American Airlines Flying Katrina Relief Missions Over Labor Day Weekend

All-Volunteer Crews Operate Flights to New Orleans

FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — American Airlines dispatched three aircraft to New Orleans Saturday — all of them manned by volunteer crews — to pick up flood victims and fly them to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

American will fly similar missions Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Each MD80 aircraft will make two trips each day for a total of 24 trips. More than 3,000 flood victims are expected to be flown out of the stricken city as a result of American’s four-day operation.

Captain Al Madar, who oversees American’s daily flight operations and is coordinating all of American’s flying with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said everyone who works the flight is a volunteer.

“From the mechanic to the ramp worker to the pilots and flight attendants — they are all volunteers,” Madar said. “We’ve got a long list of American employees wanting to help in the effort.”

American’s airport manager in New Orleans, Tina Moman — who was airlifted out of New Orleans on Tuesday when American flew the first rescue mission into the Louie Armstrong International Airport — was on the first flight Saturday to oversee the ground operation there.

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