Cointrin330
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Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:44 pm

The fact that AA dropped PHL-FRA and PHL-MUC entirely is very telling in that American Airlines simply cannot make certain parts of Europe work for it, even as a much larger carrier with more feed post-merger than the already sizable scale it had before merging with US. Yes, CLT offers more connectivity as does DFW, but PHL is American's primary TATL gateway and to eliminate two huge business markets like that is a sign of trouble. Yes, US was in Star and that made these routes work well pre-merger, but the problem seems to be POS ex-Germany and the absence of meaningful business contracts on the US side to make these routes work. American has struggled with Germany since the days when it first launched TATL beyond London and entered the JFK-FRA market in 1987. It also couldn't make MIA-FRA work.
 
fraT
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:54 pm

Probably their partner BA is not really supporting them since they want to channel the German pax through LHR.
 
evomutant
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:59 pm

fraT wrote:
Probably their partner BA is not really supporting them since they want to channel the German pax through LHR.


How could BA "support them"? Sacrifice their own routes to Germany? Yeah right.

People overstate "partnerships", even the JV's. They are still independent companies and still want to make as much as money as possible. If that comes at the expense of a "partner" than so be it.
 
Bigant0408
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:03 pm

I've read from other post that for the Northeast it's too much Star Alliance power in regards to flights with Lufthansa and United having a strong hold on the Germany markets especially with corporate contract passengers. Also read that AA may aim more at connecting traffic from down south especially since it seem that DL ATL-MUC route has been doing well.
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fraT
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:06 pm

evomutant wrote:
fraT wrote:
Probably their partner BA is not really supporting them since they want to channel the German pax through LHR.


How could BA "support them"? Sacrifice their own routes to Germany? Yeah right.

People overstate "partnerships", even the JV's. They are still independent companies and still want to make as much as money as possible. If that comes at the expense of a "partner" than so be it.


Not true at all. In a revenue sharing JV, it makes sense to have every partner earning money. Ask AF/KL/DL if they are happy to have AZ in the JV....
UA/LH are showing that it can work. Take the example AMS. Similar situation but it seems as if the UA nonstops are working and still LH is also taking a chunk of the business (feeder via FRA/MUC) and also Dutch driving to DUS.
 
727200
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:14 pm

1) They are going up against UA and LH, in LH's home turf.

2) Except for P2P, there is no feed for beyond travel.

3) AA seems to be is disarray right now Scott left and went to UA. I guess they did not have a no-compete clause and he took all their info with him and now AA is a mess. Part of it is the Parker syndrome, the other part is UA is eating their lunch and has sights set on DL. Remember this is a cycle business and one will not stay on top for ever.

4) See number 1.
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:43 pm

Lufthansa and its partners dominate travel from the German point of sale (ie, German passengers traveling abroad). That includes corporate travelers, the travelers more apt to spend money on business and first class tickets. And in the case of Germany markets, there are more Germans coming towards the US then people in North America headed to Germany. Bottom line - if you're aligned with Lufthansa, you'll get a piece of that higher yielding traffic. If not, you're probably going to be able to fill planes, but with low yield passengers trying to get to Florida beaches or maybe those flying to California who dont want to pay the premium for a nonstop FRA/MUC-LAX/SFO flight. End of story.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:47 pm

Star Alliance is the short answer. Historically they've only been really able to make DFW-FRA work.
 
Flighty
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:51 pm

These American flights did just fine under US Airways / Star Alliance until the moment the flights were no longer Star Alliance flights.

It's not just Germany. IIRC American is quite weak into Amsterdam too. For the same reason. The market leader is Skyteam, and American isn't in Skyteam. We might have thought Germany is such a big market that O&D and American FFs would be sufficient to compete between US and Germany, but that is not the case.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:55 pm

Flighty wrote:
These American flights did just fine under US Airways / Star Alliance until the moment the flights were no longer Star Alliance flights.

It's not just Germany. IIRC American is quite weak into Amsterdam too. For the same reason. The market leader is Skyteam, and American isn't in Skyteam. We might have thought Germany is such a big market that O&D and American FFs would be sufficient to compete between US and Germany, but we would have thought wrong.

In that regard, however, UA should be weak in AMS as well, but they serve it from IAD/EWR/ORD/IAH, and now SFO.
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LAXintl
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:20 pm

For those that blame BA, they are partially right.

While AA has a slimmed down country and regional sales office with a small management team in Frankfurt left over from legacy days, much of the sales and marketing work in the region have been handed over to BA part of the JV.
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Fastphilly
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:22 pm

USAirALB wrote:
Flighty wrote:
These American flights did just fine under US Airways / Star Alliance until the moment the flights were no longer Star Alliance flights.

It's not just Germany. IIRC American is quite weak into Amsterdam too. For the same reason. The market leader is Skyteam, and American isn't in Skyteam. We might have thought Germany is such a big market that O&D and American FFs would be sufficient to compete between US and Germany, but we would have thought wrong.

In that regard, however, UA should be weak in AMS as well, but they serve it from IAD/EWR/ORD/IAH, and now SFO.


Keep in mind those UA hubs (except IAH) are considered to be in the top 5 of America’s most prominent international cities and can generate a lot of premium traffic flows going to Europe. DFW is international no doubt, but it doesn’t generate the numbers of passenger flows like those UA hub cities with strong international O&D. MIA has more demand from Europe than it does going which is why you see a plethora of foreign tails and a borderline weak AA Europe network out of MIA. CLT is not mature enough as a destination like the other aforementioned hubs.
 
