American Airlines announced it is filing for bankruptcy, but officials at airports in Iowa’s two largest cities say they don’t expect any immediate impact on them. The airline says it won’t reduce flight operations while they reorganize. Don Smithey of the Des Moines Airport Authority, says American has some things to work through.
“The company is right now beset by high fuel costs and they have some labor agreements that they have been unable to settle, and certainly after the process has gone through the bankruptcy court then we’ll begin to see it emerges and how American intends to operate their system,” Smithey says.
Smithey says he doesn’t expect any short-term disruptions in the current flight schedule, which include five flights per day by the regional carrier American Eagle to both Dallas and Chicago. Smithey says any changes would depend on how they manage the bankruptcy process.
“It’s certainly possible as they progress through the bankruptcy, and that will again be a decision that probably won’t be made immediately,” Smithey says, “they will have to reassess their financial condition and tailor their schedule to fit their financial capabilities.”
Even in a worst-case scenario, he says other carriers such as United would likely remain even if American Eagle were to pull out of the market. A spokeswoman for the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids says she also doesn’t believe that airport will be affected by the filing.
American Airlines also makes several daily flights from Cedar Rapids to both Chicago and Dallas. American is the only airline that managed to avoid filing for bankruptcy in the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001.