American Airlines is to discontinue service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and London’s Stansted Airport, effective July 2. The service was launched in October 2007. The airline will continue to offer its full schedule of flights between JFK and London’s Heathrow Airport.
This decision is among a number of first-round reductions to American’s flight schedule as part of the airline’s plans to reduce capacity in an effort to significantly reduce costs. These actions come in the face of skyrocketing fuel prices and a softening economy.
In the coming weeks, AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, will be making additional schedule reductions in other markets. This will be done to achieve plans to reduce AMR’s fourth quarter mainline domestic capacity by 11% to 12% compared to 2007 levels and its fourth quarter regional affiliate capacity by 10% to 11% compared to 2007. Fourth quarter consolidated system capacity is expected to decline 7% to 8% year over year, including capacity reductions that were announced earlier this year.
To effect these changes, AMR plans to retire 40-45 mainline aircraft (mostly MD-80s and some Airbus A300s) and 35-40 regional jets. In an effort to significantly reduce costs, American Eagle also will retire its Saab fleet by the end of the year.
The airline has said that customers impacted by the schedule changes will be contacted from next week and re-accommodated on alternative flights.