American Airlines set to drop Brussels-New York route

American Airlines has announced its intention to drop flights between New York and Brussels from November 6, “in light of reviewed route performance, market forecasts and trends and the future outlook”.

The carrier closed its Chicago-Brussels route last year (see online news September 19, 2011), citing “high oil prices and the weakened global economy” for the decision, and has now confirmed that it “intends to close its operations in Belgium”.

In a statement AA said that “Team members have been informed of the intention and the airline will be discussing the potential impact of the intended cancellation and all available options with those affected.

“When necessary, American will also be contacting all passengers to make alternative travel arrangements for them where possible or to offer a full refund. We apologise for the inconvenience that this intended decision will cause.”

It’s a blow to Oneworld, as it leaves the alliance without a direct, non-stop service between New York and the capital of the European Union.

Fellow US carriers Delta and United serve the route on behalf of Skyteam and Star Alliance, and Brussels Airlines (also a Star carrier) recently relaunched flights between the two cities (see online news January 3). Indian carrier Jet Airways also serves New York’s JFK and Newark airports from its Brussels hub.

AA said that it would “continue to serve the Belgian market in conjunction with Oneworld partners British Airways and Iberia with flight options through both London Heathrow and Madrid.”

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Report by Mark Caswell

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  • I’ve always wondered how the traffic volume on Brussels-New York could sustain five carriers. I’m not surprised it’s AA who now bite the dust as their ancient 757 planes offer the worst hard product by far out of the five airlines.

  • CDG – Brussels (city centre) by TGV takes 1:15h. AA should sell BRU as CDG+TGV on one ticket like so many others do. BTW, there are NO flights between CDG and BRU at all due to superior convenience of the TGV from CDG.

  • A very unwise decision by AA. Operating the route with a 2 or 3-class refurbrished B757-200ER to feed the very needed JFK hub, if AA wants to treat it as such. It is not hard to fill a B757(with luxury sleeper seats) to JFK or ORD when AA can easily take passengers to points beyond these hubs. On the other side of the pond, Brussels is not a crazy spot like LHR. Passengers can easily connect by rail in Brussels to many points in Europe.

  • No surprise there. AA have themselves to blame for this. They switched their 767 for a lousy 757 with video screens in the ceiling every 10 rows. Who on earth wants to fly a 757 across the Atlantic, when there are A330’s & 767’s plying this route with carriers who offer better in flight service, even in economy?

    AA ignored the BRU route and lost out. I saw this coming the day Brussels Airlines announced their new A330 service 6 months before it started. AA had plenty of time to clean up its act on this route, but it didn’t give a damn. so now they have it.

    I remember AA starting service to Brussels, with 747 SP’s, 767 etc…. they had a captive market when they started, but they blew it. I for one won’t miss ’em on this route. I recently flew Brussels Airlines to JFK and they soar miles above the other carriers. And that’s coming fm a BA Gold Exec & AA Exec Platinum !!!!!

    Word to the Wise, US Airways better take note and clean up their crappy 757 PHL-BRU route or they will be next to drop Brussels.

  • …. and Delta, don’t even think of switching that 767 back to seasonal 757 service as you have done in the last 3 years or you will also be out of the Brussels market. AA is really foolish about this thing. Jetstar is pulling our of the BRU-JFK route, i would say there’s room for another carrier. BA should start 3 class 767 service on BRU-JFK.

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