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American unveils 19 new routes for 2019

American Airlines has added 19 routes to be offered in 2019, with the majority building on its already-mega Dallas/Fort Worth International airport hub.

The Oneworld Alliance carrier will connect Dallas/Fort Worth to Augusta (Georgia), Bakersfield, Burbank, Durango (Mexico), Gainesville, Harlingen, Monterey, San Pedro Sula, Santo Domingo, Tegucigalpa and Yuma beginning in March 2019, it says today. It will also upgrade its seasonal summer-only service to Flagstaff to daily year-round status.

American will also add new service from Charlotte to Santo Domingo and Traverse City; Los Angeles to Tulsa; Miami to Santiago de Cuba; New York John F Kennedy to San Antonio; New York LaGuardia to Aruba and Knoxville; and Washington National to Oklahoma City.

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“As we work to deliver the best network, these new routes reinforce our commitment to the region and provide new options for customers," says Vasu Raja, vice-president of network and schedule planning at American.

Only Harlingen and Santiago de Cuba are new destinations for American, the rest of the routes connect points already in its network.

The airline has previously announced new service to Berlin, Bologna, Dubrovnik from Philadelphia in 2019.

The network additions come as American shifts its growth towards its "most profitable" hubs in Charlotte and Dallas/Fort Worth. Executives said in July that the airline would slow capacity growth in the face of higher fuel costs, but feed further growth at the two fortress hubs by shrinking other hubs in its network.

"We expect that some of that additional growth will be funded by moving less profitable flying from other parts of our network," American president Robert Isom said at the time, referring to the additional growth planned in Charlotte and Dallas/Fort Worth.

The carrier will add seven gates at Charlotte in the fourth quarter, and 15 gates at Dallas/Fort Worth from next summer.

American is also ending a number of routes. FlightGlobal schedules data shows it has or will drop service from Boston to Pittsburgh; Chicago O'Hare to Beijing, Shanghai and Manchester (UK); JFK to Denver, Dublin, Edinburgh, Philadelphia and Port-au-Prince; Miami to Washington Dulles; and Philadelphia to Frankfurt, Glasgow and Munich by the end of 2018.

The airline plans to grow capacity by roughly 2% in 2018, and executives have indicated that growth will be comparable in 2019.

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