American Airlines announced that it will be discontinuing its Philadelphia to Tel Aviv route on January 4, 2016 and January 5 for the return flight.
American Airlines Management say in its six years, the Philadelphia to Tel Aviv route never turned a profit in any year, and has already lost more than $20 million on this service in the past year alone. But during their visit to Israel, executives said the route was one of its most promising.
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the first nine months of 2015, American Airlines flew about 95 thousand passengers on that route, a 2.74 percent increase compared to last year.
Here are Q and A’s that the Company has released:
Q: Will the flight be reinstated in the future, perhaps when we have more opportunity to operate the route with a different aircraft or from a different hub like MIA or JFK?
A: We’ll certainly continue to monitor the viability of reinstating TLV service and will evaluate future opportunities as we bring in new aircraft to the fleet and our network evolves. At this time, we do not anticipate restarting service to Tel Aviv in the near future.
Q: Why did this route work for US Airways for years but shortly after the merger, it does not work for American?
A: The PHL TLV route has never been profitable for our airline. We want to give every route the chance to succeed, and we gave it a fair shot, but at a certain point, no matter how much we want to serve a particular route; we have to make the right decision for our business.
Q: The PHL TLV flight traditionally operates with high load factors. How can it not be making money?
A: There are a lot of different factors that determine the overall success of a route. Load factor is not the only way, nor the best way, to judge a route’s performance. We also look at overall demand and the fares customers are willing to pay on that route. In the case of PHL TLV, a number of factors have resulted in poor financial performance.
Q: What will happen to customers who are ticketed on the PHL TLV service after the cancellation date?
A: American will be contacting all passengers to make alternative travel arrangements for them, or to offer a full refund. We apologize for the inconvenience that this decision will cause.
Q: What does this say about PHL as a hub? Is there enough connecting traffic for other international flights?
A: Our combined hub structure allows for each of our nine hubs to play a very important role in our overall network strategy. Looking at our international network, PHL is a prime hub for connecting customers to and from main business and leisure destinations throughout Europe and it will continue to be an important strategic hub for our partners through the Atlantic Joint Business.