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American Airlines is dropping most of its NFL team charter flights

US Airways Airbus A319, in special Pittsburgh Steelers livery, parks at Terminal E at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Thursday, March 26, 2015. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)
US Airways Airbus A319, in special Pittsburgh Steelers livery, parks at Terminal E at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Thursday, March 26, 2015. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison) Star-Telegram

American Airlines is dropping six of its NFL team charter flights, but it will continue to provide charters for the Carolina Panthers.

In a memo to employees first reported by Forbes, the airline said it will end its agreements to fly the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The company will keep flying the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles for the upcoming season, in addition to the Panthers. A company spokesperson said the changes are needed to make sure the airline has enough aircraft available for its regular passenger operation.

The three teams American Airlines will keep flying are all in major hub cities: Dallas/Fort Worth is American’s biggest hub and Fort Worth its headquarters, Charlotte is the second-busiest hub and Philadelphia is a major East Coast hub and gateway to Europe.

But Miami and Phoenix, which the Dolphins and Cardinals call home, are also hubs. Phoenix was US Airways headquarters before it merged with American Airlines in 2013. Pittsburgh was a hub more than a decade ago, before aggressive flight cuts reduced its status.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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