American’s growth and expansion at Miami since 1989 is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of commercial aviation. Today, American is a critically important economic engine for Miami and South Florida, and its commitment to the region is evidenced by its long-term plans to remain a partner in the success of South Florida.
Investing in Growth
Since making the commitment to build a major connecting hub at Miami in 1989, American's daily operations at Miami International Airport (MIA) have grown to be larger than Pan Am's and Eastern's were – combined – at the peak of their success.
American's employment in the community has grown from 275 in 1989 people to approximately 9,000 making it one of the largest private employers in Miami-Dade County with an annual payroll that exceeds $415 million and 115,000 jobs are created through ancillary businesses.
American has increased jet departures from 19 flights in 1989 to 211 today. And, American Eagle, American's regional partner serves 22 destinations with 49 daily flights. American's total destinations at Miami have jumped since 1989 from six cities to 101 – 25 of them in Latin America, two in Mexico, 21 in the Caribbean, two in Canada and three in Europe. From Miami American and American Eagle serve 44 cities in the U.S.
In 1989, American carried about 2 million passengers through its Miami hub. In 2007 that total exceeded 20.7 million, an increase of 1 million passengers or five percent over 2006’s record-setting performance – many of them stopping over for visits in the area and pumping important dollars into the local community.
This growth can be attributed in great part to new routes and increased frequencies. In 2007 American and American Eagle began new service to Cozumel, Mexico; Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport; Phoenix, Arizona; Savannah, Georgia; Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida; and began direct non-stop year round service to Montevideo, Uruguay and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. And, it is poised to continue growing; in March 2008 American Eagle began service between Miami and Tallahassee, Florida and in September American will begin service to Antigua and in November to Grenada.
As American has increased its flight operations at Miami; it has also taken steps to significantly expand its facilities. For example:
- In 1994, American built a huge new cargo facility on the north side of the Miami Airport that more than doubled the airline's Miami cargo operations. The terminal includes 189,000 square feet of warehouse space, 189,000 square feet of covered canopy area and 40,000 square feet dedicated solely to the sorting of mail. At present, American is responsible for 8% of all cargo at MIA and Miami is the largest cargo operation in American's entire system.
- American has leased the former Pan Am maintenance hangar at Miami International Airport and has completed a $15.6 million refurbishment of the building. American is leasing 400,000 square feet of ramp area, 147,000 square feet of hangar space, and 96,214 square feet of support area (offices, etc.). The hangar area has three wide-body aircraft bays.
- In late 2005, American opened a new 30,000 square foot, $12 million Admiral’s Club in Concourse D. The Club can accommodate 395 customers and is available to all first class and business class international passengers as well as Admirals Club members. Passengers can also purchase a one-day pass to visit the clubs. Club members can now enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi service. The Club’s features include six showers, 16 private business carrels, a Music Room, a Children’s Play Lounge, a private VIP Lounge and a private Conference Room for up to 10 guests. In 2007, American relocated its second Admiral’s Club at MIA to concourse E. This club provides many amenities including showers. American currently operates from concourses C, D and E.
- Miami-Dade County is currently constructing the North Terminal for use by American Airlines and its partners. The North Terminal Project will construct 1.6 million square feet of new space and renovate nearly 1.7 million square feet of the existing Terminal. This work is being undertaken at a cost of $2.6 billion (USD) and is expected to be completed in 2011. It is part of the county’s overall $6.2 billion capital improvement project for the airport.
- This new North Terminal Project is being opened in phases. Currently 11 new gates are in operation in Concourse D. Once the project is completed, American will be operating from 48 new international jet gates, two American Eagle regional jet gates, 49 ticket counter positions, 90 self-service check-in devices, 29 staffed self-service baggage check-in positions, 30 curbside check-in positions, a new baggage handling system and a new international customs facility.
- It will also feature an automated People Mover System with a capacity of 74,000 riders per day and more than one mile of moving sidewalks and more than 100,000 square feet of concession space. The new terminal will be one of the finest airports in the country and will give South Florida an important new asset for economic growth and development.
American's Miami Hub positions Miami-Dade as a world-class international gateway and the nation's principal gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. Because of American's growth in Miami, MIA is the number one international gateway for the important and growing U.S. trade with Latin America and the Caribbean.
American's Miami Hub is a powerful economic engine that drives growth and prosperity for all of South Florida. AA contributes $6.5 billion annually to South Florida's economy.
A Long-Term Commitment
American is committed to Miami and South Florida – and to strengthening the region's economy and vital tourist trade. American eagerly looks forward to continue working in partnership with Miami-Dade County and the community to build a better, more vibrant future for this great area.
American in active in local, regional and international organizations that foster Miami-Dade County's economic growth as well as in a host of community programs supporting diverse causes.
The American Airlines Arena underscores American's continuing commitment to Miami, its institutions and its hopes for the future.
Last Modified July 25, 2008