American Airlines Plans Schedule Changes

Wednesday, September 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) — Seeking to reduce flight delays, American Airlines will restructure its schedules this fall at airports in Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago, its two largest hubs.

But Donald J. Carty, American chairman and chief executive officer, predicted no easy solution to the gridlock that met many air travelers this summer.

``The next two summers are going to be pretty ugly,'' Carty said Tuesday after a speech to airline analysts.

Blaming the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control system for many of the problems, Carty warned that neither American nor any other carrier can solve flight delays.

``Technologically, there is no quick fix to this,'' he said.

The FAA said more than 94,000 flights were delayed in June and July, resulting in plane loads of people sitting on runways for hours and other travelers scrambling to rebook after canceled flights.

American's restructured schedule, to start Oct. 1 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, will include eliminating some morning flights, stretching out arrivals and departures and extending the operating day, Carty said.

The Fort Worth-based carrier, the nation's second largest, said it hopes to give passengers an extra five minutes to catch connecting flights at the airport.

Starting in November, Carty said, American also will reduce its reliance on O'Hare — effectively isolating the airport, which is subject to frequent delays because of weather and congestion.

``American's being very responsible by looking at their own schedule,'' said Jane Garvey, an FAA administrator. ``I think everybody in this industry recognizes that we've got to be willing to try everything we can to deal with the volume of traffic we have seen in recent months.''

The airline ranked sixth among the nation's 10 largest carriers, with 73.9 percent of its flights in July arriving on time — behind Continental, Southwest, Northwest, Delta and TWA. United, whose pilots refused overtime flights to protest a contract impasse, had the worst rating, with just 41.7 percent of flights on time.


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