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American Airlines to Make Seattle an International Gateway

American Airlines to Make Seattle an International Gateway


An American Airlines B787-9 retracting its landing gear right after takeoff.  Credit: TheExplorerBlog | Winston Shek

American Airlines will launch a flight to Bangalore, India, and London-Heathrow from Seattle making the city an international hub according to multiple sources.  

The route will be in partnership with Alaska Airlines who is joining OneWorld on in the Summer of 2021.  The two new international routes will feed into Alaska Air's current network from Seattle. Read an article about Alaska Airlines' joining OneWorld here.   Here is a summary of the information for both of the routes:


Days of Operation

Start Date




October 2020




March 2021


Alaska Airlines and American Airlines will be directly contesting Delta Airlines' hub at Seattle.  Delta Airlines will fly to Tokyo-Haneda, Seoul-Incheon, Beijing-Daxing, and Osaka-Kansai in Asia, as well as Amsterdam and Paris in Europe.  The move can be seen as "revenge" because Delta Airlines recently stole American Airlines' South American partner, LATAM, in a shocking move.  Additionally, American Airlines will be competing with its partner, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic for flights to London-Heathrow.  Also, the carrier will be competing with Norwegian seasonally on their flight to London-Gatwick, another airport in the London area.

American Airlines plans to retire its B777-200ER fleet and replace it with B787s.  Credit: TheExplorerBlog | Winston Shek

The route to Bangalore, India will be the first route for the city to the U.S.  Additionally, this will be the carrier's first flight to India. Currently, Delta Airlines flies to Mumbai from New York-JFK, and United Airlines flies to Delhi from New York/Newark-EWR and San Francisco. Mumbai from New York/Newark-EWR.  American Airlines expects to capture the business market from Bangalore.

Recently, American Airlines has announced lots of expansion for next year.  For example, the carrier has announced summer expansion to its first destination in Africa, Casablanca(CMN), to partner with Royal Air Maroc, from its hub in Philadelphia.  Also, the carrier will launch its first flight to Israel, Tel Aviv, from its hub in Dallas/Fort Worth-DFW. The carrier will fly more Eastern European routes like Budapest and Krakow from its hub in Chicago-O Hare.  Also, the carrier will operate a new flight to Christchurch, New Zealand in the winter, in partnership with Qantas Airways, to its hub in Los Angeles, which is the only connection between the city and the United States.

American Airlines will be using B787-9 and B777-200ER's on the routes.  American Airlines B787-9 showcases 278 seats, with 30 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 21 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, 36 "Main Cabin Extra" seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, and 191 economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.  American Airlines B777-200ER showcases 273 seats, with 37 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 24 premium economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, 66 "Main Cabin Extra" seats in a 3-4-3 configuration, and 146 economy seats in a 3-4-3 configuration.

American Airlines will receive 22 Boeing 787-8 and 25 Boeing 787-9 at the time of writing to help replace some of its fleet.

Credit: TheExplorerBlog | Ben Kogan

Vasu Raja, American's Senior Vice President of Network Strategy, states, "Beginning West Coast international service from Seattle will complement American's strong existing international network from LAX.  By adding Seattle to Bangalore, we're giving customers from more than 70 U.S. cities access to India in one stop or less, versus the two, three or four stops they'd have to make to get there in the past."

What are your thoughts on the move?  Do you think American Airlines contesting Delta Airlines will work?  Do you think American Airlines will add more destinations from Seattle?  How will Alaska Airlines compliment American Airlines? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Winston Shek
Winston is an avid aviation photographer who currently resides in the DMV. He is currently a high school student who would love to have a career in the aviation industry. In his free time, he likes to play video games, play chess, or practice his photography.

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