American's flight schedule cuts mean 1,600 fewer jobs

American Airlines said Thursday that it plans to cut more flights in its fall schedule, a move that will cost nearly 1,600 jobs at the Fort Worth-based carrier.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines also said it will shave additional capacity this year, which likewise could mean further job cuts at the world’s largest airline operator.

Speaking at the same investment conference in New York, Gary Kelly, the chief executive of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, said that summer travel demand remains weak, despite fare sales.

Gerard Arpey, the chief executive of AMR, American's parent company, told investors and analysts at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference that the airline's advanced bookings through August were down 2 percent domestically and internationally. He called that performance alarming.

"The cuts we implemented last year were helpful, and as a result we did not make major changes to our summer schedule. But looking forward, we think an adjustment to our fall schedule is warranted," Arpey said. He said the flight cuts will take effect in late August.

In a note to employees, AMR said its own capacity cuts will affect 1,200 flight service jobs, 300 airport service positions, 50 cargo jobs and 40 positions at American’s maintenance base in Kansas City, Mo., where those job reductions had been previously announced.

"We are still analyzing the full impact of these capacity cuts on jobs, and could see further reductions later," the employee letter said.


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