Trivia: When did American Airlines start flying to Europe?

This is American's 1979 route map. Notice what's missing? Europe, Asia and South America. 

This is American's 1979 route map. Notice what's missing? Europe, Asia and South America. 

Good morning, everyone. 

Today's trivia question comes courtesy of a reader, who has also provided the prizes - two American Airlines amenity kits. The kits are not the current retro-models, but they're still in mint condition - sealed in plastic and packed with goodies. I'll mail them anywhere in the United States. 

Here's his question:

American Airlines today with almost 1,000 planes and 115,000 employees is one of the worlds largest airlines. But it was not always so. Per the Air Transport Association yearbook at the dawn of deregulation, AA was only the 4th largest US airline in terms of enplanements and it barely offered any service outside the United States.

With that in mind, in what year did American launch its first post-deregulation flight to Europe? And what was the route?

This is a tough two-part question. But give it a shot. Leave your guesses in the comments section. I'm going to give away the kits no matter what. So if I receive no correct guesses, I'll send the kits to the two people who come closest. 

And if you are feeling in the mood to show off, tell us the airplane American used for the route.