This route is a perennial nonstarter. HP tried it years ago, TW tried it more recently, AA tried it once before--all with 757's out of JFK--and look how long it lasted each time. The only airline that has apparently made NYC-SNA work is CO, but they use smaller planes (73G's), and fly in/out of Newark, where they have a major hub operation providing additional feed.
All I can think is that maybe someone got wind of a JetBlue plan to start flying JFK-SNA, otherwise I can't imagine what the folks in CP5 are thinking. Still, I wish AA the best of luck with the new route--it is a convenient one for a lot of people.
I don't think there will be enough traffice to sustain 3X daily using 57s, they will be needing more than a thousand people a day who want to go from Wayne to JFK and vice versa. With the LAX/JFK flights, not to mention the competition, this is indeed a bold move. Perhaps AA picked up a cargo contract that we're not aware of.
Others have tried before, but maybe this time will work.
There's a lot more demand for SNA now than there was three or five years ago, mainly due to the continuing housing boom in southern Orange County. If Camp Pendleton were to disappear, there'd be nothing but houses between Dana Point and Carslbad within a year or two.
Both the LA and SAN metro area saw just over 12% growth between 1990 and 2000.
Irvine grew by 29%, Oceanside by 25%, Santa Ana by 15%, Costa Mesa by 12%. And those are just the towns with populations of 100K or more.
Orange County had a great opportunity to move their airport to El Toro, and passed on it. With the continued growth, they may come to regret that. That was one of the reasons Jetblue mentioned when they went into Long Beach. They thought they could benefit from the continued growth in the area and attract people to a less congested airport. It still remains to be seen how profitable that move was...