by Michael Lowrey
This is actually a US Airways route, daily year-round service on a 254-seat Airbus A330-200. According to the company story, the Philadelphia (PHL) – Tel Aviv (TLV) flight, which started in 2009, never made money with US Airways/American Airlines losing $20 million on the route last year. The last flight will be Jan. 4.
Why this matters to us in Charlotte that aren’t flying to Israel: US Airways brought 24 A330s to the merger, a type that American didn’t operate. So far, those 24 aircraft have been used exclusively to fly routes from the (soon to be former) US Airways hubs in Philly and Charlotte. It takes two planes to operate PHL-TLV daily. So American can now do one of two things:
a). Keep the A330s flying just out of CLT and PHL and find two European routes to add next summer.
b). The airline can start flying those A330s out of pre-merger American Airlines hubs like Miami, Chicago, Dallas, or New York City. Of course, once they start doing that, pretty much all bets are off regarding European service from Charlotte, as once you commit yourself to shifting planes, there’s no reason to limit yourself to just two…