American Airlines Beefs Up Chicago Presence

The company said it will reduce operations at St. Louis and Raleigh/Durham, N.C.

By HARRY R. WEBER
|  Thursday, Sep 17, 2009  |  Updated 12:15 PM CDT
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American Airlines Beefs Up Chicago Presence

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American Airlines is beefing up its Chicago presence.

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American Airlines' plans to expand its prescence in Chicago, along with four other major U.S. cities.

AMR will add 57 daily flights at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, six new destinations from JFK International Airport in New York, two new daily American and Eagle flights at Los Angeles and 19 daily departures added to the airline's largest hub at Dallas/Forth Worth.

The airline's parent company took on $2.9 billion in fresh financing to alleviate its danger of falling into a cash crunch and avoid a bankruptcy filing.

American also will add 23 flights at Miami.

AMR Corp. said the extra funding it has received includes $1 billion in cash from an advance sale of frequent flyer miles to Citigroup. The company is treating that money as a loan.

The Fort Worth, Texas, company said it also has received $1.6 billion in sale-leaseback financing commitments from GE Capital Aviation Services, a unit of General Electric Co., and $280 million in cash in a loan from GE Capital Aviation Services secured by aircraft.

The company said it will reduce operations at St. Louis and Raleigh/Durham, N.C.

American Eagle also announced plans to add a first class cabin to its fleet of 25 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets and it signed a letter of intent with Bombardier Inc. for options to purchase 22 additional CRJ700 aircraft for delivery beginning in mid-2010.

"Today's announcement positions our company well to face today's industry challenges and allows us to remain focused on the future and on returning to profitability," said Gerard Arpey, chairman and CEO.

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