American Airlines cancels Sydney, Auckland flights to mid-2021

The Qantas partner appears to agree with Alan Joyce on the timeline for regular stateside travel.

By David Flynn, July 2 2020
American Airlines cancels Sydney, Auckland flights to mid-2021

American Airlines has scrapped plans to resume flying between Los Angeles and Sydney in late October 2020.

The LAX-Sydney route, which was suspended from March 18 as part of the airline's worldwide contraction sparked by reduced demand and travel restrictions, is now scheduled to resume from mid-2021, the airline says. The same timeline applies to the restart of seasonal flights to Auckland.

"COVID-19 has forced us to reevaluate our network,” said American Airlines' Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja. “American will have a significantly smaller international network in the year ahead, but we are using this opportunity to hit reset and create a network using the strength of our strategic hubs that we can build and grow upon and be profitable on in this new environment."

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has previously said that with the exception of a few 'travel bubbles' such as to New Zealand and Singapore, he doesn't expect the Qantas' international network to restart "in any real size (until) July next year."

Read more: Qantas will suspend almost all overseas flights until middle of 2021

American Airlines has also downgraded LAX itself from being the Oneworld member's major trans-Pacific hub, with American axing "underperforming routes" to Beijing, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo – leaving only Sydney, Tokyo, London and the seasonal Auckland service on the roster,

Dallas Fort Worth will become the airline’s major trans-Pacific hub, the airline said.

The schedule reshuffle instead pivots towards Seattle, which American intends to develop as its northwest hub alongside partner and soon-to-be-Oneworld member Alaska Airlines.

Previously-announced flights from Seattle to London and Bangalore – now slated to launch in mid-2021 and late-2021, respectively – will be joined by Shanghai, a route formerly anchored by LAX.

"American has spent the past few years right-sizing its international network" and discontinuing "underperforming routes." said Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning. “Now, as demand has significantly diminished due to COVID-19, we have to be nimble, creating the network that our customers desire."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1262

A lot can change between now and October.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 262

Well we're in July now, and it's only gotten worse.

22 Jan 2018

Total posts 89

I'm honestly truly surprised they're going ahead with SEA-BLR. Looks like the pull is MSFT, Google and amazon was strong enough!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 927

This is hardly surprising. Even when they starting allowing departures of citizens, the Australian Government will not be rushing to include USA in the list of allowed quarantine-free countries.

I'm still thinking NZ around October, SIN around Christmas and maybe Japan and Hong Kong (assuming current political situation settles down) around Easter. Europe and other parts of Asia are not likely before this time next year and the Americas is anyone's guess. Of course, a successful vaccine may change this but, even then, it will take 6 months to get a reasonable coverage of vaccination within the Australian population.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1294

Reece you could add Thailand and Vietnam to that end of year list. They will have a long-ish period of no community transmission. Also China but we don't seem to be talking to them at the moment.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 359

Hard to see most countries opening until there is a vaccine.

UK to open to around 75 countries, expected announcement on Monday.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 63

I see VA are still flying LAX to Brisbane which surprises me.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 53

I think they are part of the governments "contracted" flights to get people home and key business people back and forth.

this is great news for Qantas, Delta, United & even Air NZ & Fiji Airways, who all seem to be open to flying anyone to USA in Sept/Oct 2020. I think NZ will be open to all in September & then anyone can go to USA via AKL without restriction or insane quarantine.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1294

They may be able to go to the US but certainly not back without 14 days at their own expense.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 168

is now scheduled to resume from mid-2011, the airline says.

Is it 'throwback thursday'? :-)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2019

Total posts 7

I'd like to see AA fly SYD-SEA instead as an alternative that would be there solo route, otherwise QF will eventually to foster the SEA connections

American Airlines - AAdvantage

31 Dec 2016

Total posts 5

I see LAX > SYD flights becoming available on March 25. I picked up a couple of J award tickets flying out on March 28. I hope they don't get cancelled, but I'm not totally convinced that we'll have things under control in the US before then.

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