WHY IT RATES: Travel agents and advisors should be considering American Airlines when booking flights for clients to North Carolina this summer.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.
American Airlines is getting ready for a big summer in Charlotte with more flights, new destinations and a refreshed Admirals Club, which reopens today. The airline plans to operate more than 700 daily flights out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) by the end of this year.
“With new gates opening at the end of this year, increases in frequencies on popular routes, new international service and a renovated Admirals Club, there’s so much to look forward to in Charlotte,” said Vasu Raja, Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning for American. “We’ll continue to be the best airline with the most choices in Charlotte for business and leisure customers.”
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CLT is on track to grow from an average of 664 daily flights today to more than 700 daily flights by the end of 2019. And part of that growth begins this summer as American adds more service to popular destinations, opening additional access to American’s vast network.
“This is an exciting time for our 11,500 Charlotte-based team members and our customers,” said Dec Lee, Vice President of Charlotte Hub Operations. “We are creating a world-class customer experience, providing access to more than 160 destinations in 23 countries.”
American is adding two new daily flights from Charlotte to Baltimore (BWI), two to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL), one to Orlando, Florida (MCO), and one to Newark, New Jersey (EWR), providing more service on those routes than any other airline. From CLT, American operates 80 flights per day to Florida, 30 flights per day to the New York metro area and 25 flights per day to the Washington, D.C. area. Enhanced schedules will benefit local and connecting customers alike with convenient flight times throughout the day.
American also plans to increase service from CLT to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) for a total of up to 10 daily flights; Los Angeles (LAX) for up to eight daily flights; and New York (JFK) and EWR, for up to 16 daily flights combined. The additional domestic flights are on aircraft equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi, and customers will be able to experience enhanced entertainment including complimentary access to Apple Music, which lets subscribers stream more than 50 million songs, playlists and music videos in flight.
The new flights will be available for sale March 4.
New and improved Admirals Club
Admirals Club members traveling through CLT can experience the newly renovated lounge in Concourse B when it reopens today after closing in July for renovations. It reopens with enhanced beverage offerings, including complimentary alcoholic beverages like select wines, beers and well liquors; a modern complimentary food bar; and more robust food options and premium alcohol available for purchase. The renovated lounge also features a Business Center with five semi-private workstations. The Admirals Club offers premium services to members, including personal assistance with reservations, seat selection, upgrades and boarding passes.
As previously announced, American will operate its newest long-haul international service from CLT to Munich (MUC) beginning March 30. The daily, year-round service will be operated on an Airbus A330-200, featuring 20 lie-flat business class seats and 21 Premium Economy seats, which offer more space, enhanced amenities and elevated meals and drinks. CLT customers can also look forward to eight additional new routes in 2019, including flights to Erie, Pennsylvania (ERI), beginning in May, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ), and Traverse City, Michigan (TVC), starting in June.
Charlotte is American’s second-largest hub and the sixth-busiest airport in the country based on aircraft movement. American is committed to making investments in the Charlotte community focusing on education, health, human services and military/veteran initiatives, and has donated more than $3.5 million to North Carolina nonprofit organizations since 2013. American is also the official airline of the Carolina Panthers.
For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.
SOURCE: American Airlines press release.
Comments & Discussion
IATA: Damage to Air Travel Will Extend Into 2023
Any comeback by the beleaguered airline industry will extend into 2023, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines’ main trade group.
Long-haul travel will continue to lag behind and passenger fears about flying in general will contribute to the delay, Lonely Planet reported.
IATA estimates that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023. It expects that global passenger demand in 2021 will be 24 percent below 2019 levels and 32 percent lower than the forecast the association made in October 2019.
The new data is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders could return if the virus comes back strong in the fall and winter with a second wave, as some health officials have predicted.
In addition, another contributing factor is quarantine measures that have been instituted by various countries as well as individual states in the U.S. According to IATA, 69 percent of recent travelers that it surveyed said they would not consider traveling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive at their destination. IATA is asking governments to find alternatives to the quarantine measures.
Of course, all of this is contingent upon the public’s willingness to fly—and instilling confidence in that will take time, said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. “We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”
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