More cuts by American AirlinesAfter grounding dozens...


More cuts by American Airlines

After grounding dozens of jets over the past year to help cut costs, American Airlines yesterday disclosed plans to shrink its fleet by at least 18 more planes and eliminate about 3,600 jobs.

The news came a day after the big U.S. airline disclosed another cost-saving strategy, saying it would hire other companies to handle many of the passenger-service jobs at 30 airports where American has a small presence.

With 22 daily departures, American is the fourth-largest airline operating at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Lehigh pact ratified in Carroll

After working without a contract for nearly three years, union members have ratified a contract at Lehigh Portland Cement Co. in Carroll County.

The 150 Union Bridge production and maintenance employees voted on the three-year contract Monday. But votes could not be tallied until union locals at other Lehigh plants voted later in the week.

Columbia Bancorp to issue stock

Columbia Bancorp, parent of Columbia Bank, said yesterday that it filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the planned public sale of 700,000 common shares.

The sale is expected to begin in the fourth quarter. Proceeds will be used to fund the probable July redemption of Series A cumulative convertible preferred stock, fund possible acquisitions of other financial institutions and for working capital.

Visa gains ruling against Discover

Visa doesn't have to let competitors issue credit cards bearing its brand name, under a decision handed down by a federal appeals court yesterday.

The decision, issued by three-judge panel in Denver, was a major blow to Dean Witter, Discover & Co., which had sought to issue a low-cost Visa card through a Utah savings banks it controls.

Membership in Visa would have given Dean Witter access to a much larger network of customers and merchant locations. Dean Witter's Discover Card has a 6 percent share of the credit-card market, compared to Visa's 38 percent share.

Hans promoted at Interstate

Interstate General Co. LP said yesterday that it named John E. Hans senior vice president and chief financial officer of the homebuilding and real estate investor partnership.

Mr. Hans, who was most recently chief operating officer and CFO of NB Engineering, replaces Donald G. Blakeman, who will remain as head of St. Charles-based Interstate General's Puerto Rico operations.


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