Tuesday, March 31, 2020

ROUTE UPDATE: American discontinued Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) in March 2020 (announced on 05Dec19)

American Airlines announced on 05Dec19 that it would drop its six-month old Cordoba (COR) - Miami (MIA) service, effective 06May20, although the last flights were actually operated in early March 2020, shortly before all domestic and international flights in / out of Argentina were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic on approx. 20Mar20.

The service linking Cordoba, Argentina's second-largest city, with Florida's largest city had been years in the planning but the flights turned out be unprofitable, apparently due to the following factors:  

* Little business traffic which pays higher fares

* Few sales of business class tickets, even at discounted prices

* Fewer inbound tourists from the US than anticipated

* Cordoba passengers choosing to fly from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) when airfares were lower from there, even when saving only $ 100. 

* American's morning departure from Cordoba (COR) arrived too late in Miami (MIA) to connect with many points beyond.    

* The Argentine peso experienced a significant devaluation in August 2019 with the economy in a deep recession leading to much less international travel by Argentine travelers. 

* Cargo traffic was apparently healthy but was not enough to make up for disappointing passenger results.     

Overall load factors were reported to be between 50-70%, depending on the source, generally not enough to make for a profitable operation, especially with most passengers travelling on lower airfares.  The revenue for some flights was rumored to not be enough to even cover the cost of fuel.  

Some sources have speculated that the route might eventually be resumed when American takes delivery of the Airbus A321XLR's that it has on order, aircraft that are much more efficient than the 767-300's that the airline used on the route and with many fewer seats to fill for a profitable operation.