GSP psgr
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:58 pm

I think the apt comparison is not UA vs AA, but AA vs DL:

-Delta's able to maintain JFK/DTW/ATL-FRA and ATL-DUS/MUC/STR year round as a strong, rather long-ish season on DTW-MUC I believe. This despite not getting any feed on the German end. It's a sign of how much they own DTW and ATL (I suspect JFK-FRA may be a loss leader for NYC corporate traffic, though). In DTW and ATL, they're also competing with a once daily LH flight to FRA.

-On the other hand, while ORD and JFK are sort of understandable, AA owns PHL and MIA on a level with DL's ownership of DTW and ATL. Still can't make FRA (compete with low J LH 340) and MUC (which they had to themselves) work in PHL; same with MIA-FRA. I think a part of the problem is that they don't have the right aircraft in PHL; the 332s are too big, the AA 757/763 fleet is very tatty for business markets, and the 788s are not yet based out of PHL and MIA. I think the 321LR could be an answer for AA in ORD, JFK, and PHL eventually. Given a new business product, it might be just the thing for PHL/ORD/JFK-FRA and PHL-MUC, among others.

-The almost total reliance on BA for everything via LHR is exceedingly awkward. OneWorld needs to procure another anchor partner in Europe.

-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

-Contrast that with the expansion UA/Star has been doing: Double daily SFO-SIN, IAH-SYD, SFO-AMS. Strong partnerships on routes like ORD-ADD, EWR-WAW, IAH-AKL. It isn't even close; AA is getting lapped.
 
Etheereal
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:01 pm

Fastphilly wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
Flighty wrote:
These American flights did just fine under US Airways / Star Alliance until the moment the flights were no longer Star Alliance flights.

It's not just Germany. IIRC American is quite weak into Amsterdam too. For the same reason. The market leader is Skyteam, and American isn't in Skyteam. We might have thought Germany is such a big market that O&D and American FFs would be sufficient to compete between US and Germany, but we would have thought wrong.

In that regard, however, UA should be weak in AMS as well, but they serve it from IAD/EWR/ORD/IAH, and now SFO.


Keep in mind those UA hubs (except IAH) are considered to be in the top 5 of America’s most prominent international cities and can generate a lot of premium traffic flows going to Europe. DFW is international no doubt, but it doesn’t generate the numbers of passenger flows like those UA hub cities with strong international O&D. MIA has more demand from Europe than it does going which is why you see a plethora of foreign tails and a borderline weak AA Europe network out of MIA. CLT is not mature enough as a destination like the other aforementioned hubs.

I seriously cant understand why AA is so weak on MIA. They have so many flights from MIA to Europe and yet ..
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:10 pm

Etheereal wrote:
Fastphilly wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
In that regard, however, UA should be weak in AMS as well, but they serve it from IAD/EWR/ORD/IAH, and now SFO.


Keep in mind those UA hubs (except IAH) are considered to be in the top 5 of America’s most prominent international cities and can generate a lot of premium traffic flows going to Europe. DFW is international no doubt, but it doesn’t generate the numbers of passenger flows like those UA hub cities with strong international O&D. MIA has more demand from Europe than it does going which is why you see a plethora of foreign tails and a borderline weak AA Europe network out of MIA. CLT is not mature enough as a destination like the other aforementioned hubs.

I seriously cant understand why AA is so weak on MIA. They have so many flights from MIA to Europe and yet ..

Because many of those flights are dominated by European point of sale, not MIA. So the foreign airline based in that market has the advantage.

FRA is a tough market to make work unless you are UA (because of LH JV) or completely dominate the US market with a strong fortress hub. It is a business market, and most FRA FFs are attached to LH/UA. There is not a strong leisure demand to Frankfurt unlike London, Paris, Amesterdam, etc. you don’t really have people dreaming to visit Frankfurt for vacation on the airline they are loyal and do most of their business flying elsewhere with.

DL makes most of its secondary German markets from ATL work due to the German automotive presence in the Southeast US.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:15 pm

GSP psgr wrote:
I think the apt comparison is not UA vs AA, but AA vs DL:

-Delta's able to maintain JFK/DTW/ATL-FRA and ATL-DUS/MUC/STR year round as a strong, rather long-ish season on DTW-MUC I believe. This despite not getting any feed on the German end. It's a sign of how much they own DTW and ATL (I suspect JFK-FRA may be a loss leader for NYC corporate traffic, though). In DTW and ATL, they're also competing with a once daily LH flight to FRA.

-On the other hand, while ORD and JFK are sort of understandable, AA owns PHL and MIA on a level with DL's ownership of DTW and ATL. Still can't make FRA (compete with low J LH 340) and MUC (which they had to themselves) work in PHL; same with MIA-FRA. I think a part of the problem is that they don't have the right aircraft in PHL; the 332s are too big, the AA 757/763 fleet is very tatty for business markets, and the 788s are not yet based out of PHL and MIA. I think the 321LR could be an answer for AA in ORD, JFK, and PHL eventually. Given a new business product, it might be just the thing for PHL/ORD/JFK-FRA and PHL-MUC, among others.

-The almost total reliance on BA for everything via LHR is exceedingly awkward. OneWorld needs to procure another anchor partner in Europe.

