Thursday, April 05, 2012

Phase out of American Eagle San Juan hub poses challenge for Dominica air access

San Juan, Puerto Rico (TDN) -- American Eagle plans to end a 41-year era with the phase-out of its hub in San Juan and the retiring of its entire aircraft fleet (ATR-72) as part of an overhaul in the Chapter 11 restructuring of its parent American Airlines.

In a recent communication to its employees in San Juan the carrier informed its employees of the phased close out indicating that it would be completed by end-March 2013. However, airline observers believe that the winding down of the San Juan operations started as early as 2008 when the carrier cut its daily departures by 43 per cent.

As part of its more recent phase-out, the carrier will retire its remaining 18 ATRs from an original fleet of 39. At the end of February 2012, the company had already retired 21 such aircraft.

A complete shut down of American Eagles’ operations will have a serious negative impact on travel to the smaller islands including Dominica, where on a weekly basis Eagle offers 896 seats.

The countries currently benefiting from the San Juan hub include Antigua, Beef Island (British Virgin Islands), Barbados, Martinique, Grenada, Guadalupe, Dominica, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and La Romana, Punta Cana, Santiago and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 


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