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Old 08-07-2002, 08:21 AM   #1
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Airlines Reduce Some Business Fares

Airlines Reduce Some Business Fares

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Several big airlines have reduced their highest-priced business fares on some routes, but industry observers say the most intriguing aspect of the fare cuts is the stealthy way in which they were launched by American Airlines.

By late Tuesday, reductions on some routes that started at 5 percent or 10 percent had gone as high as 30 percent, industry officials said.

The cuts in fares for last-minute business travel could further complicate the airlines' challenge in returning to profitability. American, the nation's largest carrier, has lost $2.8 billion in the past 18 months.

The latest fare was started quietly last week, when American offered fare reductions of 5 percent and 10 percent through a handful of big travel agencies. The reductions covered full-fare business seats and full-fare coach seats on selected routes.
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