American Airlines refuses to swap Paris airports

28th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

NEW YORK, June 25 (AFP) - American Airlines said Friday it is resisting pressure to move its Paris operations out of Charles de Gaulle airport where a roof collapse killed four people.

NEW YORK, June 25 (AFP) - American Airlines said Friday it is resisting pressure to move its Paris operations out of Charles de Gaulle airport where a roof collapse killed four people.

The world's biggest carrier, owned by AMR Corp., said the French state-run airport management group Aeroports de Paris (ADP) had proposed that it move operations to Orly airport on the other side of Paris.

American Airlines said it was preparing a comprehensive economic analysis in response to show that the move was not "financially viable" and in any case would do little to alleviate congestion.

"ADP has proposed that we move to Orly and we are preparing a study to present to them and showing them why first of all it is not financially viable and second we don't think it would even be a solution to the immediate problems of congestion," said American spokesman Carlo Bertolini.

"We definitely want to assist the authorities overcome the current difficulties there but I can tell you that such a move would be impractical for us and very expensive and would take months of planning before it could be implemented."

The capacity of Charles de Gaulle airport has been cut by around 15 percent because of the disaster on May 23, when a section of roof of Terminal 2E caved in, killing a Lebanese woman, a Chinese couple, and a Ukrainian woman travelling under a stolen Czech passport.

ADP has temporarily rerouted some of the flights that used the terminal, notably Air France services, to Orly.

The terminal was completed less than a year ago at a cost of EUR 750 million (USD 913 million).

In Paris, an airport source, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said American Airlines requested a switch of airports but "financial problems" were holding up a quick response.

That statement was flat wrong, the airline spokesman said.

American Airlines runs twice daily flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and New York-JFK, plus daily flights between Paris and Boston, Chicago O'Hare and Miami.

It also runs one daily and one four-times-a-week service between Paris and its main hub at Dallas Fort-Worth.

The carrier's US-France route is serviced by the Boeing 767-300.

According to ADP, Orly is using only around 80 percent of its total annual capacity of 250,000 flight slots.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

 

 

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