Saturday, July 16, 2016

ROUTE UPDATES: American Airlines from Cordoba (COR) to Miami (MIA) ?

American Airlines 787-8 aircraft.  The carrier currently has 17 examples in its fleet. (American Airlines Photo)  

Use of the above photo is subject to the following American Airlines copyright notice:

The rumors of the last ten years or more that American Airlines will start flying from Cordoba (COR) to Miami (MIA) continue, even with Aerolineas Argentinas having recently discontinued service on the route for the fifth time in the last 40 years.     

The possibility of American serving the Cordoba route appeared strong in the late 1990's when the Argentine economy was doing well but the country soon entered recession culminating in the late 2001 economic crisis and ensuing deep recession that Argentina endured for several years.   

Advancing Technology & Improved Aircraft Economics 

However, with advancing aviation technology and especially the much greater of efficiency of the newest aircraft, such as American's 787-8, "long, thin routes" (long-distance with relatively little passenger traffic), such as Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA), are much more economically viable as fewer travelers are necessary for the routes to be profitable.   

Until the advent of the 787, the only aircraft with sufficient range for long routes were planes such as the 767 / A330, with approx. the same number of seats as the 787 but more expensive to operate or the 777 / A340 with many more seats and considerably more costly to fly.  

More economical aircraft, such as the 737-700/800 or A320/A321 class, with fewer seats and cheaper to fly are more suitable to fly from Cordoba (COR) to Miami (MIA) from a cost point of view but cannot fly such a long sector non-stop, which would be necessary for passenger convenience.

American's Miami (MIA) Hub

One important difference between a prospective American Airlines service out of Cordoba (COR) and that of Aerolineas Argentinas is that the latter carried point-to-point traffic with passengers terminating their journeys in Miami (MIA) while, in contrast, American would offer travelers connections to dozens of US cities through its massive Miami (MIA) hub operation.  

Currently, passengers can travel from Cordoba (COR) to US cities other than Miami (MIA) only on LATAM to Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK), Orlando (MCO), and Washington-Dulles (IAD) or on COPA to about a dozen US cities through its Panama City (PTY) hub.  Those wanting to travel to all other points must first go to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to fly on American, Delta or United to connect via their major US hubs.  

"Triangle" Route ?

There has been talk of American possibly flying from Miami (MIA) to Cordoba (COR) on a "triangle" basis, which the editor of this blog assumes would be something along the lines of Miami (MIA) - Asuncion (ASU) - Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA).  American flew from Miami to Asuncion for several years, recently discontinuing the service when tax moratoriums that had been granted to the carrier by the Paraguayan government as an incentive to fly the route expired.  

Another possibility would be Miami (MIA) - Puerto Iguazu (IGR) - Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA), which could be popular with tour operators that include the spectacular Iguazu Falls in their South American tour programs. 

Until such time that American possibly starts flying from Cordoba (COR), Argentina's only non-stop flights to the United States will be from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), in contrast to some other South American countries that have flights from more than one city, such as Colombia (Baranquilla, Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, Medellin and even Armenia), Ecuador (Guayaquil and Quito) and Brazil, which has flights from approx. 7-8 different airports to the US.   

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