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Central Europe-US aviation: American Airlines chases leader LOT Polish

American Airlines announced on 8-Aug-2019 that it plans to launch three new routes from Chicago to destinations in Central Europe in summer 2020. Operated by 226 seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft, the new routes will serve Krakow and Prague five times weekly and Budapest four times weekly from May-2020 to Oct-2020.

This will add 14 weekly frequencies to a market that has only 85 frequencies this summer, based on OAG data for the week of 12-Aug-2019 on routes between the US and Central Europe (excluding Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and CIS).

There are currently just five airlines operating in this market. LOT Polish is the market leader by seats, and Air Serbia is the only other operator based at from the European end.

At the US end, all three of Delta, American and United are present since United's launch of New York Newark-Prague in Jun-2019. Delta has been present the longest, but American has grown most aggressively since its summer 2018 entry.

American's three new routes for summer 2020 will not add a new operator, but if all other capacity remains unchanged they will add 15% more capacity to the US-Central Europe market.

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