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American Airlines Files For Bankruptcy Protection

By Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor
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(File photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(File photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – While not unexpected, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by American Airlines is a jolt to the aviation industry and airports in New England.

At Logan Airport, it was business as usual Tuesday with departing morning flights to AA’s hubs in Chicago, Dallas and Miami.

Passengers won’t feel anything at the moment and service should go on without interruptions.

“Airlines have operated in Chapter 11 bankruptcy before and Massport has been made whole by every major tenant carrier currently operating here that has gone through the Chapter 11 process. We expect AMR’s filing will be no different,” Massport spokesman Matthew Brelis said in a statement.

According to Massport, American and American Eagle combine to operate 28 inbound and 28 outbound flights daily out of Logan to eight different destinations.

They are ranked fourth at Logan in amount of passengers.

However, over the past several years, American cut back on its flights to U.S. destinations including San Francisco, San Diego and San Juan.

The airline has a total of 3,400 daily flights.

For the past year, American had been trying to spin off its American Eagle regional carrier.

bobweiss American Airlines Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

As part of that proposed deal, it ended flights to Toronto and JFK Airport from Boston.

American is the only major U.S. carrier not to have gone through bankruptcy and has been facing major new competition for business travel revenue because of the combined Delta/Northwest and Continental/United Airlines mergers in the last five years.

AA has a long history at Logan that dates back to the 1930’s.

How much revenue will be lost by Massport, if any,  in the bankruptcy remains to be determined.

American was at one time a part owner and developer of Terminal B at Logan Airport.

The airline also leases a major hanger at the Boston airport, but may be giving that up as Massport plans to redevelop a number of hangers at Logan.

The carrier will continue to operate a New England and Canada sales office in Woburn, but that operation has also been scaled back in the last two years.

WBZ-TV’s Ken Macleod reports

American gave up its sponsorship this season as the official airline of the New England Patriots.

The major focus of American in the northeast has been at JFK Airport where it has faced major European competition from its One World partner British Airways and Delta.

Bob Weiss and “All Things Travel” can be heard weekends on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

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