Let’s be real: there’s never been a better time to fly.  More airlines are serving more destinations than ever before.  It makes covering aviation a lot of fun because there are so many exciting places to visit only a flight or two from home!

American Airlines is the latest to announce new flights for next summer, including flights to Africa for the first time and American’s long-awaited return to Israel.

  • Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN) begins June 4
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV) begins Sept. 9
  • Chicago (ORD) to Krakow, Poland (KRK) begins May 7
  • ORD to Budapest, Hungary (BUD) begins May 7
  • ORD to Prague, Czech Republic (PRG) begins May 8

These flights will be almost entirely on Boeing 787 Dreamliners (American will fly a 757 to Casablanca), realizing the dream of Boeing when they were selling it to airlines, that they would be used for primary and secondary markets due to their efficiency and passenger comfort.

Why the Casablanca flight makes a lot of sense

Looking across the Strait of Gibraltar at Morocco in 2004

Royal Air Maroc (Morocco’s national airline) will be joining the Oneworld alliance in January.  Africa has long been a hole in American’s route network, simply because it’s so hard to make money flying super-longhaul flights there.  I’m not sure flying to Africa made a bunch of sense by itself but now that there will be a Oneworld airline there for onward connections it’s a no-brainer.  American will have a relatively short flight to Casablanca, a popular tourist destination in its own right, and will depend on the Royal Air Maroc network for further connections into the continent.

I personally haven’t been to Casablanca but traveled to elsewhere in Morocco in 2000 and 2001 and found the people there to be incredibly friendly, kind, and hospitable.

The return to Israel

Many people were confused when American pulled out of Israel by canceling the legacy US Airways PHL-TLV nonstop flight a few years ago.  The reasoning offered at the time, that it had always lost money, contradicted previous executive statements calling the route “lucrative”.  Some believe some legal claims from ex-TWA employees in Tel Aviv contributed to the decision but others strongly disagreed.  Regardless, it was sad that there was no longer a nonstop Oneworld flight to Israel from the USA.

No longer.  American will fly nonstop from DFW to Tel Aviv.  In what I believe will be American’s 5th-longest flight, American will fly a 787-9 to Tel Aviv 3x weekly starting next September.

I visited Israel in 2012 and the trip was so incredible that it inspired me to start a travel blog (which you’re reading today!).

Israel is a beautiful country with great food and wonderful people.  I know there are political and religious tensions there and am choosing specifically to not mention anything about them.  I think it’s great that there will be a nonstop flight from my home airport to Tel Aviv.

Eastern Europe: so hot right now

American previously launched flights from Philadelphia to Prague and Budapest, which I’m guessing are doing really well, because they’re adding more flights from Chicago!  In addition, American will now fly to Krakow, one of Poland’s most beautiful cities.

Word is finally spreading that Eastern Europe (ok honestly it bugs me that we call places like Prague “Eastern Europe” when it’s smack in the middle of the continent but I digress) is absolutely delightful to visit in the summer.

Nice work, American

I know I can be hard on American sometimes but these new destinations are absolute winners in my opinion.  I’ve been wanting to return to Morocco and Israel for years and Budapest and Poland have been near the top of my list for Europe, so I’m very happy.

Now…DFW-Auckland, let’s see it!

 

Which new flight are you excited for the most?  Tell me in the comments below!

BoardingArea

 

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