American Airlines, the nation's largest passenger air carrier, announced Friday that it was canceling 15 round trips temporarily in markets it serves from its two largest hubs, Chicago O'Hare and Dallas-Fort Worth international airports.
The cutbacks will go into effect Wednesday and continue through Oct. 29, when American said it will evaluate the jet fuel market and decide whether to restore the flights.
"The skyrocketing price of jet fuel has forced American Airlines to take the regretful step," according to a statement issued by the Fort Worth-based airline, a unit of AMR Corp.
Jet fuel costs have risen 39 percent in the past month. That alone prompted the decision, said Dan Garton, American executive vice president. American said jet fuel cost 91 percent more Thursday than in September 2004, while crude oil prices had increased just half of that amount, 45 percent, in the same period.
One roundtrip flight each day is also being canceled between DFW and Atlanta; Denver; El Paso, Texas; Newark, N.J.; Washington Dulles; Houston (Bush) Intercontinental; Kansas City, Mo.; Chicago O'Hare; Toronto; Minneapolis-St. Paul; and Tulsa, Okla. Two round trips a day between DFW and Austin, Texas, also are being canceled.
One round trip flight a day will be canceled from Chicago O'Hare to Houston (Bush) Intercontinental and Toronto.
American also said it would discontinue flights between Chicago O'Hare and Nagoya, Japan at the end of October because of fuel prices.
American said it cut back markets that would have plenty of other American flights operating.
"We have made incredible progress in lowering our operational costs for over two years now. However, skyrocketing fuel costs have eaten up all of those savings and more," Garton said.
AMR shares rose 27 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $11.02 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, where they have traded in a 52-week range of $6.34 to $14.95.
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