FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004
AMERICAN AIRLINES SUSPENDS SERVICE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND
PORT-AU-PRINCE UNTIL WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3
Challenges For Employees Getting To The Airport Led To Decision
Working With Customers On Alternate Travel Arrangements
MIAMI -- With many of its employees finding it increasingly difficult to get to work at the Port-au-Prince airport because of disturbances in the area, American Airlines announced today that it is suspending all service to and from Haiti until Wednesday, March 3.
Despite strife in the country, American has managed to maintain its services between the United States and Haiti until now. The airline operates three nonstop flights daily between Port-au-Prince and Miami, and one nonstop a day between Port-au-Prince and both Fort Lauderdale and New York's Kennedy Airport. American also has one flight a day on Saturdays and Sundays between Port-au-Prince and Boston.
American's last flight from Port-au-Prince, a nonstop to Miami, departed at 3:30 p.m. (local time) today. The next flights will not operate until next Wednesday, March 3.
"American has a long history of commitment to its Haiti services and has done everything possible to sustain its flights into and out of Port-au-Prince under very difficult circumstances," said Peter J. Dolara, the airline's senior vice president for Miami, the Caribbean and Latin America. "However, in recent days, it has become extremely difficult for our employees to gain access to the airport, and we are now concerned that we will not have enough people at the airport to properly serve our customers and handle our aircraft at the gate. We believe the best decision for our customers and our employees is to suspend the service for a few days until the situation in Haiti improves."
American said it is initiating calls to those customers booked on the flights being cancelled to notify them of the decision and assist them with alternate arrangements. The airline said it will honor the tickets on later flights without service fees, once its Port-au-Prince service resumes, and that refunds will be granted to those who request them.
For more information, customers in the U.S. and Haiti are advised to call American Airlines at 1-800-433-7300, contact their travel agents, or visit American's Web site at www.aa.com.
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