September 17, 2009

American adds flights to Chicago

U.S. carrier American Airlines said Thursday it expected to add more than 50 flights to Chicago in 2010, but reduce flights elsewhere.

We are committed to making Chicago a major gateway to Asia, said ARM/American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Gerard Arpey in a letter released to the media a month away from my traditional quarterly letter.

Arpey said American planned to add flights to Chicago, Dallas/Forth Worth and Miami with smaller increases in New York and Los Angeles.

The company is planning to cut 46 daily flights in St. Louis and trim the schedule in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

I realize these will be difficult changes for some of our colleagues at those stations. But as flying shifts from one part of the network to another, so will job opportunities, Arpey said.

In the announcement, Arpey said the airline had raised $1 billion in advanced frequent flier mileage sales and $300 million in new financing from GE Capital Aviation Services. With GECAS, American had also arranged for $1.6 billion to finance new aircraft, Arpey said.

We cannot borrow our way to prosperity, he said. But, the fact that we have been able to raise the money we need ... is an important vote of confidence, he said.