In an interview with the Miami Herald, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker announced that the carrier will begin non-stop service to Frankfurt next year, as well as adding additional domestic flights. This is great news for Miami International Airport which very much wants to fill their international terminal to capacity, already seen as the Gateway to Latin America.
The timing was nice since this was the 25th anniversary of establishing Miami as an AA hub. But there was one disappointment obvious to the editors and reporters on hand. Parker made it clear there are no plans to run service from Miami to Asia. Instead, that traffic will continue through DFW and LAX. This makes sense on two counts. First, Miami does not have enough gates available for too many more international flights according to one of their senior VP’s.
The other issue is slots on the Asian end. There are only so many available that it makes sense for AA to keep the network they have. However, American has asked DOT for another slot at Haneda Airport (HND) in Tokyo, claiming that Delta Air Lines is not using it properly. While American wants that slot to go to LAX, it might open up another possibility for Miami if they are successful. But this has wrinkles, too. More recently, Hawaiian Airlines filed notice that while they agree Delta should give up their Haneda rights, they don’t believe it should go to American. This is a post for another day.
Actually all the other news was good news unless you are a cynic. Whenever any type of leader says things are great, some just have to wonder when the other shoe will drop. Take it for what it’s worth, Parker said, “The airline’s never been stronger and our goal is to continue to get stronger, and expanding in Miami is critical to that.”
If your tea leaves tell you that AA plans to dump MIA as a hub, so be it. My tea leaves say that AA is continuing to build a brilliant hub system coast to coast across the south, arguably not as prone to weather delays as cities like New York and Chicago. In my opinion, the future looks very good for American and Miami International Airport.
What are your tea leaves saying?