-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

-Contrast that with the expansion UA/Star has been doing: Double daily SFO-SIN, IAH-SYD, SFO-AMS. Strong partnerships on routes like ORD-ADD, EWR-WAW, IAH-AKL. It isn't even close; AA is getting lapped.


I agree with you 100% This is on point!
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Austin787
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:21 pm

jasoncrh wrote:
Lufthansa and its partners dominate travel from the German point of sale (ie, German passengers traveling abroad). That includes corporate travelers, the travelers more apt to spend money on business and first class tickets. And in the case of Germany markets, there are more Germans coming towards the US then people in North America headed to Germany. Bottom line - if you're aligned with Lufthansa, you'll get a piece of that higher yielding traffic. If not, you're probably going to be able to fill planes, but with low yield passengers trying to get to Florida beaches or maybe those flying to California who dont want to pay the premium for a nonstop FRA/MUC-LAX/SFO flight. End of story.

There is more than just Lufthansa and *Alliance. Delta makes Germany work in its network - not just FRA but also Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf. Plus, Delta and United also make LHR and the UK work despite the dominance of BA and OneWorld.

GSP psgr wrote:
-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

This. And no other airline puts planes with no PTV on inter-continental routes like USdbaAA is doing with their 767s and 757s. Management's focus on short term profits over long term growth results in a substandard onboard product, inconsistent service, and poor operations - all are big reasons why they struggle to make Germany (and Switzerland, Belgium, China, Chicago, NYC) work.
 
Delta777Jet
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:23 pm

Well me living in Berlin , flying monthly to the US (mostly Economy Class) was really sad loosing the nonstops with Air Berlin. I am not that fond of Lufthansa and always having to connect through MUC or FRA. I was. happy to see that AA is finally starting Berlin but then found out they will operate the flight with an aging 767 with an inferior interoir again. They had ORD-FRA, JFK-FRA and MIA-FRA all with the horrible 767 (I like the aircraft but not with the AA layout) which makes traveling feel like being in the 80´s .American Airlines still didn't understand that Germans do lot like their product. If they would offer a 787 service to all those routes they finally would have made some ground but I will also not fly with them (don't understand why anyone would if there would be an alternative with a 2000 style cabin with PTV´s etc).
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IAHWorldflyer
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:25 pm

GSP psgr wrote:
-The almost total reliance on BA for everything via LHR is exceedingly awkward. OneWorld needs to procure another anchor partner in Europe.

-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

-Contrast that with the expansion UA/Star has been doing: Double daily SFO-SIN, IAH-SYD, SFO-AMS. Strong partnerships on routes like ORD-ADD, EWR-WAW, IAH-AKL. It isn't even close; AA is getting lapped.



OneWorld does have another partner in Europe, IB, but AA does not seem to leverage that partnership well. The problem with IB is that much of their network is focused on Spain-South America, and no one in North America needs to fly to Europe to go South. IB also doesn't fly to PHL, which in my opinion is a mistake. Condsider that LH flies to EWR and IAD, and KL/AF flies to ATL. Another issue is that connecting to BA regional flights in LHR can be a pain in the * when your AA flight arrives at T3, and you then have to train over to T5 and possibly make another long walk out to one of the satellites. If you fly DL to AMS, it's pretty easy to transfer, and FRA isn't that bad either if you fly in on UA. I won't say anything about CDG.
Not every airline is going to do well in every market. PHL to Germany just isn't a strength for AA. That's ok. But they really should beef up MIA, a market they own that doesn't see significant flight delays. I also think it's worrying that they pretty much have given up on ORD-Asia routes.
 
Wacker1000
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:48 pm

Flighty wrote:
These American flights did just fine under US Airways / Star Alliance until the moment the flights were no longer Star Alliance flights.


American's SOP of "dump everyone at LHR and let BA take them from there" took over.
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:52 pm

Fastphilly wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
Flighty wrote:
These American flights did just fine under US Airways / Star Alliance until the moment the flights were no longer Star Alliance flights.

It's not just Germany. IIRC American is quite weak into Amsterdam too. For the same reason. The market leader is Skyteam, and American isn't in Skyteam. We might have thought Germany is such a big market that O&D and American FFs would be sufficient to compete between US and Germany, but we would have thought wrong.

In that regard, however, UA should be weak in AMS as well, but they serve it from IAD/EWR/ORD/IAH, and now SFO.


Keep in mind those UA hubs (except IAH) are considered to be in the top 5 of America’s most prominent international cities and can generate a lot of premium traffic flows going to Europe. DFW is international no doubt, but it doesn’t generate the numbers of passenger flows like those UA hub cities with strong international O&D. MIA has more demand from Europe than it does going which is why you see a plethora of foreign tails and a borderline weak AA Europe network out of MIA. CLT is not mature enough as a destination like the other aforementioned hubs.


DEN is a prominent international city?

IAH may not be in the top five prominent international cities, its certainly in the top 10.

As for AA and Germany, it works perfectly well from DFW and CLT. It just couldnt work from the others.
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AirCalSNA
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:07 pm

I wonder if it has something to do with PHL and its place in AA's network. Maybe when it was a USAir hub there was a more natural feed and base of customers who would logically think of connecting through PHL to fly TATL. AA seems to have its center of gravity in the DFW and MIA, which it sounds like have their own nonstops to Germany. And for those of us on the west coast there are a lot of nonstops from all of the major cities ... transferring in PHL makes sense if you're using AAdvantage miles, but otherwise I'm not sure why anyone would choose to do so since it can be easily avoided.
 
