American Airlines is further bolstering its Phoenix hub with two new route-map pins.
The airline announced on Wednesday that it’ll land in Pasco, Washington, and Tijuana, Mexico, for the first time ever beginning early next year.
American will commence service from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) and Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) on Feb. 15, 2024. Flights will operate once daily on board an American Eagle Embraer E175 regional jet.
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In addition to the new destinations, American will increase service from one to two daily flights between PHX and Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) in Mexico. This additional daily frequency will also commence on Feb. 15, 2024.
This latest round of expansion comes as Phoenix hasn’t necessarily seen as much growth as some other American hubs, such as Charlotte and Dallas-Fort Worth.
American inherited the Phoenix hub from Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways during the merger in 2015, and many analysts consider it the weakest link in the network (along with Philadelphia).
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That said, American seems to be refocusing its efforts on Phoenix in recent months, especially as the airline sees increased competition from Southwest Airlines. Southwest considers the Valley of the Sun to be one of its most important operating bases.
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Late last month, American announced a notable 30-flight expansion from Phoenix for the winter season — including a new route to Jacksonville, Florida — as well as a slew of frequency increases in many popular domestic markets. These latest additions join the recently launched service from Phoenix to Monterrey, Mexico, which took off in January.
All told, American will operate nonstop service to 100 destinations from PHX — much more than the 59 cities Southwest serves from Phoenix, Cirium schedule data shows.
While the news is undoubtedly exciting for locals based in the Phoenix area, American’s expansion will open up two new connecting opportunities for flyers nationwide.
Until now, American hasn’t served the Tri-Cities area or Tijuana, so loyal flyers have had to choose a different airline for flights to these destinations. In fact, American will become the only U.S. airline serving Tijuana, which sits just a few miles south of the border from San Diego. The airport even offers a Cross Border Xpress terminal that easily connects San Diego with flights from Tijuana via an immigration checkpoint and a long bridge.
American is already the leading U.S. airline in Mexico, and with Tijuana, the airline’s portfolio will grow to 26 destinations in the country.
American will operate more than 720 peak weekly flights between the U.S. and Mexico during the upcoming winter season, and it’ll increase its capacity in the country by 8% for the 2023-24 holiday season compared to last year.