A Closer Look At Commuter Airlines

IN THE WAKE OF A SECOND American Eagle plane crash, the Federal Aviation Administration will step up inspections and boost standards for commuter aircraft. At least 15 people died when a Jetstream plane went down on Dec. 13 near Raleigh-Durham. AMR, Eagle's parent, is in the process of closing its Eagle operations at that hub after an FAA decision to ground ATR-42 and ATR-72 aircraft in icy conditions--an order that followed an American Eagle accident on Oct. 31. AMR is scrambling to move its ATRs to Miami and San Juan. BT Securities analyst Leslie Hardin now expects AMR to post a small loss in the fourth quarter, before restructuring charges.