ST. LOUIS - American Airlines employees in St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Norfolk, Va., are gathering today to celebrate the anniversary of the day they became a part of American Airlines and instantly made American the world’s largest airline.
On April 9, 2001, American closed on the purchase of the assets of Trans World Airlines. The next day Trans World Airlines became TWA Airlines LLC, a subsidiary of American Airlines, and employees at both airlines continued work on the smoothest and most successful integration in aviation history.
“Today we’d like to say thank you, and to express how proud we are of the work that has been accomplished by all the American and TWA employees who have brought us to this point in the integration,” said Don Carty, chairman and chief executive officer of American Airlines. “The addition of TWA has dramatically increased the scope and desirability of American’s network, creating more connection and schedule choices for our customers.”
American now has a route network that is unmatched in the airline industry, providing increased access to key airports in the U.S., South America, Asia, and Europe. With the addition of the St. Louis hub, American now offers more convenient service to Midwestern cities and additional east-west connections.
“TWA was a perfect fit for American, and continues to be today,” Carty said. “We’ve added an important new hub in St. Louis, staffed with veterans of the airline industry, that shores up our position as the nation’s leading east/west carrier. We’ve also added much-needed aircraft maintenance capacity in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Los Angeles.”
“At this point almost all of the remaining integration work is behind the scenes, as we have retired the TWA brand, cut over from the old TWA reservations system to the SABRE system, and transitioned thousands of TWA employees to the American Airlines payroll at American pay scales - resulting in substantial raises for most TWA employees,” added Robert Olson, head of the AA-TWA Integration Team.
American Airlines workers are on schedule to finish transforming aircraft still flying in TWA colors into the familiar “Silver Bird” livery this summer.
Integration Highlights: Sept. 1, 2001 - TWA workers at the Kansas City, Mo., Maintenance Base completed the More Room Throughout Coach conversion on TWA’s domestic narrowbody fleet ahead of schedule, adding legroom for all coach passengers. At the same time, workers began stripping, polishing, and painting TWA planes to transform them into the American Airlines “Silver Bird” livery.
Dec. 1-2, 2001 - American Airlines retired the TWA name, a brand that survived 76 years in the aviation industry. Overnight, construction workers replaced TWA signs with signs bearing the red, white and blue colors and name of American Airlines. Behind the scenes, American and TWA employees completed one of the most successful reservations system cutovers in the industry, converting from Worldspan to SABRE at midnight on Dec. 2.
Dec. 2, 2001 - Former TWA customers, already used to being served by the industry’s on-time leader, began to enjoy customer service upgrades in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo. Improved American Airlines features included the ability to get a boarding pass at curbside check-in, four OneStop Self-Service Check-in kiosks, and electronic boarding pass readers at the gates.
Jan. 1, 2002 - TWA employees moved to American Airlines pay scales and benefits which mirrored American’s. As a result, most TWA employees received a substantial pay raise. Also on this date, former TWA airport and reservations agents became American employees, and TWA pilots began wearing American Airlines uniforms.
March 18, 2002 - American Airlines opened a Boeing 767-200 main base visit line at the Kansas City, Mo., Maintenance Base with the first arrival of an American Airlines plane for regularly scheduled maintenance work.
June 1, 2002 - The largest employee group, TWA flight attendants, will begin wearing American Airlines uniforms.
June 2002 - Workers at the Kansas City, Mo., Maintenance Base are targeted to complete conversion of the TWA fleet to American Airlines colors. American is also planning to open a Boeing 737 main base visit line at the maintenance base in June.
July 2002 - American plans to open a CFM-56 engine shop at the Kansas City, Mo., Maintenance Base. The CFM-56 powers American’s Boeing 737s.