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September 11, 2003

Don Carty Speaks On Future Of Nation’s Airlines

DALLAS (SMU) — On the second anniversary of 9/11, retired chairman and CEO of AMR Corporation Don Carty spoke on the immediate future of the nation’s airline industry.

A full transcript of Carty’s remarks and photographs from the event will be available at 7 p.m. Central time at

During the discussion before an audience of students at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, Carty spoke about the future of American Airlines.

“ There’s been a fundamental transformation in doing business there. Airline management can’t constantly be saying this a ‘labor problem’ anymore,” he said.

He praised the new Transportation Security Administration:

“ The government’s doing a better job than I thought they would a year ago. We’ve had some tremendous leadership in Washington.”

And on the subject of labor relations, he said that the Railway Labor Act is ripe for reconsideration.

As for the future of travel, Carty said that the emphasis is moving away from the business traveler:

“People will always want to go places,” he said. “But as we go forward, the advance of technology is going to reduce the demand for business transportation.”

As a pivotal personality in the tragedy of 9/11, Carty was asked by the organizers of the Journal of Air Law and Commerce and SMU’s Dedman School of Law to be part of a panel discussion.

“ The airlines continue to suffer from economic duress,” said John Attanasio, dean of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, which publishes the nation’s oldest air law journal. “Sept. 11 was a military attack on America, focusing on our transportation, financial and military systems. Attempting to destroy the airlines, particularly American Airlines, the largest airline in the world at the time, was an integral part of the attack.”

Carty appeared on the panel with the former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation William T. Coleman Jr., who was appointed by President Gerald R. Ford, and ABC News aviation analyst and attorney John Nance, who moderated the talks.

The Journal of Air Law and Commerce, which has a worldwide circulation of more than 2,000 readers in 60 countries, has played a major role in generating discussion about post-9/11 air safety and commerce. Ten articles about the impact of 9/11 on the industry have been published and other forums, including one on the Victims Assistance Fund, have been organized. Six weeks after the attack, the Journal organized one of the first forum’s on the attacks, with retired CEO of AMR Corp. and American Airlines Robert Crandall and former National Transportation Safety Board head Jim Hall speaking.

Download photos from the forum here (NOTE: These are high-resolution images averaging about 2.5 MB each):