AMERICAS: American shifts to Heathrow after open skies

American Airlines Inc. has said it will move its entire London service network from London Gatwick to London Heathrow Airport this year. The move is a result of the recent "open skies" treaty between the European Union and the United States which allows airlines to fly between any US city and any European city from […]


American Airlines Inc. has said it will move its entire London service network from London Gatwick to London Heathrow Airport this year.

The move is a result of the recent "open skies" treaty between the European Union and the United States which allows airlines to fly between any US city and any European city from 30 March, replacing treaties between individual countries. The treaty also removes limits on the number of flights, aircraft and routes, and lets airlines set fares according to the market.

American previously said it would keep one of its two daily Dallas Fort Worth-London flights at London Gatwick Airport after a new international air treaty in late March opens up Heathrow to more routes.

But American spokesman Tim Smith said American has secured the landing and takeoff slots it needs to move its remaining Gatwick flight to Heathrow as of April 13. It made no sense to keep its station open at Gatwick for just one flight, Mr. Smith said.

But he also noted that American also wanted to beef up its Heathrow service.

"Other airlines are in the process of announcing new flights to Heathrow and switching some of their London capacity in that direction," Mr. Smith said. "All these things came together on this decision."