American takes top spot with purchase of Trans World

Tuesday, April 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ American Airlines has completed its acquisition of most of the assets of Trans World Airlines, but there's much more on the horizon for the country's new No. 1 carrier.

``Gradually, over the span of several months, American will begin the extremely complicated task of merging work forces and working through all the other issues associated in joining two service companies in a dynamic industry,'' American spokesman John Hotard said Monday.

The airlines will operate independently at first, with separate payrolls, reservation systems, aircraft and policies. Eventually, St. Louis-based TWA will be fully integrated into American's operations. It was not clear Monday how long the transition would take.

American swapped spots with United Airlines as the No. 1 carrier in terms of revenue passenger miles. American's newfound supremacy could be short-lived if United succeeds in its bid to obtain most of US Airways.

More than 300 cities worldwide will be served by more than 900 aircraft from TWA and American.

The purchase of Trans World Airlines by American Airlines will have no immediate effect on American's maintenance base at Tulsa.

American's parent company bought bankrupt T-W-A on Monday.

American spokesman John Hotard says the two airlines will operate independently for a time while American evaluated T-W-A's operations. Hotard says he doesn't know how long the transition will take.

American Vice Chairman Robert Baker has said the airline's maintenance bases at Tulsa and Fort Worth, Texas, are operating at capacity.

American has about eight-thousand mechanics working at its Tulsa Maintenance and Engineering Center.