American Airlines and American Eagle are planning to expand their service at Los Angeles International Airport by increasing departures by 28 percent and adding nine new domestic destinations and a daily flight to Shanghai, China.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the airlines for offering increased service to the city that will help create jobs.

“With this announcement, American Airlines is demonstrating loud and clear their commitment to Los Angeles,” said Villaraigosa.

“By bringing more flights into our great city and investing $20 million to expand their terminal at LAX, they will help spur economic development and create jobs. Los Angeles is a global destination and we are proud to partner with American Airlines, a world-class carrier and company, to connect more people to our city and provide more jobs for hard-working Angelenos.”

American Eagle will expand its newly-opened LAX terminal with $20 million in improvements, including the addition of four new gates, airport officials said. Upon completion of construction at the end of 2011, the American Eagle terminal will have 10 gates and the ability to accommodate a larger volume of travelers.

The airline estimates that this investment, coupled with its expanded service, will add approximately $600 million a year in local economic impact, increasing its annual economic impact in Los Angeles to approximately $6 billion.

“American’s $20 million facility investment at LAX and the additional flights to Shanghai demonstrate the importance of Los Angeles on the world stage,” Los Angeles First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner said.

By the spring, American and American Eagle are expected to offer 153 daily departures at LAX – a 28 percent increase from the current schedule – with the flexibility to add more flights and destinations in the future, airline officials said.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to superior service and travel choices for our customers to and from Los Angeles,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “Los Angeles has long been an important market for American and American Eagle and is a critical international gateway for us as well as our one-world alliance partners.”

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