Future of American Airlines at New York’s John F. Kennedy

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When it comes to NYC and air travel, Delta is the largest carrier at New York’s John F. Kennedy, and United has their home fortress at Newark Liberty International Airport. American Airlines has a boutique operation at New York’s JFK, as they capitalize on their service to London-Heathrow as well as Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

American knows that they’ll never be as big as either carrier in New York, however they rely heavily on their joint-venture partnership with British Airways, and continue to align their schedules based on the business traveler.

You can view The Differences Between the 3 New York City Area Airports (JFK, LGA, EWR), to compare which airport is the best options when flying into New York City.

At New York’s John F. Kennedy, American Airlines operates out of Terminal 8, which is home to 29 gates. If you fly American out of here often, you’ll notice their gates are under utilized, which is due to the airport being slot-restricted, and American doesn’t have enough slots to expand at JFK. Based on this they chose to run a boutique operation at JFK, rather than a conventional hub such as Charlotte or Miami operate as, serving just under 50 destinations.

Over at Terminal 7, British Airways operates their flights out of there, however it makes it difficult for the two joint venture partners to run an operation together, which is why it’s only a matter of time before British Airways moves over to Terminal 8.

When it comes to the New York-London (LHR) route, which is one of the airlines most successful route in their network, American stated that 75% of that route is for local traffic, originating either in NYC or London, and doesn’t feed many connections from their other cities on to London, like Delta is more likely to do.

America Airlines schedule at JFK relies heavily on serving LHR, LAX, SFO an on these markets that they serve, however unlike Delta which uses New York’s JFK, similar to their other hubs as a an airport to drive connecting traffic to a degree.

What are your thoughts about American Airlines at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport? What new routes would you’d like to see AA offer from here? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

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  1. It doesn’t have to be that way. In the 1980’s, Pan Am and TWA had tons of flights from JFK. American was #3 but had a lot of flights south to the Caribbean and other cities. It can regain its glory.

    Before BA moves to T8, there could be an airside shuttle for several years. It’s not that big a deal to have one bus and two employees, one at each end. Or even have one bus and one employee, with the ability to lock the door when they leave for the other terminal.

  2. I agree with Derek. In addition, AA could have had a Jitney bus to connect terminals 7 and 8 similar to how Delta connects Terminals 2 and 4. To me, it seems like AA is just giving up on the leisure market out of NYC area.

  3. PHL is a big factor in the equation; it’s roughly 100 miles away from JFK, with better connection logistics and lower operating costs. It’s also easier to access for anybody in the I-95 corridor that doesn’t live in NYC.

    All that JFK offers is the allure (and bankers) of NYC. AA’s “boutique” approach respects that.

  4. Running a bus between T7 and T8 is not as simple as it looks. It requires at least 42 employees because it’s JFK, not Nashville. One at each end to drive the bus, 3 supervisors at each end, at least a couple of union reps, spare drivers for breaks, a few drivers to cover for vacations and enough of everybody to cover 4 six hour shifts a day. There’s a reason why NYC is just not an attractive place to expand your business.

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