JetBlueCLT
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:16 pm

Simple, CLT-Germany works really well and can do it better than PHL could.
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jasoncrh
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:17 pm

Houston might not be one of America's 'top 5 most prominent American cities" (whatever that means, even though it IS the 4th or 5th largest American city, depending on how you measure it), but it DOES generate a TON of international traffic. More importantly, it generates a TON of paid first and business class traffic due to the industries in Houston that actually pay for all that traffic. That, plus one of the most diverse international populations, generates healthy and hearty volumes of international longhaul traffic. Both KLM (which has flown to Houston since the 1960s I believe)and United do VERY on their respective Amsterdam services because they both have corporate contracts that allow them to sell most of their J class cabin on a daily basis with full fare business travelers going to/ from the energy businesses in these cities. These are goldmine routes.

Fastphilly wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
Flighty wrote:
These American flights did just fine under US Airways / Star Alliance until the moment the flights were no longer Star Alliance flights.

It's not just Germany. IIRC American is quite weak into Amsterdam too. For the same reason. The market leader is Skyteam, and American isn't in Skyteam. We might have thought Germany is such a big market that O&D and American FFs would be sufficient to compete between US and Germany, but we would have thought wrong.

In that regard, however, UA should be weak in AMS as well, but they serve it from IAD/EWR/ORD/IAH, and now SFO.


Keep in mind those UA hubs (except IAH) are considered to be in the top 5 of America’s most prominent international cities and can generate a lot of premium traffic flows going to Europe. DFW is international no doubt, but it doesn’t generate the numbers of passenger flows like those UA hub cities with strong international O&D. MIA has more demand from Europe than it does going which is why you see a plethora of foreign tails and a borderline weak AA Europe network out of MIA. CLT is not mature enough as a destination like the other aforementioned hubs.
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:21 pm

LH flies to IAD and EWR, and did so even before LH and UA/CO were friends, because there is an immense amount of travel generated to cities on the LH network from those markets. In both of those markets, LH depends primarily on the local market and NOT on connections from UA, to make those markets work. The same couldn't be said of IB In PHL. While large, PHL just doesn't have the industries that would make use of the IB network in the volume that a New York area or Washington area airport would. false analogy.

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
GSP psgr wrote:
-The almost total reliance on BA for everything via LHR is exceedingly awkward. OneWorld needs to procure another anchor partner in Europe.

-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

-Contrast that with the expansion UA/Star has been doing: Double daily SFO-SIN, IAH-SYD, SFO-AMS. Strong partnerships on routes like ORD-ADD, EWR-WAW, IAH-AKL. It isn't even close; AA is getting lapped.



OneWorld does have another partner in Europe, IB, but AA does not seem to leverage that partnership well. The problem with IB is that much of their network is focused on Spain-South America, and no one in North America needs to fly to Europe to go South. IB also doesn't fly to PHL, which in my opinion is a mistake. Condsider that LH flies to EWR and IAD, and KL/AF flies to ATL. Another issue is that connecting to BA regional flights in LHR can be a pain in the * when your AA flight arrives at T3, and you then have to train over to T5 and possibly make another long walk out to one of the satellites. If you fly DL to AMS, it's pretty easy to transfer, and FRA isn't that bad either if you fly in on UA. I won't say anything about CDG.
Not every airline is going to do well in every market. PHL to Germany just isn't a strength for AA. That's ok. But they really should beef up MIA, a market they own that doesn't see significant flight delays. I also think it's worrying that they pretty much have given up on ORD-Asia routes.
 
jasoncrh
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:29 pm

Delta makes Frankfurt, work because there is a large number of Atlanta - area businesses that have commercial ties in Germany.they can fill up the front with paid j traffic which basically pays for the flight, then the tourists in the back are just the icing. In Stuttgart, Delta carriers Mercedes-Benz traffic over Atlanta to Alabama, where Mercedes - Benz has a large factory. Delta has the best connections of any carrier, and J is filled with paid traffic. The back is filled with US military traffic going to / from US military bases near Stuttgart and their families, and Germans going on vacation to Florida and California. Atlanta - Munich carries similar levels of corporate traffic/ leisure mix. Berlin is a seasonal (I think) market that works in the summer - just like most of Europe - because Americans will pay to be tourists in the summer. Detroit - Frankfurt works because the automakers and their suppliers in the Detroit area pay for business class going to their partners in Germany, and the back is filled with tourists.
Everybody makes the UK work or tries to because it is by far the largest financial market after New York. If you want to have a presence selling to corporate customers, you must fly to London.
Bottom line, AA's markets never have had these natural links to Germany. PHL-FRA worked well (up to 2x/day) when US was in Star because Lufthansa helped feed it. the minute those links were gone those flights suffered.
It's just the way it is.

Austin787 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
Lufthansa and its partners dominate travel from the German point of sale (ie, German passengers traveling abroad). That includes corporate travelers, the travelers more apt to spend money on business and first class tickets. And in the case of Germany markets, there are more Germans coming towards the US then people in North America headed to Germany. Bottom line - if you're aligned with Lufthansa, you'll get a piece of that higher yielding traffic. If not, you're probably going to be able to fill planes, but with low yield passengers trying to get to Florida beaches or maybe those flying to California who dont want to pay the premium for a nonstop FRA/MUC-LAX/SFO flight. End of story.

