February 28, 2024

An American airline Airbus A321-200 approaches Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia on February 24, 2021.

Daniel Slim | AFP | Getty Images

American Airlines is expanding its summer flight schedule to bet that the demand for travel will continue to grow as more people are vaccinated.

This summer, American Airlines plans to fly more than 90% of the domestic flight schedule and 80% of the international flight schedule that operated in the 2019 peak season, and add 150 new routes for the main holiday season. American said capacity was down more than 43% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

Airlines seeking a recovery in travel are weighing how much capacity to provide this summer. Demand has increased as more people were vaccinated against Covid-19, travel restrictions ease, and more attractions like Disneyland prepare to reopen. Airline executives will start this week by educating investors on their strategies when Delta begins quarterly reporting on Thursday.

“Throughout the pandemic, our trademark has been creating a schedule based on what customers tell us they want and need,” said Brian Znotins, vice president of network planning at American, in a press release. “And today they tell us that they are ready to travel again.”

With international travel still down, American plans to use some of its Boeing 777 wide-body aircraft on domestic flights from its Miami hub to New York and Los Angeles. Americans and competitors like United and Delta have added flights to destinations with outdoor attractions like beaches and mountains as travelers seek vacations where they can physically distance themselves from others.