Capital cuts at American, Eagle

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Yes, it does seem like an airline cuts flights, routes or employees every day. That‘s because they do. And probably should. The latest comes from American Airlines, which said earlier it would do some deep slashing. Now they’ve detailed their plans, and they include ending all service to not one, not two, but three state capitals. They’re Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) at the right, Providence (Rhode Island), and Albany (New York). And it doesn’t stop there. American and its Eagle unit are cutting out pretty much all O’Hare service to the Gulf Coast, that Katrina-ravaged region where Eagle had just begun building up in the last year.

This includes ending O’Hare flights at Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama; Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, Florida; Gulfport/Biloxi and Jackson, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Most of these routes were Embraer ERJ145 routes, and there’s just no way to make money spreading the cost of oil on 750-800 mile flights over those 44 seats.

Also drying up: St. Louis, where American inherited a hub when it bought TWA in 2001, and where it’s been cutting ever since. The city that is home to Budweiser will have 116 daily flights as of November, down from 146 in early June, and down sharply from the days in which the airport’s Lambert Field had international service to London and paris under TWA.

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