There is more than just Lufthansa and *Alliance. Delta makes Germany work in its network - not just FRA but also Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf. Plus, Delta and United also make LHR and the UK work despite the dominance of BA and OneWorld.

GSP psgr wrote:
-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

This. And no other airline puts planes with no PTV on inter-continental routes like USdbaAA is doing with their 767s and 757s. Management's focus on short term profits over long term growth results in a substandard onboard product, inconsistent service, and poor operations - all are big reasons why they struggle to make Germany (and Switzerland, Belgium, China, Chicago, NYC) work.
 
Varsity1
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:29 pm

They were trying with Air Berlin. That story obviously wrote itself.
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VS11
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:38 pm

Delta777Jet wrote:
Well me living in Berlin , flying monthly to the US (mostly Economy Class) was really sad loosing the nonstops with Air Berlin. I am not that fond of Lufthansa and always having to connect through MUC or FRA. I was. happy to see that AA is finally starting Berlin but then found out they will operate the flight with an aging 767 with an inferior interoir again. They had ORD-FRA, JFK-FRA and MIA-FRA all with the horrible 767 (I like the aircraft but not with the AA layout) which makes traveling feel like being in the 80´s .American Airlines still didn't understand that Germans do lot like their product. If they would offer a 787 service to all those routes they finally would have made some ground but I will also not fly with them (don't understand why anyone would if there would be an alternative with a 2000 style cabin with PTV´s etc).


I agree. Their 757/767 onboard product is just horrendous, at least in Economy. Not sure what they are thinking there.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:45 pm

jasoncrh wrote:
Delta makes Frankfurt, work because there is a large number of Atlanta - area businesses that have commercial ties in Germany.they can fill up the front with paid j traffic which basically pays for the flight, then the tourists in the back are just the icing. In Stuttgart, Delta carriers Mercedes-Benz traffic over Atlanta to Alabama, where Mercedes - Benz has a large factory. Delta has the best connections of any carrier, and J is filled with paid traffic. The back is filled with US military traffic going to / from US military bases near Stuttgart and their families, and Germans going on vacation to Florida and California. Atlanta - Munich carries similar levels of corporate traffic/ leisure mix. Berlin is a seasonal (I think) market that works in the summer - just like most of Europe - because Americans will pay to be tourists in the summer. Detroit - Frankfurt works because the automakers and their suppliers in the Detroit area pay for business class going to their partners in Germany, and the back is filled with tourists.
Everybody makes the UK work or tries to because it is by far the largest financial market after New York. If you want to have a presence selling to corporate customers, you must fly to London.
Bottom line, AA's markets never have had these natural links to Germany. PHL-FRA worked well (up to 2x/day) when US was in Star because Lufthansa helped feed it. the minute those links were gone those flights suffered.
It's just the way it is.

Austin787 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
Lufthansa and its partners dominate travel from the German point of sale (ie, German passengers traveling abroad). That includes corporate travelers, the travelers more apt to spend money on business and first class tickets. And in the case of Germany markets, there are more Germans coming towards the US then people in North America headed to Germany. Bottom line - if you're aligned with Lufthansa, you'll get a piece of that higher yielding traffic. If not, you're probably going to be able to fill planes, but with low yield passengers trying to get to Florida beaches or maybe those flying to California who dont want to pay the premium for a nonstop FRA/MUC-LAX/SFO flight. End of story.

There is more than just Lufthansa and *Alliance. Delta makes Germany work in its network - not just FRA but also Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf. Plus, Delta and United also make LHR and the UK work despite the dominance of BA and OneWorld.

GSP psgr wrote:
-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

This. And no other airline puts planes with no PTV on inter-continental routes like USdbaAA is doing with their 767s and 757s. Management's focus on short term profits over long term growth results in a substandard onboard product, inconsistent service, and poor operations - all are big reasons why they struggle to make Germany (and Switzerland, Belgium, China, Chicago, NYC) work.

The argument to this is that US served PHL-FRA for 10-15 years before they joined *A and benefitted from the LH connections on the FRA side
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:49 pm

Austin787 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
Lufthansa and its partners dominate travel from the German point of sale (ie, German passengers traveling abroad). That includes corporate travelers, the travelers more apt to spend money on business and first class tickets. And in the case of Germany markets, there are more Germans coming towards the US then people in North America headed to Germany. Bottom line - if you're aligned with Lufthansa, you'll get a piece of that higher yielding traffic. If not, you're probably going to be able to fill planes, but with low yield passengers trying to get to Florida beaches or maybe those flying to California who dont want to pay the premium for a nonstop FRA/MUC-LAX/SFO flight. End of story.

There is more than just Lufthansa and *Alliance. Delta makes Germany work in its network - not just FRA but also Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf. Plus, Delta and United also make LHR and the UK work despite the dominance of BA and OneWorld.

GSP psgr wrote:
-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

This. And no other airline puts planes with no PTV on inter-continental routes like USdbaAA is doing with their 767s and 757s. Management's focus on short term profits over long term growth results in a substandard onboard product, inconsistent service, and poor operations - all are big reasons why they struggle to make Germany (and Switzerland, Belgium, China, Chicago, NYC) work.


