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    American Airlines Expresses Appreciation for the Support it Received in Bid to Obtain Government Approval for Trans-Atlantic Antitrust Immunity With oneworld Partners

    FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Airlines today publicly thanked the thousands of individual employees – pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, agents, fleet service clerks, management employees and more – who supported the company's application for trans-Atlantic antitrust immunity submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with fellow oneworld® alliance members British Airways, Iberia Airlines, Finnair and Royal Jordanian.

    Additionally, the company expressed its appreciation for the support it received from three unions representing more than 45,000 of its employees and key members of Congress who endorsed the application, which also includes plans by American, British Airways and Iberia to operate a joint business on flights between North America and Europe.

    DOT tentatively approved the application in an order issued on Feb. 13, stating that granting antitrust immunity to the oneworld alliance would provide travelers and shippers with a variety of benefits, including lower fares on more routes, increased services, better schedules and reduced travel and connection times. DOT also said the proposed alliance would enhance competition with the other airline alliances, which already enjoy broad antitrust immunity.

    American and its co-applicants are reviewing the conditions outlined in the DOT order and will respond with comments during the established timeframe. They also continue to discuss the benefits of their plans with regulators in the European Union.

    "We sincerely appreciate the considerable support that American received from our numerous employees throughout the company. We also thank the Transport Workers Union of America, Air Transport Division, which represents 28,000 workers at American and American Eagle; the approximately 18,000 members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the nation's largest independent flight attendant union; and members of Branch LE/2005 of UNITE the Union, one of Europe's largest trade unions, which represents American's non-management employees in the United Kingdom," said Gerard Arpey, American's Chairman and CEO. "Letters of support sent by these labor organizations and other employees underscore the public benefits of ensuring a third competitive alliance in the trans-Atlantic market and demonstrate that the employees of our great company were behind our efforts.

    "Union and independent employees alike understood that a more competitive oneworld alliance, the industry's premier alliance consisting of 11 of the top airline brands in the world, will improve competition in the trans-Atlantic market with the already-immunized Star and SkyTeam alliances. That's an outcome that is in the best interests of the traveling public, our company and our employees, as obtaining immunity will help us toward our goal of creating a stronger and more financially stable American Airlines for the long term," Arpey said.

    The application submitted by American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia also received the backing of 28 U.S. Senators, including Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who is the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee, and Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as 135 U.S. Representatives, including House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.). Forty-two Governors, 110 Mayors and 127 airports from around the nation also supported American and its oneworld partners. In total, more than 3,300 letters of support for the application were written, including letters from 615 travel-related organizations; 324 economic, education and not-for-profit organizations; and 485 corporations, small business and for-profit organizations. American again thanks all of these individuals and organizations for their support.

    The proposed joint business is designed to encourage growth and increase revenues so all the participating airlines and airline employees will benefit.  It will also offer customers access to an expanded network with more seamless service, improved connections and more convenient schedules and routing choices. The joint business also is expected to improve the ability of American to invest in improved products and services for its customers and to contribute to job security for its employees.

    About American Airlines

    American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)

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    SOURCE American Airlines

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