American Airlines 737-800. By Rob Finlayson

American Airlines (AA), which has struggled financially more than any US carrier over the past 18 months (ATW Daily News, Oct. 5), said its fourth-quarter mainline capacity will be down 3% year-over-year.

Lowered capacity resulting from a reduced winter schedule will mean 11 Boeing 757s will be retired in 2012, it added.

AA said it is taking the step "in light of the uncertain economic environment, ongoing high fuel costs and to ensure we run a reliable schedule for our customers given additional pilot retirements we anticipate throughout the fourth quarter."

AA's full-year mainline capacity is now expected to rise just 0.4% year-over-year with consolidated capacity up 1.2%. "This represents an approximate 3% reduction in the company's capacity expectations versus American's initial guidance provided in January 2011," AA stated.