Come Monday, Philadelphia travelers will be able to book tickets for the four new European routes that American Airlines is introducing next year.
The airline announced this week that it's adding seasonal flights to Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in April, and to Berlin; Bologna, Italy; and Dubrovnik, Croatia, starting in June — all out of Philadelphia International Airport.
American already rolled out new flights from PHL to Prague and Budapest this summer, and the company said it's now looking to build on the popularity of those two routes.
"They both have done extremely well for us out of Philadelphia, and so we're going to go do more of it," Vasu Raja, American's vice president of network and schedule planning, explained on a company podcast. "This is going to create a ton of new markets," he said, adding: "We are excited for the future of Philadelphia."
Before American launches the flights to the four European cities next spring, it's canceling three other routes. Two seasonal flights will end as scheduled for the year, and won't resume in 2019: service from Philly to Glasgow, Scotland, will stop Sept. 29, and service to Frankfurt, Germany will stop Oct. 27. A year-round daily flight from PHL to Munich, Germany, will end March 30.
"In the current fuel environment, it's important for us to make sure we are using our assets wisely, and these flights were just not performing as well as we needed them to," said American spokeswoman Leslie Scott. But rather than move the airplanes from the canceled routes out of PHL altogether, she said, the company is trying new markets that it believes will be a better fit.
"Philadelphia is a key trans-Atlantic gateway for us, and it's uniquely positioned to get a great mix of both leisure and business traffic," Scott said.
Philly-based travel blogger Dom Perilli, who runs The Short Final blog, sees the added European flights as part of an extended boon for fliers using PHL: Aer Lingus started nonstop service to Dublin earlier this year; Icelandair introduced flights to Reykjavik in 2017; and Qatar Airways began offering flights to Doha in 2014.
"Seeing American investing in Philadelphia as a launching point to Europe is really awesome," Perilli said.
He said the warm reception extends outside the region, to customers from other parts of the U.S. who'd gladly connect through PHL. "Dubrovnik has just become an incredibly popular place," Perilli said. "Everyone around the internet is pretty pumped about these new additions."