American Airlines trims new seasonal flights from Charlotte to Europe

An American Airlines jet sports the company’s new tail design at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
An American Airlines jet sports the company’s new tail design at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Getty

About six weeks before new nonstop flights start between Charlotte and four European cities, American Airlines is cutting back its schedule because of weaker-than-expected bookings.

The new flights to Barcelona, Lisbon, Brussels and Manchester were announced in October as daily service running through October or September, depending on the destination.

Now, the Brussels and Lisbon service have been reduced to four days a week, an American spokesman confirmed Tuesday. All the flights will end about a month earlier than their originally scheduled final dates.

“As part of the ongoing process to ensure we are maximizing our fleet and profitability and matching customer demand, we have made some adjustments to our seasonal flights between Charlotte and Europe throughout this summer,” Davien Anderson said.

US Airways merged with American Airlines in December. The two companies are flying separately, under their own names, until they receive a single operating certificate, possibly next year. The four flights were planned and announced before the merger and are US Airways flights.

The new European flights are planned for Boeing 757s and 767s and Airbus A330s, which are large, long-range aircraft that seat from 176 to 258 passengers.

Such aircraft are among the largest in the new American’s fleet. They can be very profitable, but generally require a high percentage of seats filled.

American has also said that it will discontinue its nonstop flight from Charlotte to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next year. The airline is examining all of its routes for profitability as it combines with US Airways.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is renovating its international arrivals area and adding automated passport control kiosks to accommodate the higher number of international passengers expected to arrive this summer.

The airport is spending $1.7 million on the new kiosks, which are expected to be up and running later this month.