With a new series of airline routes launched by American Airlines out of LaGuardia Airport, the competition for New York City is about to get much more comprehensive.
View from the Wing reports this week that American Airlines plans to launch service from LaGuardia airport to Orlando, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis, four routes on which Delta Air Lines has a strong presence. The routes go into effect starting in December and January.
American’s expansion from LaGuardia comes at a time when the legacy airlines are posturing for strong respective footholds in the lucrative New York City market. For the last several years, Delta has been expanding in both marketing and service, especially around JFK airport. Most recently, the airline committed to help rebuild LaGuardia, no doubt in part to expand its service out of the smaller, more local New York Airport.
United, for its part, has doubled down on Newark, giving up slots at JFK and focusing its efforts on dominating the airport west of New York City.
With these new routes, American seems to be reinforcing its presence at LaGuardia airport and fending off ingress from the other legacy carriers. The expanded footprint will come in addition to an already strong presence that American has at JFK.
As to the efficacy of the routes, the crew over at View from the Wing expressed concern. Several of the offerings that American has planned will only barely compete with the product that Delta already has in place, while most of the planned flights will operate on smaller, less comfortable regional aircraft.
Still, the routes will provide expanded service to those committed to American Airlines or perhaps its loyalty program. As many business travelers have experienced, direct service on a preferred carrier can be the deciding factor over whether or not to book a flight, so more options can only mean better and more effective corporate travel. Provided American Airlines didn’t launch the routes for nefarious or underhanded reasons, New Yorkers should soon have a wider selection of flights to choose from out of LaGuardia.