Ends Route It’s Operated for 40+ Years
By Liam P. Cusack
New York, NY – April 4, 2017: American Airlines has made the decision to cease operation of their daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU). The final nonstop flight from JFK to SJU will depart on August 21, 2017 at 7:45 p.m. (EST). The following day, August 22nd, the last nonstop American Airlines flight from SJU to JFK will depart at 9:00 a.m. (EST). American operates a Boeing 737-800 on this route.
Once American’s flights between New York City and San Juan end, American will serve San Juan via its hubs in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Charlotte, and Philadelphia.
American’s NYC-SJU nonstop service is an important part of the airline’s New York City route network. American has operated the route for more than 40 years when it took over the route from Trans Caribbean Airlines after American acquired that airline. When news of the route’s cancellation evident many assumed the cancellation of flights to be a scheduling error, but American Airlines confirmed that the nonstop operations will cease.
Official American Airlines’ Statement:
We have made the difficult decision to cancel our service between JFK and San Juan. We continually evaluate our network, looking at supply and demand for each route we serve. We want to ensure our fleet and crews are serving routes that are profitable, better positioning us for long term success against global competition. -LaKesha Beown, American Airlines
The route has always been popular with the nonstop flights typically being full. As industry analysts point out, just because flights are well-booked doesn’t mean that the route is profitable. In recent years both Delta Air Lines and JetBlue have increased their service between NYC & SJU. In addition, United operated Boeing 777s between Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) and San Juan. Though the route is very popular and vital to the Puerto Rican population in New York’s Tri-State area, many industry-insiders believe that American could not operate this route profitably with so much added competition.
American Airlines’ flights between New York City and San Juan are a tenent of their New York City Area route network. When American first began service to San Juan, New York City was one of the first hubs to be added out of San Juan. For years, American operated massive widebody aircraft on the route. Flights would typically go out full. However, American appears to have been forced out by the competition. This isn’t the first time American was forced out of San Juan by competition. American Airlines gutted their once massive San Juan hub in the mid-2000s.