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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Overview

Overview

In May 2008, American served 260 cities (excluding codeshares with partner airlines) with 655 aircraft.[2] American carries more passengers between the US and Latin America (12.1 million in 2004) than any other airline, and is also strong in the transcontinental and domestic markets.
American has five hubs: Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX).[8] Dallas/Fort Worth is the airline's largest hub, with AA operating 85 percent of flights at the airport and traveling to more destinations than from its other hubs. New York-LaGuardia serves as a focus city. American currently operates maintenance bases at Tulsa (TUL) and Fort Worth Alliance (AFW). American closed its maintenance base at Kansas City (MCI) on September 24, 2010.[9]
American Airlines has three regional carriers, of which two are owned by American's parent, AMR Corporation and one is owned by a third party.
  • American Eagle Airlines operates as "American Eagle" with hubs in Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Miami and San Juan. The airline provides regional feed for American throughout North America, flying regional jets from American's hubs. American Eagle is wholly owned by AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines.[10]
  • Executive Airlines operates as "American Eagle" with hubs in Miami and San Juan. Executive flies Super ATR turboprops throughout the Caribbean. Executive Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Eagle and, by extension, AMR.
  • Chautauqua Airlines operates as "AmericanConnection", feeding American's flights from its Chicago O'Hare Hub (transferred from St Louis April 6, 2010). Chautauqua is owned by Republic Airways Holdings, a separate company with no affiliation to AMR.[11]

[edit] History

[edit] Formation

American Airways was developed from a conglomeration of 82 small airlines through acquisitions and reorganizations: initially, American Airways was a common brand by a number of independent carriers. These included Southern Air Transport in Texas, Southern Air Fast Express (SAFE) in the western US, Universal Aviation in the Midwest (which operated a transcontinental air/rail route in 1929), Thompson Aeronautical Services (which operated a Detroit-Cleveland route beginning in 1929) and Colonial Air Transport in the Northeast.
On January 25, 1930, American Airways was incorporated as a single company, based in New York, with routes from Boston, New York and Chicago to Dallas, and from Dallas to Los Angeles. The airline operated wood and fabric-covered Fokker Trimotors and all-metal Ford Trimotors. In 1934 American began flying Curtiss Condor biplanes with sleeping berths.

Current

Current

American Airlines had an average fleet age of 14.5 years in August 2010.[83] American Airlines operates an all-Boeing fleet (including aircraft produced by McDonnell Douglas before it merged with Boeing in 1997), one of only two legacy carriers which have such a fleet, the other being Continental Airlines.[84] Below is the current fleet of operating aircraft:[85]
American Airlines fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers IFE Introduction Notes
F J Y Total
Boeing 737–800 153 54[86] 0 16 Old: 132
New: 148
Old: 148
New: 160
Old: Overhead monitors, audio system
New: LCD overhead monitors, audio system
Select aircraft: Go-Go Inflight Internet
1999 Aircraft in the new configuration have AC power outlets underneath the seats in all rows.[87]
Aircraft in the old configuration have DC power underneath the seats in select rows.[88]
All 737–800 aircraft will be receiving the new cabin configuration.
N951AA is a retro jet.
Boeing 757–200 Domestic: 106
Int'l: 18
0 Domestic: 22
Int'l: 16
166 Domestic: 188
Int'l: 182
All aircraft: Overhead monitors, audio system
Business Class in International Configuration: AVOD
1989 Winglets (All)
All in International configuration (75L) have lie-flat seats in Business Class
All aircraft have DC power underneath the seats in select rows.[89][90]
Oneworld Livery: N174AA
N679AN was a former retro jet.
Boeing 767-200ER 15 10 30 128 168 All aircraft: Go-Go Inflight Internet, overhead monitors, and audio system
First and Business Class: AVOD
1986 These aircraft usually operate the American Flagship Service (AFS) trancontinental routes (New York to/from Los Angeles or San Francisco) but occasionally operates JFK-MIA.
All aircraft have DC power underneath the seats in select rows.[91]
Boeing 767-300ER 58 0 195 225 All aircraft: Overhead monitors, audio system
Business Class: AVOD
1988 Winglets (11);[92] To be fitted with winglets[93]
Lie-flat seats in Business Class
All aircraft have DC power underneath the seats in select rows.[94]
Oneworld livery: N395AN
Boeing 777-200ER 47 7[95] 16 37 194 247 All aircraft: AVOD (First/Business Class), semi-AVOD (Economy class), overhead monitors, audio system 1999 Flat bed seats in First Class
Lie-flat seats in Business Class
All aircraft have DC power underneath the seats in select rows.[96]
Oneworld livery: N791AN and N796AN
Special Livery: Pink Ribbon (N759AN)
Boeing 777-300ER 6[97]
TBA
TBA
2012
TBA
Boeing 787–9 42 and 58 options
TBA
TBA
TBA(Estimated 2014)[98]
Although it has not yet placed a firm order,
the Airline has purchase rights for 42 aircraft and options for 58 more.[98]
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 137 0 16 124 140 Select aircraft: Go-Go Inflight Internet 1983 Largest operator of the MD-82
All aircraft have DC power underneath the seats in select rows.[99]
Oldest being replaced by: Boeing 737–800
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 88 Select aircraft: Go-Go Inflight Internet 1987 Largest operator of the MD-83
All aircraft have DC power underneath the seats in select rows.[99]
Oldest being replaced by: Boeing 737–800
Total 622 106



