American Airlines' bankruptcy not likely to affect Augusta Regional Airport

The parent company of American Airlines has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but Augusta Regional Airport marketing director Diane Johnston said travelers through Augusta will probably not notice a difference.


Johnston said that in the past there has been no noticeable effect on flight scheduling or regularity when other airlines have declared bankruptcy.

“Based on what happened through the other airlines, there probably will not be any major repercussions,” she said. “It’s pretty early to tell for sure, though.”

Andrea Huguely, a representative with American Airlines, said it’s business as usual for now.

“Obviously, the court activities could change things,” she said.

American, American Eagle and all subsidiaries are honoring flight schedules, tickets and reservations.

Seth Kaplan is with Airline Weekly, an independent publication that covers commercial airlines, and he said cuts within the company are inevitable. Those cuts won’t be even across the company, though, and Kaplan predicts the better-performing markets will come out the best.

“Look for American hubs like Dallas and Miami, where American Airlines has a good competitive position, to come out relatively unscathed,” he said.

The parent company of American Airlines, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, seeking relief from crushing debt caused by high fuel prices and expensive labor contracts that its competitors shed years ago.

The company also replaced its CEO, and the incoming leader said American would probably cut its flight schedule “modestly” while it reorganizes. He did not give specifics. American said its frequent-flier program would be unaffected.

AMR Corp., which owns American, was the only major U.S. airline company that did not file for bankruptcy protection after the Sept. 11 attacks, which caused a deep slump in the industry.

Bankruptcy filings allowed American’s competitors to shed costly labor contracts, unburden themselves of debt and start making money again. American was stuck with higher costs and had to match its competitors’ lower fares or lose money.

American Eagle, a regional arm of American Airlines, served more than 50,000 passengers in its first year at Augusta Regional. The airline began its flight to Dallas-Fort Worth in June 2010.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Mon, 09/25/2017 - 10:17

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