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3 Tulsa Flights Among AA Cuts

June 26, 2008

By D.R. Stewart, Tulsa World, Okla.

Jun. 26–In a move to cut fuel expenses that have cost it more than $2 billion in the past three months, American Airlines will eliminate more than 190 round-trip flights in November, company executives said Wednesday.

In Tulsa, where American employs 7,000 people and operates 17 round-trip flights a day to Dallas, Chicago and St. Louis, three flights a day will be grounded: two to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and one to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, company officials said.

By the end of November in Tulsa, American and American Eagle, its regional airline affiliate, will operate eight daily round-trip flights to DFW, four to Chicago O’Hare International Airport and two to St. Louis.

American’s major flight reductions will be made in Chicago, St. Louis, DFW and LaGuardia Airport in New York City, company executives said.

In Chicago, American will eliminate 62 round-trip flights a day. The world’s largest airline will cut 43 round-trip flights a day in St. Louis, and it will ground 42 flights a day at both DFW and LaGuardia, officials said.

Although layoffs are expected in connection with the reduced flight schedule, no details were provided by the company Wednesday.

“This

is a snapshot of what November 2008 will look like compared with November 2007,” said American spokesman Tim Wagner. “There will be (employee) reductions across the system, but we don’t have any details on that today. We’re still determining the overall impact.”

The flight reductions specified by the company Wednesday are in line with the schedule cuts announced by Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey last month. Arpey said rising fuel costs made the company’s 4,000 flights a day unsustainable and the cuts would create a better supply-and-demand balance.

Arpey said at the company’s annual meeting in May that American would cut fourth-quarter domestic capacity by 11 percent to 12 percent from the fourth-quarter level in 2007. He said American Eagle’s capacity would be reduced 10 percent to 11 percent.

Along with the schedule cuts, American executives said the carrier will close its operations entirely at three of its airports while American Eagle will cease flights at five airports. The two carriers serve 250 airports.

American will halt operations at Oakland (Calif.) International Airport, London Stansted International Airport and Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport in Barranquilla, Colombia.

American Eagle will close its operations in Albany, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Samana, Dominican Republic; and San Luis Obispo, Calif. American Eagle executives also said the regional carrier will close its maintenance base in San Luis Obispo.

American executives said the company will offer voluntary inducements to employees who opt to leave the company before it undertakes involuntary layoffs.

American Airlines employs 82,000 people. AMR Corp., which includes American and American Eagle, employs 95,000 workers.

AMR shares closed Wednesday at $5.66, down 5 cents or 0.88 percent. More than 21.4 million shares were traded.

D.R. Stewart 581-8451 don.stewart@tulsaworld.com

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