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American Airlines Cuts July Flying 1% on Pilot Sick Days

AMR Corp.’s American Airlines will cut its July flight schedule by about 1 percent as pilots at the bankrupt carrier take sick days at a “higher-than-normal” rate.

“We are constantly evaluating our operational and staffing needs,” Bruce Hicks, a spokesman, said today in an e-mailed statement. “These schedule adjustments will ensure we provide our customers with reliable service while minimizing any impact to their travel plans.”

American’s move builds on a 1.5 percent pullback in June flying by the third-largest U.S. carrier, which is restructuring in Chapter 11. That reduction was spurred by the announcement of retirement plans by 57 pilots, almost four times the number who left the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline at the end of May.

Hicks’s statement cited “a number of factors” for the July retrenchment, while only citing pilot sick time. American had to pare flights in at least two months in 2011, when larger-than-usual numbers of pilots retired to protect their pensions from stock-market declines and a possible bankruptcy filing.

AMR sought court protection on Nov. 29.

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