AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, has confirmed its first round of reductions to its flight schedule as part of its previously announced plans to reduce capacity in an effort to significantly reduce costs. The actions come in the face of skyrocketing fuel prices and a softening economy.
The initial changes to the flight schedule include:
Discontinuing its Chicago – Buenos Aires service effective September 3.
Discontinuing its Chicago – Honolulu service January 5, 2009. Between September 3, 2008, and January 5, 2009, American will operate Chicago – Honolulu service only on peak demand days.
Discontinuing its Boston – San Diego service effective September 3.
Restructuring American and American Eagle operations at San Juan, Puerto Rico beginning in September. This round of reductions will affect American and American Eagle flights originating from San Juan to the United States and various islands in the Caribbean.
The airline said that customers impacted by the schedule changes will be contacted starting next week and re-accommodated on alternative flights.
In the coming weeks, AMR will continue to make additional schedule reductions in other markets and will assess the location and route-specific impacts of those changes. 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 the 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.