asia on AA, it can be hard. They have two of the best partners in Asia (JL and CX) and it's not easy to use either one to fly where AA isn't.

I'm glad that we have Aus/NZ well covered now with service into SYD, AKL, and BNE (??), but Asia is a huge region that AA isn't making it very easy to get to right now. Meanwhile, UA and DL have a lot of service restored, even after dialing back the Japan-based hubs that they inherited. DL has ample coverage into HND as well as ICN (to connect with SkyTeam partner KE). They also launched SEA-TPE, their first nonstop to Taiwan from the US.

I actually had high hopes when AA announced AS joining OneWorld plus some new international service from SEA around 2019. But DL seems to have seized this opportunity from them and AA's position in Asia seems like a retreat in comparison to DL and UA.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:50 am
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AA March 2024 Investor Day Presentation

Key Points:
-AA is excited for short haul flights.
-AA is excited for the sun belt cities as they see population and economic growth in the sunbelt (they don't see LAX, NYC, BOS, or SFO as being viable).
-AA is excited for the smallest markets out there.
-AA is excited for more regional jets as the operational costs are much lower.
-AA still likes LHR/TYO yields.
-AA is excited to grow their AAdvantage program
-AA is relying on One World partners to get you to international destinations.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by norcalfiend
At this point honestly their international strategy makes no sense - they're giving up opportunities in regions where they should have the advantage and have partnerships and barely competing in other geographies.
AA doesn't want to fly internationally other than LHR/TYO. They want to be that small regional jet that takes sunbelt customers to their hub, where you can fly another One World Airline to the international destination.

AA's strategy is to become the dominant small/medium sized airport regional carrier for the sunbelt.
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