American Airlines says it has suspended its arrangements to provide charter flights for six NFL teams because it lacks sufficient aircraft.
American will end agreements to fly the Arizona Cardinals, the Baltimore Ravens, the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2017-2018 season, according to an internal memo obtained by Forbes.
American will, however, continue to transport three teams: the Carolina Panthers, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.
It is hard to ascertain a clear pattern in the selection. Dallas is American’s biggest hub in terms of departures, passengers and employees. Charlotte is second biggest in terms of departures and passengers. Dallas, Charlotte, and Philadelphia all have maintenance bases.
But Miami and Phoenix are also hubs. Miami has a maintenance base and ranks third in both employees and passengers. Chicago is third in terms of daily departures.
“After careful evaluation, we are reducing the number of charter operations for 2017 to ensure we have the right aircraft available for our passenger operation,” said American spokeswoman Lakeesha Brown.
In the memo, American informs crew members, who had the ability to bid for the chartered flights as part of their flying schedules, of the change.
“We wanted to let you know of a strategic change to our NFL charter commitments this fall,” the memo said. “Network planning has advised we will have fewer aircraft available for charter flying in 2017 and after careful analysis it is necessary to reduce the number of NFL teams we carry this season.
“This was a very tough decision as many of the teams have been longstanding customers of the airline,” the memo says. “The decision came down to available aircraft, location and input from senior leadership.
“We have completed the difficult task of notifying the Cardinals, Ravens, Dolphins, Colts, Jaguars and Steelers that we will not be able to support them this season.
“For those of you who worked these teams, we share your disappointment,” the memo said. “We hope to have the opportunity to support these teams in the future should resources become more readily available.”
Original article can be found here: https://www.forbes.com