American Airlines talks renewed focus on Canada and new routes and capacity

American Airlines talks renewed focus on Canada with new routes and capacity

TORONTO — Adding new routes and more capacity out of Canada is a priority in 2018 for the world’s largest airline. Travelweek spoke to Richard Muise, Director, Canadian Airport Operations about the airline giant’s expansion here, with impact for gateways including Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec City, Edmonton and Calgary.

“Absolutely, it has been such an exciting few months to see the renewed focus on the operations,” said Muise, who oversees more than 300 staff in Canada.

Richard Muise, Director, Canadian Airport Operations, American Airlines

Richard Muise, Director, Canadian Airport Operations, American Airlines

“Really across the board, [we have made] some sustainable increases that really support our renewed focus on the Canadian market,” he added.

In response to high demand American Airlines is marking its return to Quebec City in 2018 with news of a second daily flight added between Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) and its hub at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

Muise detailed the carrier’s expansion in Quebec City and beyond:


Just announced, American Airlines will be adding a second frequency to Philadelphia on June 7, 2018. These flights will operate for an extended season until Nov. 3, one month longer than previous seasons, and will be flown using 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft. With the additional flight American will offer nearly 30,000 seats between both cities in 2018.


American Airlines’ new Chicago service out of Vancouver starts in June. It is also increasing its frequency from Vancouver to Dallas during the summer season, to three departures daily.


American Airlines has added seasonal service between Calgary and Chicago starting in May 2018.


Edmonton’s summer seasonal flight to Phoenix has been extended by a month. American Airlines will also be offering double daily departures, up from daily service.


American Airlines has increased its frequency from two flights to three flights a day on its Washington, D.C. route. It has also increased its capacity to La Guardia, with not only additional frequency but also by upgrading to E175 aircraft. It also refurbished its Admirals Club at Pearson last fall to strengthen its business product on these routes.


Increased service to Philadelphia from two to three flights daily.



E175 interior

E175 interior

One major point that Muise wants agents to be aware of is that a new flight from a city means that clients now have a hub to the rest of the world. “[American is] the largest airline in the world, we have a better network than anyone else out there,” he says.

“If you look at our seasonal service between Calgary to Chicago, it’s not just about the Calgary to Chicago market. It’s about the network that American offers from Chicago to the world.”

Not being content with being just the largest airline, American Airlines also boasts strong partner airlines from Canada. “We have quite a competitive offering when you take into account our joint business partners British Airways and Japan Airlines. We are able to offer service to London Heathrow and Gatwick from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and to Tokyo and Narita from Vancouver.”

The airline is also investing US$3 billion in aircraft improvements that will include fully lie-flat seats; international WiFi; more in-flight entertainment options and power outlets; a new, modern design for lounges worldwide including in PHL; and an upgraded assortment of complimentary healthy food, cocktails and more.

“American is undergoing the largest fleet renewal program in the history of any airline in the world,” says Muise, echoing a statement reported by Travelweek in October 2017. The airline is seeing record profits and is using the money to renew their ageing fleet with plans to receive 496 new planes and retire 469.

American has already seen new Airbus and Boeing planes come to the Canadian market with Vancouver-Dallas, Vancouver-Chicago and Montreal-Miami already receiving the new 737s.

“Part of the program is not only the addition of the new aircrafts, but refurbishment of the existing aircrafts as well with a huge focus on our regional fleet. We do have a great deal of regional fleet flying into Canada.”

Muise says one of the main objectives of the renewal project is to create a consistent product across the fleet.

For more information on the renewal, go to

American’s outreach to Canadian travel agents includes 24/7 Sales Support through either the airline’s online tool, Saleslink, or its team of sales support representatives.

The carrier also says it’s offering more value and simplicity for group and meeting/MICE markets with a re-launch of its discount product. The redesigned program will simplify the contract process and offer more personalized services, says Mark Stratford, Regional Sales Director – Central Division & Canada.

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