American Airlines is (finally) showing some love to its hub at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).
Beginning in November, the carrier is adding 30 daily departures from PHX for the winter season. This includes a brand-new daily route from PHX to Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), which will commence Nov. 5. Jacksonville will become the airline’s fourth nonstop destination from Phoenix in Florida, joining Miami, Orlando and Tampa.
American will deploy an Airbus A320 on the new route to Jacksonville, which also happens to be the first route from Phoenix to this Florida city.
Additionally, American will resume regional jet service from PHX to Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) on Nov. 5. This flight, operated by American Eagle subsidiary SkyWest Airlines, will operate on a CRJ-700 on a daily, year-round basis.
All told, the airline will offer more than 12% additional daily flights compared to last winter, making it one of the largest winter schedules American has offered from Phoenix in nearly a decade.
That’s great news for Phoenix, which hasn’t necessarily seen as much growth as some other American Airlines hubs, such as Charlotte and Dallas-Fort Worth.
American inherited the Phoenix hub from Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways during the merger in 2015, and many analysts consider it the weakest link in the network (behind Philadelphia).
It’s clear that local authorities are excited about American’s expansion, something that the airport has likely lobbied for over the past few years.
“American’s announcement of their largest winter schedule in nearly a decade is wonderful news, and it really speaks to their continued confidence in the Phoenix market. American is an essential business partner, and we couldn’t be more pleased with their continued growth and investment in Phoenix,” Chad Makovsky, director of aviation services for the City of Phoenix aviation department, said in a statement.
These days, Charlotte and Dallas-Fort Worth seem to get all the attention from American, as the airline keeps expanding in these fortress hubs. In fact, earlier this month, the airline shared plans to grow its Charlotte operation to 800 daily departures. (For context, Phoenix will have, on average, 263 daily departures this winter.)
Boosting service from Phoenix in the winter seemingly makes sense, even if the additional flights aren’t necessarily about funneling connections through the Valley of the Sun. That’s because Phoenix is a popular destination in the winter due to its mild temperatures and abundant sunshine.
These latest additions join the recently launched service from Phoenix to Monterrey, Mexico, which took off in January.
American also faces competition in Phoenix from Southwest Airlines, which considers the airport one of its operating bases. As such, some of this growth might be designed as a competitive response to the Dallas-based carrier.
American’s winter additions from Phoenix
American will add one additional daily flight between Phoenix and the following 27 cities this winter season.
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Des Moines
- Fresno, California
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Las Vegas
- Medford, Oregon
- New York
- Redmond, Oregon
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose, California
- Santa Barbara, California
- Santa Rosa, California
- Spokane, Washington
- St. Louis
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Wichita, Kansas
The airline is also adding three daily flights from Phoenix to Tucson, going from six to nine daily flights during the winter peak season.
That said, the airline is pulling down one daily frequency in four markets this winter — Burbank, California; Detroit; Seattle; and Tampa.
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