(December 15, 2005) -- American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner this morning reiterated (as accurately reported by LBReport.com yesterday) that the carrier has not yet announced its plans for its five LB Airport flight slots when it ends flights to/from LB from Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) airport in early 2006.
As LBReport.com noted yesterday, AA will ultimately have to decide whether to fly the slots elsewhere or relinquish them. LB Airport officials told LBReport.com at the end of the business day Dec. 14 that as of that time they had not received official notification from AA of its intentions.
AA spokesman Wagner also told LBReport.com this morning that AA's reduction of one LB-DFW flight per day in Jan or Feb 06 is not related to ending its DFW service but is part of a regular, seasonal reduction. Mr. Wagner added that AA now plans to end end its LB-DFW service by ending two flights on March 2, and two more on April 2.
A 2003 agreement between LB Airport and its carriers includes an allocation plan for large aircraft flight slots that may become vacant. The agreement stems from a May 2001 City Council action (motion by Kell, 8-1 vote, Carroll dissenting) that changed LB's flight slot allocation rules to let carriers hold flight slots longer before flying them. Within hours of the Council action, JetBlue took all then-vacant LB Airport flight slots for large aircraft. Neither Councilwoman Kell (who made the motion) nor city management (which recommended it) told the public that City Hall had held discussions with JetBlue prior to the vote. [JetBlue candidly acknowledged the discussions shortly after taking the slots.]
To help LB avoid potential litigation and FAA involvement, JetBlue cooperated with City Hall, relinquished five slots and City Hall and LB Airport carriers reached the settlement agreement (FAA approved) on allocating flight slots that might subsequently become vacant.
The FAA also indicated at the time that it believes City Hall's May 2001 action (extending the holding period for flight slots) violated federal standards and directed City Hall to reverse it...which the City Council quietly did.