*Aircell Internet Broadband access is available on all Boeing 767–200 aircraft and on select McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and Boeing 737–800 aircraft.[100] Note that on two-class domestic flights (including flights to Hawaii), the highest premium class is branded as First Class, while on flights to the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, it is referred to as Business Class.

Destinations

Destinations

American Airlines destinations.
  USA
  American Airlines destinations
AA aircraft at Concourse D, Miami International Airport
AA Boeing 777 at Galeão International Airport, Rio de Janeiro
American Airlines serves four continents, trailing Continental Airlines that serves five, and Delta Air Lines and United Airlines that both serve six. Hubs at Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami serve as gateways to the Americas, while American's Chicago hub has become the airline's primary gateway to Europe and Asia. New York Kennedy (JFK) is a primary gateway for both the Americas and Europe, while the Los Angeles hub (LAX) is the primary gateway to the Asia/Pacific. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has served as a regional as well for several years. However, the airline's 2009 restructuring led to the airport being removed as a focus city on April 5, 2010.[71] American serves the third largest number of international destinations, after Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
American is the only U.S. airline with scheduled flights to Anguilla, Bolivia, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay.[citation needed]
American has begun to expand in Asia, with mixed success. In 2005, American re-introduced a non-stop flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Osaka-Kansai, which has since been discontinued. American also launched non-stop service from Chicago to Nagoya-Centrair, but that too ended within a year. Also in 2005, American launched service from Chicago to Delhi.[72] In April 2006, American began service from Chicago to Shanghai. However, in October 2006, American ceased its San Jose, California to Tokyo-Narita service, leaving LAX as American's sole international gateway on the West Coast. American planned flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing via Chicago-O'Hare (on Westbound only) in 2007 but lost its bid to United Airlines' Dulles to Beijing route. AA was granted permission in September 2007 to start a Chicago-Beijing route in a new set of China routes in 2009,[73] that was originally planned to begin service on April 4, 2010.[74] American Airlines then delayed the launched for the Beijing flight to May 1, 2010 due to rising fuel prices and the weak economy.[75] After numerous delays, the airline finally announced that it will launch flights to the Chinese capital on April 26, 2010.[76] Because of a lack of proper landing clearance from the Chinese government, the airline was forced to cancel its inaugural flight from Chicago to Beijing tentatively until at least May 4, 2010[citation needed]. The airline launched service to Beijing on May 25, 2010[citation needed]. As stated above, AA has also applied for and won service between New York and Tokyo Haneda Airport, and between Los Angeles and Shanghai Pudong Airport-that which began on February 18, 2011 and April 5, 2011, respectively.