The limitations of running the one of the world's largest airlines using the mindset that worked for that global powerhouse known as America West are becoming more and more clear. I'm moving alliances, probably to Delta/SkyTeam. My upcoming trip to South Africa is a perfect example why...I could sit in LHR for 10 hours....or I could take the JFK-JNB (South African) or ATL-JNB (Delta) nonstops. Heaven forbid AA try anything as ambitious as MIA-JNB.....
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:01 am

GSP psgr wrote:
I think the apt comparison is not UA vs AA, but AA vs DL:

-Delta's able to maintain JFK/DTW/ATL-FRA and ATL-DUS/MUC/STR year round as a strong, rather long-ish season on DTW-MUC I believe. This despite not getting any feed on the German end. It's a sign of how much they own DTW and ATL (I suspect JFK-FRA may be a loss leader for NYC corporate traffic, though). In DTW and ATL, they're also competing with a once daily LH flight to FRA.

-On the other hand, while ORD and JFK are sort of understandable, AA owns PHL and MIA on a level with DL's ownership of DTW and ATL. Still can't make FRA (compete with low J LH 340) and MUC (which they had to themselves) work in PHL; same with MIA-FRA. I think a part of the problem is that they don't have the right aircraft in PHL; the 332s are too big, the AA 757/763 fleet is very tatty for business markets, and the 788s are not yet based out of PHL and MIA. I think the 321LR could be an answer for AA in ORD, JFK, and PHL eventually. Given a new business product, it might be just the thing for PHL/ORD/JFK-FRA and PHL-MUC, among others.

-The almost total reliance on BA for everything via LHR is exceedingly awkward. OneWorld needs to procure another anchor partner in Europe.

-AA's management team have the patience of gnats and would rather chase short term profit over long term strategy. No other carrier is running away from China, New York (bad) and Chicago longhaul (embarrassingly paltry), and key business markets like BRU and TLV like AA have in the last few years. But hey, Prague and Budapest are really profitable for three months a year!

-Contrast that with the expansion UA/Star has been doing: Double daily SFO-SIN, IAH-SYD, SFO-AMS. Strong partnerships on routes like ORD-ADD, EWR-WAW, IAH-AKL. It isn't even close; AA is getting lapped.

Delta also has JFK-TXL.


but something people need to remember is Delta has been strong to Germany since 1991 thanks to Pan Am. Also as you noted having the powerful ATL and DTW hubs also help a ton.


I personally can't believe American can't make PHL-FRA and PHL-MUC work......but I also can't believe Delta doesn't fly to Hong Kong.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:25 am

It wasn’t until 2003-2005 that the UA/LH relationship got very strong and Lufthansa really dominated German travel. The market was very fragmented until the mid 2000s so there was room for more players.

usairways85 wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
Delta makes Frankfurt, work because there is a large number of Atlanta - area businesses that have commercial ties in Germany.they can fill up the front with paid j traffic which basically pays for the flight, then the tourists in the back are just the icing. In Stuttgart, Delta carriers Mercedes-Benz traffic over Atlanta to Alabama, where Mercedes - Benz has a large factory. Delta has the best connections of any carrier, and J is filled with paid traffic. The back is filled with US military traffic going to / from US military bases near Stuttgart and their families, and Germans going on vacation to Florida and California. Atlanta - Munich carries similar levels of corporate traffic/ leisure mix. Berlin is a seasonal (I think) market that works in the summer - just like most of Europe - because Americans will pay to be tourists in the summer. Detroit - Frankfurt works because the automakers and their suppliers in the Detroit area pay for business class going to their partners in Germany, and the back is filled with tourists.
Everybody makes the UK work or tries to because it is by far the largest financial market after New York. If you want to have a presence selling to corporate customers, you must fly to London.
Bottom line, AA's markets never have had these natural links to Germany. PHL-FRA worked well (up to 2x/day) when US was in Star because Lufthansa helped feed it. the minute those links were gone those flights suffered.
It's just the way it is.

Austin787 wrote:
There is more than just Lufthansa and *Alliance. Delta makes Germany work in its network - not just FRA but also Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf. Plus, Delta and United also make LHR and the UK work despite the dominance of BA and OneWorld.


This. And no other airline puts planes with no PTV on inter-continental routes like USdbaAA is doing with their 767s and 757s. Management's focus on short term profits over long term growth results in a substandard onboard product, inconsistent service, and poor operations - all are big reasons why they struggle to make Germany (and Switzerland, Belgium, China, Chicago, NYC) work.

The argument to this is that US served PHL-FRA for 10-15 years before they joined *A and benefitted from the LH connections on the FRA side
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:30 am

deltal1011man wrote:
Delta also has JFK-TXL.
but something people need to remember is Delta has been strong to Germany since 1991 thanks to Pan Am. Also as you noted having the powerful ATL and DTW hubs also help a ton.
I personally can't believe American can't make PHL-FRA and PHL-MUC work......but I also can't believe Delta doesn't fly to Hong Kong.


You make an excellent point.
However I wonder how much of an impact are JV's having on certain international markets. Some one earlier pointed out USAir operated PHL-FRA for at least 10 years before joining Star. I'm wondering if as a result of the UA/AC/LH JV if LH has reduced the amount of connecting traffic if routes to other airlines in favor of keeping that the traffic or routing it to UA or AC an vice versa. How closely do UA and AA work together or UA and DL? I know AA helped UA out immensely last year during hurricane Harvey when IAH was closed but on a normal day how much interlining is actually going on. When I first started on the ramp with UA, both UA and AA interlined a lot, when I left the ramp for Willis Tower I'd wager to say our corporation with AA at ORD probably dropped a good 40%-50% easily. I was normal to see passenger fly into ORD on UA and then connect to an international flight on AA and vise versa. With the rise of these JV's has become more difficult for airlines to break into and perhaps even hold on to market share in markets where a where a competing alliance reigns supreme?

