Looks like MDW
is the latest victim of AA
's seat-reduction manuever. Anyone want to speculate as to who will take the two leased gates over? I'd be interested to see how this will play out? How have the Ted flights in/out of MDW
fared to this point?
American to leave Midway
No layoffs expected as 5 daily flights to Texas end Sept. 1
By Mark Skertic
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 3, 2006
The world's largest commercial carrier will leave Midway International Airport this year.
American Airlines has notified city aviation officials it will cease flights from Midway on Sept. 1.
The airline has only five daily departures from Midway, all to its hub at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. Although American's presence at the airport is small, accounting for less than 2 percent of passengers departing annually, its departure increases the dominance of discount airlines at Midway.
An American spokesman would confirm only that the airline is considering schedule changes in the fall that could affect Midway. However, the Chicago Department of Aviation said it has been notified that the carrier has decided to suspend service at the Southwest Side airport.
The decision does not affect O'Hare International Airport, where American and its regional carrier, American Eagle, combine for 520 daily departures.
Like American, United Airlines also has maintained a small presence at Midway. Elk Grove Township-based United serves only its Denver and Washington, D.C., hubs from the airport.
American has been in and out of Midway several times over the years, as it tried new service offerings. It has been at Midway this time around for about five years.
"They've been in and out of Midway like a yo-yo over the years," said airline analyst Michael Boyd. "This isn't a market that does a whole lot for them."
American's Midwest commitment is at O'Hare, not a smattering of flights from Midway, Boyd said.
Locally, the market has developed with mostly low-cost carriers at Midway and larger, international airlines at O'Hare. No discounter has a large presence at O'Hare, while the country's most successful low-fare carrier, Southwest Airlines, dominates the market at Midway.
The Midway decision is not expected to result in layoffs. The airline uses a Continental Airlines gate at Midway and contracts with Continental to provide ticketing and boarding services.
American has said it plans to reduce capacity, a move the airline hopes will reduce costs and result in some planes flying more full. Unlike most of its major rivals, American has not sought bankruptcy protection, but it has been under pressure to reduce costs and return to profitability. The carrier plans to cut 27 aircraft from its fleet by the summer
The carrier's decision to pull out of Midway will leave two airlines serving the Dallas market, ATA Airlines and AirTran Airways. Instead of 12 daily flights to Dallas from Midway, there will be seven.
Southwest Airlines does not fly to the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport. Southwest does fly to Dallas' Love Field, but federal law restricts which states can be served from Love.
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune
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