American Airlines Losing Philadelphia Passengers after Dropping Tel Aviv Flight

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The  elimination of a daily flight to Tel Aviv is the main reason the number of passengers flying American Airlines from Philadelphia International Airport has declined.

American Airlines’ passenger traffic at Philadelphia International Airport has declined a whopping 7.4 percent in the past 365 days, according to a published report, in large part because it discontinued a daily flight to Tel Aviv.

Since that route was discontinued after American claimed it was not working economically, the airline has lost some 250 seats on a daily basis.

Coupled with the discontinuation of American’s morning flight to London’s Heathrow Airport, elimination of nonstop flights to San Antonio and Sacramento, Calif., along a reduction in daily flights to Boston and Washington, D.C., the result has been fewer seats sold.

Yet one American official insists Philadelphia remains as critical as ever to the airline, which merged in 2015 with U.S. Airways.

“Philadelphia is no less important today today than it was yesterday or even pre-merger,” Chuck Schubert, American’s vice president of network and schedule planning, told philly.com. “Philly is, and will remain, a very important piece of the American Airlines network. Philadelphia is our transatlantic gateway, and has served that role for many years, and I expect it will serve that role for many years to come.”

Schubert said the numbers can be a bit misleading and the public can get “lost in the percentages.”

"The seats have to come from somewhere,” continued Schubert, “and the answer is a place like Philly, where American can reduce capacity somewhat and still be, by far, the dominant airline. Very few people are going to stop flying American in Philly because American shrinks there.”

Philadelphia, which has an average of 425 departures per day, remains American’s fourth largest hub, behind New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.        

Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0729

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Andy Gotlieb is the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He holds 31 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. Prior newspaper stops include the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Tampa Tribune and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various times, business, politics, crime and government, among other beats. The final 2.5 years in that stretch was an editor at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where my responsibilities included complete control over a weekly section and working with both staff writers and freelancers. In late 2005, I switched gears and began working in public relations for the next decade. I learned the ins and outs of public relations -- including being on the other side of the media-PR equation -- and made numerous contacts. I rejoined the ranks of journalism in March 2016, starting as the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent.

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