Big Operational News at American Airlines

Hand in hand with the news about the new cash filling the coffers over at American today, the airline also announced that it is further cutting back on its routes into Raleigh and St. Louis.

Those assets are being redistributed to Dallas, Chicago, Miami, and New York (both JFK and LGA) and Los Angeles.

For 2010, mainline and consolidated capacity are now expected to be up only 1% (after 3.8% and 7.5% mainline capacity reductions in 2008 and 2009 respectively). However, excluding this year’s impact of H1N1 and the 2010 launch of Chicago-Beijing, mainline capacity will be flat in 2010, versus 2009.

In a special JetWire sent to employees today, CEO Gerard Arpey said the following:

“The biggest growth will take place in Chicago, where we?ll add over 50 daily flights. Our Chicago customers will gain access to 12 new cities in the U.S., and three new international destinations. We are committed to making Chicago a major gateway to Asia, and are looking forward to the launch of our new service to Beijing in the spring. Other new AA destinations will include Honolulu, Anchorage, and Vancouver. Eagle will also offer new service to a number of cities, and customer service will be enhanced as Eagle deploys most of its 25 CRJ-700 aircraft – which will be reconfigured to offer a competitive First Class cabin – in the Chicago market. Eagle has also signed a  letter of intent with Bombardier to exercise options for the purchase of 22 additional CRJ-700s for delivery beginning in the middle of 2010. These new planes will complement the 126 aircraft (84 737s and 42 787s) American has ordered from Boeing. The new CRJs will be fully financed, with no impact on American’s cash balance.

In Miami, American and Eagle together will add 23 daily flights. Including changes that will take place by the end of 2009, Miami will serve four new domestic and three new international destinations. At DFW, overall capacity will increase modestly as 17 new daily departures at AA offset some Eagle CRJ flying that is being shifted to Chicago. Service to San Salvador will be reinstated after a two-year hiatus.

In New York, our JFK service will grow by seven flights a day and include six new destinations, three domestic and three international (Madrid, Manchester, U.K., and San Jose, Costa Rica). Two daily flights will also be added at LaGuardia Airport. In Los Angeles, American and Eagle will add two daily flights.

The growth at our hubs and Los Angeles will be offset by reductions in St. Louis and Raleigh/Durham. 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, and we will work with our people in areas impacted by a decrease in flying to make new jobs available in the parts of the network that will be growing.”