A second lockdown in England that includes a ban on overseas travel has severely reduced airline demand. American Airlines will respond by making dramatic cuts to its December flight schedule to London Heathrow.
American Airlines Cuts London Flights In December
England has instituted a second lockdown this month in order to slow the spread of the pandemic. Consequently, bars, restaurants, and so-called “non-essential” businesses have been shutdown. Furthermore, overseas travel has been banned, though exceptions do exist.
American-operated London flights to Charlotte, Chicago, and New York JFK will not operate as planned next month. AA has already suspended London flights from Philadelphia.
December will begin with AA-operated flights to London from both Miami and Dallas, but that Miami – London flight appears only in the schedule on 01 December. From 02 December through the end of the month, only AA50/51 between Dallas-Fort Worth and London will operate.
A spokesperson for American Airlines noted:
“We’re constantly evaluating our network to match supply and demand and have been making regular schedule adjustments since March. In an effort to match low demand resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), we continue to operate a reduced schedule.”
That’s nice boilerplate language, but it disguises what a metamorphosis London Heathrow has undergone during the pandemic. One of the busiest and most profitable routes in the world has been reduced to a skeleton of flights.
Despite hopes for an air bridge between New York and London via initiatives like pre-flight COVID-19 testing which United Airlines started in Newark this week, demand is depressed.
AA also notes that its British Airways oneworld and joint venture partner will still offer nonstop codeshare service on these routes.
I expect similar reductions are coming for other carriers as well. It’s one thing to restrict visitors. It’s quite another to restrict citizens from traveling as well. Cargo flights will continue to operate. But even with connecting travel, it’s going to be a bleak month for intercontinental passenger travel to London and beyond.
Were you planning on London travel on American Airlines in December? Will you route through Dallas or fly British Airways instead?
It’s good. Cut down fast and save money. Run only full flights. United is really good with that.
I have american gift cards i am trying to get rid of. Hope they dont go bankrupt before.
@Matthew I assume AA isn’t utilizing London routes as cargo flights and passengers simply an “extra”? Perhaps London isn’t much of a cargo hub?? I understand Lufthansa does this for flights from US to Frankfurt, right?
@Tom, they will continue to run cargo-only flights from ORD and JFK.
I’ve flown SFO to LHR several times this year on empty BA planes. Due to fly again on United for the Xmas holidays but they’ve cancelled. Rebooked on BA who cancelled my outbound flight! It’s tough booking anything with confidence
Why cut back on the JFK route? What about the air bridge between London and NYC you said we’d have in time for the holidays?
While the US still effectively bans UK citizens from visiting, and with the mood music that Biden will be even more restrictive, it seems unlikely that even the current limited demand on the route will be maintained. However, as US citizens can still visit the UK, it had been thought that they might create a small amount of demand.
I just tried to rebook a ticket for Dec 18 for the fourth time as every flight before had been canceled. I don’t get it how they can’t even make one flight per day to LHR work.
I am due to leave heathrow 22dec for Chicago airport not herd anything different. I am going to be with my wife over xmas hopefully