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Airline Chief Says War Will Hurt Industry

By Bill Raack/KWMU

St. Louis – American Airlines CEO Don Carty says the air travel industry is bracing for another hit if the United States goes to war with Iraq.

Carty says total airline industry revenue has already fallen 25 percent from $80 billion in 2001 to just $60 billion last year.

He says when the Gulf War started in 1991, the airline industry was in much healthier shape financially, so it was better able to deal with the resulting downturn in travel.

American Airlines has a hub at St. Louis' Lambert Airport. The beleaguered company is currently renegotiating all of its labor contracts in an effort to cut $4 billion in permanent operating expenses.

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