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Friday airline updates: American Airlines to resume flights to Spain

written by Sandy Milne | May 8, 2020

An American Airlines Airbus A330-200 (Source: Australian Aviation archives)

American Airlines has announced that the company will resume flights between the US and Spain over the coming week, after new COVID-19 cases in the European country have fallen dramatically. The move will make AA the first major US airline to reboot US-Spain connections since travel restrictions were first levelled in March.

Flight AA36 departed from American’s hub airport, Dallas-Fort Worth, at 4:50pm Thursday (local time). The first return flight, AA37, is scheduled to leave Madrid at 11:05am CEST on Saturday.

AA36 (Source: Flightview)

AA has maintained a daily service between Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and London Heathrow despite travel restrictions, and hopes to re-open additional trans-Atlantic services in the coming weeks and months. The airline expects a large number of intercontinental routes to restart on 4 June, including:

  • Services between DFW and Amsterdam;
  • Services between DFW and Frankfurt; and
  • New York Kennedy to London Heathrow;
  • Los Angeles to London Heathrow;
  • Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow;
  • Philadelphia to London Heathrow; and
  • Raleigh-Durham to London Heathrow.

Some flights, such as the DFW to Dublin route, are scheduled to restart at a later date (in this case, 7 July). As AA has a partnership with Spain’s Iberia under the Oneworld alliance, the DFW to Madrid route allows essential travel between the US and a range of European destinations.

In other airline news:

  • Delta Air Lines and LATAM have signed a “trans-American joint venture agreement”. The move will combine the two carriers’ route networks between North and South America, allowing codeshares and accumulation of frequent flyer miles. “Even as our carriers contend with the impact of COVID-19 on our business and take steps to protect the safety of our customers and employees, we are also building the airline alliance we know they’ll want to fly in the future,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.
  • British Airways and American Airlines have agreed to surrender certain flight slots at London Heathrow, per the recommendations of a report tabled yesterday by the UK’s competition watchdog. The Competition & Markets Authority released the results of an investigation into the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement (ABJA) – which includes AA, BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Finnair.
  • Boutique US carrier JetBlue has posted Q1 earnings in a conference call with shareholders and media. The company reports pre-tax losses of US$354 million, and also announced the delay of its long-awaited A321LR service to London.
  • US LCC Frontier Airlines has become the first US airline to announce plans for compulsory pre-flight temperature checks, in a bid to enforce biosecurity standards. All passengers will be tested with a thermometer, and any registering above 38 degrees may be removed from the flight (and rebooked at a later date for no extra fee).


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