Expansion in the 1980s and 1990s

Expansion in the 1980s and 1990s

Airbus A300-600
Boeing 777-200ER landing at London Heathrow Airport
After moving headquarters to Fort Worth in 1979, American changed its routing to a hub-and-spoke system in 1981, opening its first hubs at DFW and Chicago O'Hare. Led by its new chairman and CEO, Robert Crandall, American began flights from these hubs to Europe and Japan in the mid-1980s.
In the late 1980s, American opened three hubs for north-south traffic. San Jose International Airport was added after American purchased AirCal. American also built a terminal and runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport for the growing Research Triangle Park nearby and compete with USAir's hub in Charlotte. Nashville was also a hub. In 1988, American Airlines received its first Airbus A300B4-605R aircraft.
In 1990, American Airlines bought the assets of TWA's operations at London Heathrow for $445 million, giving American a hub there. The US/UK Bermuda II treaty, in effect until open skies came into effect in April 2008, barred U.S. airlines from Heathrow with the sole exceptions of American and United Airlines.
Lower fuel prices and a favorable business climate led to higher than average profits in the 1990s. The industry's expansion was not lost on pilots who on February 17, 1997 went on strike for higher wages. President Bill Clinton invoked the Railway Labor Act citing economic impact to the United States, quashing the strike.[16] Pilots settled for wages lower than their demands.
The three new hubs were abandoned in the 1990s: some San Jose facilities were sold to Reno Air, and at Raleigh/Durham to Midway Airlines. Midway went out of business in 2001. American purchased Reno Air in February 1999 and integrated its operations on August 31, 1999, but did not resume hub operations in San Jose. American discontinued most of Reno Air's routes, and sold most of the Reno Air aircraft, as they had with Air California 12 years earlier. The only remaining route from the Air California and Reno Air purchases is San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Boeing 777-200ER in Oneworld livery
During this time, concern over airline bankruptcies and falling stock prices brought a warning from American's CEO Robert Crandall. "I've never invested in any airline", Crandall said. "I'm an airline manager. I don't invest in airlines. And I always said to the employees of American, 'This is not an appropriate investment. It's a great place to work and it's a great company that does important work. But airlines are not an investment.'" Crandall noted that since airline deregulation of the 1970s, 150 airlines had gone out of business. "A lot of people came into the airline business. Most of them promptly exited, minus their money", he said.[citation needed]
Miami became a hub after American bought Central and South American routes from Eastern Air Lines in 1990 (inherited from Braniff International Airways but originated by Panagra). Through the 1990s, American expanded its network in Latin America to become the dominant U.S. carrier in the region.

Postwar developments

Postwar developments

Boeing 707 freighter at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in France (near Basel) in 1976
After World War II, American acquired American Export Airlines, renaming it as American Overseas Airlines, to serve Europe; AOA was sold to Pan Am in 1950. AA launched another subsidiary, Líneas Aéreas Americanas de Mexico S.A., to fly to Mexico and built several airports there. American Airlines provided advertising and free usage of its aircraft in the 1951 film Three Guys Named Mike.[12] Until Capital merged into United in 1961, AA was the largest American airline, which meant second largest in the world, after Aeroflot.
American Airlines introduced the first transcontinental jet service using Boeing 707s on January 25, 1959. With its 707s American shifted to nonstop coast-to-coast flights, although it maintained feeder connections to cities along its old route using smaller Convair 990s and Lockheed Electras. American invested $440 million in jet aircraft up to 1962, launched the first electronic booking system (Sabre) with IBM, and built an upgraded terminal at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport in New York City which became the airline's largest base.[13] In the 1960s, Mattel released a series of American Airlines stewardess Barbie dolls, signifying their growing commercial success.[citation needed] Vignelli Associates designed the AA eagle logo in 1967. Vignelli attributes the introduction of his firm to American Airlines to Henry Dreyfuss, the legendary AA design consultant. The logo is still in use today.
By September 1970, American Airlines was offering its first long haul international flights from the West Coast to Honolulu and on to Sydney and Auckland via American Samoa and Nadi.[14]
A fictitious "American Airlines Space Freighter", the Valley Forge, was the setting for the 1971 science fiction movie Silent Running, starring Bruce Dern and directed by Douglas Trumbull. The freighter featured the then-new "AA" logo on the hull, along with the crew uniforms and several set pieces.
On March 30, 1973 AA became the first major airline to employ a female pilot when Bonnie Tiburzi was hired to fly Boeing 727s. American Airlines has been innovative in other aspects initiating several of the industry's major competitive developments including computer reservations systems, frequent flyer loyalty programs and two-tier wage scales [15].

American Airlines before World War II

American Airlines before World War II

DC-3 "Flagship", American's chief aircraft type during the World War II period.
In 1934, American Airways Company was acquired by E.L. Cord, who renamed it "American Air Lines". Cord hired Texas businessman C.R. (Cyrus Rowlett) Smith to run the company.
Smith worked with Donald Douglas to develop the DC-3, which American Airlines started flying in 1936. With the DC-3, American began calling its aircraft "Flagships" and establishing the Admirals Club for valued passengers. The DC-3s had a four-star "admiral's pennant" outside the cockpit window while the aircraft was parked, one of the most well-known images of the airline at the time.
American Airlines was first to cooperate with Fiorello LaGuardia to build an airport in New York City, and partly as a result became owner of the world's first airline lounge at the new LaGuardia Airport (LGA), which became known as the Admirals Club. Membership was initially by invitation only, but a discrimination suit decades later changed the club into a paid club, creating the model for other airline lounges.