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American's Boston To New York LaGuardia Route Returns

Now that American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have terminated their Northeast Alliance, American is bringing back a pretty crucial business route.

American’s BOS to LGA route resumes as of October 2023

Even though American has a significant presence in both Boston and New York, the airline doesn’t currently operate a flight between Boston Logan (BOS) and New York LaGuardia (LGA). That will finally be changing, as flagged by @IshrionA.

As of October 29, 2023, American will launch 4x daily flights in the market. All frequencies on this short 185-mile flight will be operated by Airbus A319s, featuring 128 seats, including eight first class seats and 120 economy class seats.

For context, pre-pandemic, American operated hourly flights in the market, which was branded as “Shuttle” service. This came with special perks, like flexibility to change flights, complimentary drinks and snacks in all cabins, and more.

As you’d expect, at the start of the pandemic, American reduced frequencies in the market (given the extent to which business travel suffered). Then in early 2022, American discontinued the route altogether.

American is resuming Boston to New York LaGuardia flights

Why American hasn’t been operating this route

The reason American entirely discontinued the Boston to New York LaGuardia route in early 2022 was due to its Northeast Alliance with JetBlue. With this, the two airlines could coordinate schedules and swap slots in many markets. American made the decision to hand over this route (along with quite a few slots) to JetBlue.

At the time, both airlines viewed this as a win-win. American’s goal was to grow its long haul presence out of New York Kennedy, while American and JetBlue coordinated schedules within the Northeast, to be as efficient as possible. Since the two airlines offered some reciprocal points opportunities and elite perks, the argument was also that this was best for customers.

However, the Department of Justice challenged the Northeast Alliance between the two airlines, and ultimately won. As a result, the airlines are having to completely rethink their strategy in New York and Boston, as they have to undo the routes they’ve coordinated and slots that they’ve swapped.

I think it was a given that American would bring back service between these two key airports. However, American’s planned schedule is hardly competitive. Delta offers hourly service between the two airports, while JetBlue offers nearly hourly service between the two airports. By comparison, American’s four daily frequencies is nothing.

I’m curious to see if American ramps up service in the market in the coming months, as it gets back more of its slots from JetBlue.

American’s schedule in the market is uncompetitive

Bottom line

American will resume its Boston to New York LaGuardia route as of late October 2023, with 4x daily frequencies using Airbus A319s. It’s nice to see American returning to the market, though this is a far cry from the service we saw pre-pandemic.

What do you make of American bringing back its BOS to LGA route?


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