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American Airlines has long been the dominant U.S. airline in Latin America, and it continues to widen its footprint in the region with new and expanded routes. As of the end of 2018, American Airlines will offer almost 300 (292 to be exact) daily flights to Latin America and almost 350 on weekends.
As Vasu Raja, vice president, network and schedule planning at American Airlines explained, “We’re creating a world-class customer experience –– and as the largest U.S. carrier in Mexico and South America, we’re committed to offering more choices with the best schedules for our customers in the region. As we look to strengthen our network, we’re excited to add more nonstop flights to places like Buenos Aires, maximizing connections across our network.”
Later this year, American will introduce service to travelers looking for history, culture, and warm climates to three new cities in Latin America: Georgetown, Guyana (GEO), Pereira, Colombia (PEI), Córdoba, Argentina (COR), and a new city in Mexico: Oaxaca (OAX). This summer, American launched new service between Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Mexico City (MEX), and the airline recently announced new seasonal service to Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL) from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), which will begin on January 6.
Expanded service also includes new routes between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE). American currently flies to Buenos Aires from Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. With the addition of the LAX route, American will be the first and only airline to offer nonstop service between these two major cities.
The expansion of its Argentina service is notable given that the country’s current administration under President Mauricio Macri is making more of a push for tourism growth, especially compared to past administrations. At this year’s WTTC Global Summit, Tourism Minister H.E. José Gustavo Santos explained its ambitious goal to grow international tourist arrivals by 50 percent, and international tourism spending by 90 percent, over the next four years.
Mexico is also seeing a boom in tourism. According to Enrique de la Madrid, Mexico’s former Secretary of Tourism, Mexico is now the sixth most visited country in the world. The country saw a record number of foreign visitors in 2017, at 39.3 million –– up 4.2 million from 2016.