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American is planning more growth this summer from Chicago’s busy O’Hare airport. This announcement comes in the wake of a similar announcement by Chicago-based arch-rival United. Both carriers are vying for the Chicago market, locked in a battle that has put downward pressure on fares.
American’s expansion includes both domestic and international services. The new offerings include two new international flights: one to Barcelona, Spain, and the other to Guatemala City, Guatemala. The new routes take off on May 5 and July 8, respectively.
New domestic service
American is adding service to 7 domestic destinations, including:
- Appleton, Wisconsin
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Boise, Idaho
- Bozeman, Montana
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Greenville, South Carolina
American is adding seasonal summer service to Ontario, California as well. The first of the new domestic routes takes off on May 5 to Bozeman.
Construction at O’Hare?
To facilitate the growth, American is adding 5 new gates to concourse L. Amazingly, these are the first new gates to be constructed at O’Hare in 20 years. Considering it is the nation’s second-or-third busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic (kinda a close run with LAX), it’s probably long overdue.
American is also upgrading its Admiral’s Club at ORD, as well as constructing a 17,000 square foot Flagship lounge for passengers flying in international premium cabins.
Further, the city of Chicago is nudging both American and United to agree to build a new terminal at ORD. The city and the airlines also plan to hammer out the terms of their lease agreement by sometime in 2018. O’Hare is an economic engine for Chicago, generating over $100 million in tax revenue. The 30-year lease expires in May of next year.