Another blow to an ailing Airline Industry, This latest announcement by American Airlines comes just one day after Columbus based Skybus announced they were closing leaving passengers stranded. High fuel costs are blamed.
American's hiring freeze is the latest sign of trouble in the airline industry. Skybus, ATA and Aloha Airlines have stopped flying in the past week and are filing for bankruptcy protection. American, Southwest and Delta airlines have all had to cancel flights recently to address safety concerns about some of their aircraft.
Airlines are being hit hard by high fuel prices. American said last month that it expects to spend $9.3 billion on fuel this year, up 39 percent from last year. The Fort Worth-based airline expects to pay $2.98 per gallon, up from $2.13 per gallon last year.
Since narrowly avoiding bankruptcy in 2003, American has slashed labor and other costs. Fuel now accounts for about one-third of the airline's expenses, triple the percentage from 1999.
American is a unit of AMR Corp., which expects to report first-quarter financial results April 16.
Columbus, Ohio-based Skybus Airlines also blamed high fuel costs for ending its flights Saturday.