American Airlines delays return of RDU nonstop to London

By Lauren Ohnesorge  – Senior Staff Writer, Triangle Business Journal
Oct 7, 2020, 12:43pm EDT

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American Airlines (Nasdaq: AAL) has released new information about the return of its nonstop flight to London out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The flight, which had been suspended in March amid the pandemic, is now set to return in March of 2021, according to the airline. Initially, American had hoped to bring it back this before the end of this year. 
 “We’re constantly evaluating our network to match supply and demand and have been making regular schedule adjustments since March,” American spokeswoman Janine Brown told TBJ in an email.
In an effort to “match low international demand resulting from coronavirus,” the airline has made the decision to extend the suspension of several European flights, including RDU’s nonstop to London.
“We are hopeful demand will return in the spring and intend to resume service at the end of March,” Brown stated.
Right now, American is operating flights between London and four U.S. airports, including Dallas/Fort Worth, New York’s John F. Kennedy, Miami and Chicago’s O’Hare. The airline said it will resume its London service out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Nov. 4. And flyers will find a new “touchless check-in experience,” Brown notes. That means
flyers – even those checking bags – will be able to proceed to the gate without touching a kiosk screen. The airline has also expanded the use of plexiglass barriers and has pledged to increase the frequency of cleaning when it comes to areas it controls, from ticket counters to gate areas. American, like other airlines, is also looking at ways to increase its sanitation efforts on the plane. That means handing out sanitizing wipes or
gel on same flights. It also means using electrostatic spraying on surfaces inside the plane, along with hand-cleaning.
RDU’s other Transatlantic flight, Delta Air Lines’ nonstop service to Paris, is also set for a 2021 return.  This week Delta spokesman Drake Castaneda said the flight was still on track.