FORT WORTH- The leading US carrier, American Airlines (AA), has decided to discontinue two of its domestic routes:
- The route from Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU) to Tampa, FL (TPA).
- The route from Austin, TX (AUS) to St. Louis, MO (STL).
As of now, both of these routes are temporarily suspended. Although the Raleigh/Durham to Tampa route was initially scheduled to resume with daily flights operated by an Embraer 175 aircraft in November, it will now be terminated shortly after resuming service, reports Ishrion Aviation.
American Airlines Cancels Routes
The RDU-TPA route is characterized by intense competition, with multiple airlines historically providing service.
American Airlines, Avelo Airlines (XP), Breeze Airways (MX), Delta Air Lines (DL), and Southwest Airlines (WN) operate flights between Raleigh/Durham and Tampa. However, there are two airlines preparing to withdraw from this market.
Avelo Airlines is scheduled to discontinue its RDU-TPA route after October 29. The airline launched these flights from Raleigh to Tampa in February 2023 as part of its new base at RDU.
Avelo had also experimented with competitive flights to other Florida destinations from RDU, such as Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO). Still, it will cease operations to FLL and MCO as well.
American Airlines is the next carrier planning to exit the Raleigh/Durham to Tampa route. Their flights will conclude after January 7, 2024.
American Airlines initiated RDU-TPA service in November 2021, offering twice-daily flights utilizing a combination of Airbus A319 and Embraer 175 aircraft.
Over the past few years, several airlines have provided flights between Raleigh and Tampa, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when airlines shifted their focus towards adding more direct leisure routes:
- Avelo Airlines (service concluding after October 29, 2023)
- American Airlines (service concluding after January 7, 2024)
- Breeze Airways (a recent entrant, initiating RDU-TPA earlier this month)
- Delta Air Lines (continuing to operate)
- Frontier Airlines (service terminated)
- JetBlue (service terminated)
- Southwest Airlines (continuing to operate)
Additionally, Allegiant Air previously served the RDU—Tampa Bay market through St. Petersburg (PIE) as an alternative destination.
The RDU-TPA route experienced a peak of 403 Passengers Daily Each Way (PDEW) during the second quarter of 2022, surpassing the highest pre-COVID levels seen in 2019 by nearly 50 passengers.
Average fares on this route increased significantly throughout 2022, potentially in response to the rapid recovery of travel demand. This increase in fares may have influenced ultra-low-cost carriers such as Avelo and Breeze to introduce their own flights on this route.
It is currently suspended regarding American Airlines’ route from Austin to St. Louis, which was launched in 2021 as part of a significant expansion in Austin. Initially, it was scheduled to resume in February 2024, but American Airlines has now decided to cancel the resumption of this route.
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