Sunday, January 15, 2012

Now, American Airlines quits India

On the heels of Air Asia discontinuing its India operations, the bankrupt American Airlines has decided to end services between Chicago and New Delhi, leading to loss of around 150 jobs. The airline had been flying the New Delhi-Chicago route since November 2005.

However, according to sources, the American carrier will continue to offer travel choices between the US and India in conjunction with its OneWorld Alliance partners British Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and Finnair, via either London's Heathrow and through its code share partner Jet Airways via Brussels.

The airline sent out an internal email on January 9 to its employees, saying it will end the Chicago-Delhi services from March.

"We will cancel the Chicago-Delhi services effective March 1, 2012. Some operational and business changes that occurred prior to the company filing for re-organisation will result in a reduction of around 150 airport-related (airport services work group) employees," the email had said.

The airline said it will refund the passengers affected by the ending of services. It plans to close its operations in New Delhi and reduce airport jobs.

"American Airlines at present offers passengers a daily non-stop flight from Delhi to Chicago's O'Hare airport and back, flying Boeing 777 aircraft. The airline's last India -bound flight will leave Chicago on February 28 and the last return flight will depart Delhi on March 1," the sources said.

The airline has indicated that the outlook for its Chicago-Delhi-Chicago services was clouded by the financial performance of these flights, besides weak global economy and high oil prices, they said.

Recently, low-cost Air AsiaX too had announced soaring airport and handling charges, besides rising fuel prices as reasons for winding up its services to Delhi and Mumbai. The American airline announced the end of its Chicago- Delhi services even though its international traffic remains stronger than domestic one, the sources said.

For December 2011, its international traffic had risen by 3.7 per cent, while its US domestic traffic had fallen by 3.9 per cent, they said. American Airlines and its parent, AMR Corp, filed for bankruptcy protection on November 29, 2011.


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