Case and point if UA wasn't so well established in the Australian market does anyone think UA would be flying to Australia from LAX, SFO, and IAH? I think the fact that AA was so weak in Germany before their merger with US is one of the reasons they are struggling now that and the strength of the UA/AC/LH JV.
 
mdavies06
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:27 am

*A alliance is too strong in Germany and this doesn't help non-aligned carriers. Look at the history of IB or LA for example in Germany. They were and are still pretty small in Germany compared to what LH offers to Spain and LA-hubbed South American markets. If you have to beat LH in the German market, you have to own a market that LH cannot touch (for example, the connecting traffic of AY via HEL and EK via DXB, or win by cost i.e. TK and Pegasus).
 
peanuts
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:37 am

No alliance is too strong. UA holds its own in AMS against SkyTeam. Their consistency and steady growth at AMS over the years is admirable.
With the right marketing and strategy, AA could have a bigger impact in German cities and AMS. Lack of willpower? Apparently there is lower hanging fruit elsewhere...like Bologna...
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:03 am

In terms of AMS - it's clear AMS works from DFW and PHL and I doubt it would work from other places given alliances and competition.

For Germany - as others have said, DFW-FRA works given AA's hub and CLT-FRA is staying because of corporate connections. I'm surprised the old US Airways wasn't also on CLT-MUC, so while it's disappointing that PHL now isn't getting any FRA or MUC service at all if it doesn't make money, or you can make more money flying plane loads of tourists in peak season than year round service, why fly it? I'm also kind of surprised that AA didn't make more of a push into Berlin and Dusseldorf when Air Berlin went under and use the opportunity to build some presence in those markets out of either JFK or PHL. So it's nice to see Berlin get service but I think it was a missed opportunity.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:27 am

1.) PMUS also had a much lower cost structure, which probably allowed a few more routes to be served more profitably; it probably did not help PHL-MUC/FRA/BRU/ZRH post merger.

2) Given that AA's probably flat on transatlantic capacity, I still think the CLT-MUC move may be a short to midterm play. Drive LH out of CLT-MUC (supposedly a weak route for LH), win it (a potential goldmine), and eventually pivot back to PHL-MUC which probably is too thin for LH to start in the first place.

3) All that said, the UA/LH/LX/OS tag team is so overwhelming as to almost feel like a functional monopoly. Not even BA/AA or DL/AF/KL comes close post collapse of Air Berlin. It is very hard to compete against.
 
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DUDEofJETS
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:00 am

727200 wrote:
1) They are going up against UA and LH, in LH's home turf.

2) Except for P2P, there is no feed for beyond travel.

3) AA seems to be is disarray right now Scott left and went to UA. I guess they did not have a no-compete clause and he took all their info with him and now AA is a mess. Part of it is the Parker syndrome, the other part is UA is eating their lunch and has sights set on DL. Remember this is a cycle business and one will not stay on top for ever.

4) See number 1.



#1-that is the exact reason as stated by AA. Spot on
#2- Yep, exactly
#3-LOL having worked for the two, they both bring/brought different talents BUT no single section of operation is just lead by one person, hence, Kirby leaving AA did not put AA into disarray. AA has started to make many changes due to the very clear downturn of travel in the near future.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:09 am

deltal1011man wrote:
[quote="GSP psgr"...................

I personally can't believe American can't make PHL-FRA and PHL-MUC work......but I also can't believe Delta doesn't fly to Hong Kong.



LH is taking advantage of the AA PHL-FRA loss by upgrading the route from the previous leisure configured A340 CityLine (Low J) aircraft to the premium configured A333 LH (High J) aircraft. It'll be interesting to see if LH also starts PHL-MUC seasonally.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:51 pm

There is also AY up north, but sadly they have a very limited North American network.

I miss Air Berlin. So. Much.
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:04 pm

They never tried Hamburg before (at least in the Last 30 years). There is a lot of demand between Hamburg and Chicago for example. Last year around 28.000 passengers traveled between Hamburg and Chicago, with 33% of passengers traveling for business reasons. There are many economical connections, Hamburg and Chicago are sister cities.

I calculated that a seasonal flight from May through October would have an average 202 passengers on board.

I calculated that the number of local passengers triples (supply and demand, on some routes it even quintuples and more once there is a nonstop flight). Additionaly I supposed that AA would be able to attract 30% of the passengers between HAM and ORD now to fly with them.

Then adding 40% because ORD is a big Hub for AA and there could easily be 40% transfer passengers flying beyond Chicago. That leads to exactly 201,93 passengers per flight on average. Thats a 89% load factor on a daily 787-8 service.

And one big advantage: very few competition, just United serving Newark. Big untouched Potential.
Also Hamburg had more passengers flying to Philadelphia last year than Berlin, and Berlin got a flight.
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Fastphilly
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:55 pm

jasoncrh wrote:
Houston might not be one of America's 'top 5 most prominent American cities" (whatever that means, even though it IS the 4th or 5th largest American city, depending on how you measure it), but it DOES generate a TON of international traffic. More importantly, it generates a TON of paid first and business class traffic due to the industries in Houston that actually pay for all that traffic. That, plus one of the most diverse international populations, generates healthy and hearty volumes of international longhaul traffic. Both KLM (which has flown to Houston since the 1960s I believe)and United do VERY on their respective Amsterdam services because they both have corporate contracts that allow them to sell most of their J class cabin on a daily basis with full fare business travelers going to/ from the energy businesses in these cities. These are goldmine routes.

