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American Airlines: In the Heartland, Support for the Wright Amendment Continues to Build

American Airlines: In the Heartland, Support for the Wright Amendment Continues to Build

FORT WORTH, Texas, May 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nearly 100 cities, chambers of commerce, airport boards, airport directors, associations and community organizations from across the nation have stepped forward to ask Congress to oppose repeal of the Wright Amendment. From Florida to Iowa and from Oklahoma to Minnesota, leaders in these communities have spoken out in order to protect the interests of their local citizens and businesses.

"It's always a shame when anyone falls for Southwest's rhetoric, because there's a better way to achieve what they want. It's called DFW and it's just eight miles away," said Roger Frizzell, American Airlines Vice President- Corporate Communications and Advertising. "Once citizens become truly informed about the Wright Amendment, they overwhelmingly side against repeal."

Knowing all too well the likely consequences of repeal, many leaders have focused on the potential negative impact on jobs, local economies and quality of life if the Wright Amendment is amended or repealed. Their concerns arise from the expected shifting of flights to Dallas Love Field should the Wright Amendment be changed. This would leave small and mid-sized communities with less air service, fewer connecting options at DFW Airport and would weaken local economies.

"As it will have negative impacts on small communities such as Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island and Moline through diminished air service, we implore the United States Congress to oppose repealing this amendment," said Davenport, Iowa One Chamber of Commerce President Dan Huber. Resolution dated January 24, 2006

Strong arguments for maintaining the Wright Amendment have also focused on the numerous available gates and generous incentives that DFW Airport officials have offered Southwest Airlines to move from Love Field, but which Southwest refuses to accept.

"For Arlington and other municipalities in Tarrant County, DFW Airport is our lifeblood for economic development capacity, international marketing access and travel connections," said Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck. City of Arlington Press Release, August 16, 2005

"Southwest could move to DFW Airport and render the Wright Amendment irrelevant," said Craig Williams, Airport Director of San Angelo's Mathis Field. "Southwest could fly to any airport they desire, and citizens in San Angelo and other rural airports would benefit from millions in freed-up federal dollars that now subsidize Southwest and Love Field." Letter to DFW Airport CEO Jeff Fegan, July 25, 2005

"Southwest Airlines should take advantage of the offer provided to them by DFW Airport," said Dan Villegas, Chairman of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "This would allow Southwest Airlines the ability to fly all over the country and provide more consumers across North Texas with efficient access, since DFW is centrally located." Coalition of Minority Chambers of Commerce Press Release, June 22, 2005

Recently, a coalition of 13 mayors led by Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald sent a letter to Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief to voice their genuine concerns about eliminating the Wright Amendment. In this letter, the mayors wrote, "we have already witnessed recent reductions in service to other small and mid-sized cities as American Airlines and American Eagle have been forced to move aircraft to Dallas Love Field to compete for their passengers. Additional weakening of the legislation would trigger further the reductions of flights to and from DFW Airport -- and communities like ours would be among the first to feel the impact. As you consider what is best for your citizens and for the region's aviation needs please remember the communities, like ours, that depend on DFW Airport." Letter to Mayor Laura Miller and Mayor Mike Moncrief, May 1, 2006

"We're optimistic that this list of supporters will continue to grow as more people around the nation learn what repeal could mean for their communities," said Frizzell.

About American Airlines

American Airlines is the world's largest airline. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection(R) airlines serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 3,900 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 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(R) 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 more than 600 destinations in over 135 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation . AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, AAdvantage, AAdvantage Cruise, AAdvantage eShopping and MileSAAver are marks of American Airlines, Inc.

Current AMR Corp. releases can be accessed on the Internet.

The address is http://www.aa.com/

American Airlines, Inc.

CONTACT: Tim Smith, Corporate Communications of American Airlines, Inc.,
+1-817-967-1577, or [email protected]

Web site: http://www.aa.com/

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