Despite troubles, American Airlines plans to stay in MEM

Despite troubles, American Airlines plans to stay in MEM

(WMC-TV) - It is a turbulent time for American Airlines and many Memphians are wondering if the company's uncertainty will play a role in flights and prices in the Bluff City.

The carrier is set to ground 4,000 of its employees and cancel dozens of flights each day.

American Airlines was the first airline to bring commercial flights into Memphis in the 1930s. But the Memphis Airport Authority does not expect any major changes now.

American Airlines represents 4 percent of the flights in and out of Memphis. That is eight flights each day to their hubs in Miami, Dallas, and Chicago.

"We look forward to their continued operations in Memphis," said Memphis Airport Authority President Larry Cox.

American Airlines sent out notices to more than 11,000 employees, though the actual job losses are expected to be around 4,400. That is 40 percent of the number of people who received notices.

As for what the grounded flights and job cuts mean for your American flights in and out of Memphis, Cox says he is not worried.

"I would anticipate that most, if not all flights would be operating on time," said Cox.

Cox says he has not received any communication from the airline about the latest cost saving announcements, but an airline executive made a visit to Memphis International just last week. The measure never came up in conversation.

"He reiterated to me that American is here for the long haul and hopes to grow at the right time," said Cox.

American Airlines has signed a new five year lease with Memphis International.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.