High Fuel Prices Force American Airlines Service Cuts

Ft. Worth, Texas -- High Fuel prices have prompted American Airlines to cut 15 daily roundtrip flights at two major hubs beginning Wednesday through Oct. 29.

American, along with Delta Air Lines, also plans to match a $10, one-way hike on domestic fares recently enacted by Continental Airlines.

In service cuts, American plans to suspend flights on 14 routes from Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago to destinations including Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Newark, and Washington Dulles.

American also plans to halt nonstop service between Chicago and Nagoya, Japan, at the end of this month.

Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, which knocked out refineries along the Gulf Coast, have exacerbated already record fuel prices.

On Aug. 17, prior to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, jet fuel cost $78.69 per barrel according to the Air Transport Association (ATA), the U.S. airline industry's trade group. As of Sept. 29, a barrel of jet fuel cost $109.06--a 38.5-percent increase at $30.37 more per barrel.

Katrina eliminated about 13 percent of U.S. jet-fuel refining capacity, nearly 200,000 barrels daily, according to ATA.