Fastphilly wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
In that regard, however, UA should be weak in AMS as well, but they serve it from IAD/EWR/ORD/IAH, and now SFO.


Keep in mind those UA hubs (except IAH) are considered to be in the top 5 of America’s most prominent international cities and can generate a lot of premium traffic flows going to Europe. DFW is international no doubt, but it doesn’t generate the numbers of passenger flows like those UA hub cities with strong international O&D. MIA has more demand from Europe than it does going which is why you see a plethora of foreign tails and a borderline weak AA Europe network out of MIA. CLT is not mature enough as a destination like the other aforementioned hubs.


Houston is the 4th largest city, but its the 9th largest CSA. I’m not denying Houston isn’t international, but compared to the other UA hubs (EWR, IAD, ORD and SFO) no Houston isn’t in that tier. Those CSAs are large foreign tourist magnets and as a whole have larger foreign born population.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:16 pm

jasoncrh wrote:
In Stuttgart, Delta carriers Mercedes-Benz traffic over Atlanta to Alabama, where Mercedes - Benz has a large factory. Delta has the best connections of any carrier, and J is filled with paid traffic.


Actually there are two Assembly plants in Tuscaloosa. More importantly, ATL is home to both Mercedes and Porsche's U.S. HQs. Not to mention VW's US plant nearby(ish) in CHA. Then there are all the German tiers spread across AL/GA/SC...

You get a quick look at the Porsche Offices on arrivals to 26R. :)
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jasoncrh
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:56 pm

oh cool!! didn't know that. thanks for letting me know!!

RDUDDJI wrote:
jasoncrh wrote:
In Stuttgart, Delta carriers Mercedes-Benz traffic over Atlanta to Alabama, where Mercedes - Benz has a large factory. Delta has the best connections of any carrier, and J is filled with paid traffic.


Actually there are two Assembly plants in Tuscaloosa. More importantly, ATL is home to both Mercedes and Porsche's U.S. HQs. Not to mention VW's US plant nearby(ish) in CHA. Then there are all the German tiers spread across AL/GA/SC...

You get a quick look at the Porsche Offices on arrivals to 26R. :)
 
wv399
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:11 am

ATL - MUC flights are also supported by the BMW plant in GSP and the new training center at the Georgia International Convention Center by the airport. Not to mention southern tourism.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:25 am

AA simply missed the chance. When airberlin went bust, BER and DUS were open and the market was desperate for connections to the US. Now LH has adjusted the capacity to FRA and MUC from Berlin and DUS has Eurowings providing direct flights again, so LH/Star are in control again.
 
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:59 pm

DLHAM wrote:
They never tried Hamburg before (at least in the Last 30 years). There is a lot of demand between Hamburg and Chicago for example. Last year around 28.000 passengers traveled between Hamburg and Chicago, with 33% of passengers traveling for business reasons. There are many economical connections, Hamburg and Chicago are sister cities.

I calculated that a seasonal flight from May through October would have an average 202 passengers on board.

I calculated that the number of local passengers triples (supply and demand, on some routes it even quintuples and more once there is a nonstop flight). Additionaly I supposed that AA would be able to attract 30% of the passengers between HAM and ORD now to fly with them.

Then adding 40% because ORD is a big Hub for AA and there could easily be 40% transfer passengers flying beyond Chicago. That leads to exactly 201,93 passengers per flight on average. Thats a 89% load factor on a daily 787-8 service.

And one big advantage: very few competition, just United serving Newark. Big untouched Potential.
Also Hamburg had more passengers flying to Philadelphia last year than Berlin, and Berlin got a flight.


I flew on UA from DFW to HAM via EWR and it was conveniaent however last year they made the route seasonal and rebooked me of LH from DFW thru FRA. The flight averaged abouyt an 89% load factor and I had plenty of room in a center section aisle seat on a fairly new A333. Personally I'll pay a little more to fly LH because the A330 is more comfortable.
 
4engines4lnghll
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:30 pm

Hopefully DFW-MUC will work...
Side note I’m surprised DFW-FCO/AMS hasn’t gone year round yet
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JonNYC
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:51 pm

AA/BA will soon have a new headache in this area
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Why Can't American Airlines Make Germany Work?

Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:13 pm

freakyrat wrote:
I flew on UA from DFW to HAM via EWR and it was conveniaent however last year they made the route seasonal and rebooked me of LH from DFW thru FRA. The flight averaged abouyt an 89% load factor and I had plenty of room in a center section aisle seat on a fairly new A333. Personally I'll pay a little more to fly LH because the A330 is more comfortable.


Empty rows are rare on the UA flight to HAM, last month average LF at around 93%. I really hope the route goes back to yearround from 2019/2020, when the 767 cabin mods are done. The demand is definitely there, when they still flew yearround the load factors went north of 90% already in March. Now flying only May to early October they are missing the strong March, strong October, all Christmas and New Years businesses. I am sure they never went seasonal if there was competition on the HAM-USA market.

On the other hand the shabby 3 class 767s with all the technical delays and cancellations doesnt improved the route!
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