American Airlines and American Eagle are planning to add service to 10 new destinations – one international and nine domestic – from Los Angeles...

American Airlines and American Eagle are planning to add service to 10 new destinations – one international and nine domestic – from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), for a total of 33 additional round-trips from April 5, 2011.

Together with extra flights on existing routes from LAX, the new routes will create a 28 per cent increase in the two AMR Corp carriers’ combined schedules from the airport. To help handle the increase, American Eagle is expanding its terminal at LAX in a $20 million improvement effort.

American’ and Eagle’s new destinations from LAX include Albuquerque, New Mexico, to be served by three-round-trips daily; Boise, Idaho, served twice daily; El Paso in Texas, served twice daily; Houston Bush Intercontinental, served three times daily; Oklahoma City, served daily; Phoenix, to be served four times a day; Shanghai, China, served daily; Salt Lake City, served three times daily; Sacramento, served four times daily; and Tucson, Arizona, to be served three times a day.

Four of the new routes will be served by American Eagle’s Bombardier CRJ700s, which now feature First Class cabins. All four existing daily American Eagle flights between LAX and Denver also will be upgraded to CRJ700 service.

American Eagle is the sister regional airline of American Airlines and operates a large fleet of Embraer and Bombardier regional jets as well as ATR 72 turboprops throughout American's domestic and Caribbean network

In addition to its new Los Angeles-Shanghai service, American Airlines will offer seven additional daily domestic flights from Los Angeles, including two flights each to Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami and one flight each to Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando. By spring 2011, American and American Eagle will offer 153 daily departures at LAX – a 28 per cent increase from today’s schedule. The airlines say they also have flexibility to add more flights and destinations in the future.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to superior service and travel choices for our customers to and from Los Angeles,” says Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “Los Angeles has long been an important market for American and American Eagle and is a critical international gateway for us as well as our oneworld Alliance partners.”

American Airlines says its latest network enhancements at LAX will complement the 18 international departures offered by oneworld alliance members at the airport to destinations such as Auckland, Hong Kong, Lima, London, Melbourne, San Salvador and Tokyo.

The Los Angeles expansion is part of American’s continuing effort to strengthen its “cornerstone” network strategy, which focuses more flying to and from American’s five core markets of Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. The airline says these markets represent top U.S. commerce centers and are significant international gateways, which provide the best connections to American’s global network and the networks of its partner airlines in the oneworld Alliance.

American estimates that its expanded Los Angeles service will add approximately $600 million a year in local economic impact, increasing its total annual economic impact in Los Angeles to approximately $6 billion.

The airline claims a rich historical connection to California. On January 25, 1959, American became the first airline to offer U.S. transcontinental jet service with Boeing 707 flights between Los Angeles and New York’s Idlewild Airport. In 2009, American and American Eagle served more than 9 million customers either traveling to, from or through LAX. American says it continues to grow in California and with the new-service additions announced on October 20 will operate 267 daily nonstop flights to 35 destinations from the state, serving cities throughout the United States as well as destinations in the Pacific, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Central America.

Earlier this month, American, British Airways and Iberia announced the official launch of their Joint Business between North America and Europe by introducing a new Los Angeles-Madrid route (operated by Iberia) that will begin service in spring 2011. American will codeshare on that flight, allowing customers to buy a ticket on and earn AAdvantage miles on the journey.

On October 6, American received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to launch service between Los Angeles and Shanghai. American will launch the service in April 2011, using 247-seat Boeing 777-200ERs which feature 16 First Class, 37 Business Class and 194 Economy Class seats.

Last month American announced new choices for customers between Los Angeles and Mexico through a new codeshare agreement with Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Pending regulatory approval, later this year American intends to offer customers the ability to purchase tickets on Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air from or through Los Angeles to the following markets: Mexico City; Guadalajara; La Paz (operated by Horizon Air); Loreto (operated by Horizon Air); Mazatlan; Puerto Vallarta; Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and Manzanillo.

Through the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air codeshare agreement American and American Eagle will be selling both local (Los Angeles-area) and connecting service (to and from other American or American Eagle flights from other cities) on Alaska Air’s routes from Los Angeles to Mexico City and Guadalajara. In all the other markets, American will sell only connecting service.

Last year, American Eagle opened a new terminal at LAX. Now it plans to expand the facility by adding four more gates, an investment of approximately $20 million. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2011, giving American Eagle 10 gates at LAX.

The American Eagle terminal upgrade will complement American’s amenities at Terminal 4, which feature 13 gates; curbside check-in with 13 skycap positions; 42 self-service machines; mobile check-in capability, including boarding pass and bag tag issuance; and an Admirals Club with a First Class Flagship Lounge. The airlines offer direct shuttle service between the two terminals.

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