Updated: Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 1:23 PM
American Airlines announced Wednesday new flights between Philadelphia and four cities in the Midwest and Texas.
American will begin daily year-round service from PHL to San Antonio, Texas, on Feb. 15, followed by flights to Des Moines, Iowa; Madison, Wisc.; and Omaha, Neb., on May 4. The new flights will be available for booking Oct. 9.
Starting March 25, one daily Philadelphia-to-Los Angeles flight will be operated on a larger Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 247 seats, offering West Coast customers better access to Philadelphia and American’s transatlantic service, the airline said.
“Los Angeles to Europe is one of our big connecting markets,” said Vasu Raja, American’s vice president of network and schedule planning. “By having a bigger jet there, we can connect more people out of Los Angeles.” The LAX flight will be timed to arrive in Philadelphia for all the European flight connections in the late afternoon and evening, he said.
American recently announced that new service to Prague, Budapest, and Zurich from Philadelphia will begin next spring.
Raja said that San Antonio, Des Moines, Madison, and Omaha were chosen because “they are the largest four cities that we don’t serve today from Philadelphia. There’s a lot of opportunity to connect those cities to Philadelphia, but also to connect people to Europe via Philadelphia.”
Philadelphia is “one of the crown jewels in our system,” he said. “In Philadelphia, we have a great transatlantic gateway. Because of where Philadelphia sits geographically, we can connect almost any city in the U.S. over Philadelphia into Europe.”
In 2018, American will move Boeing 767 aircraft into Philadelphia. “That airplane helps us open new markets,” Raja said. The 220-seat 767 has a longer range than the 180-seat Boeing 757 airplane. “We can fly to markets like Prague and Budapest, which the 757 can’t reach. It creates a lot of opportunities for us in Philadelphia that we’re really excited for.” American serves 116 destinations from PHL.