Rising fuel prices and a weakening economy have forced American Airlines to send layoff notices to 40 workers as part of a plan to eliminate 1,000 jobs from its payroll.

American spokesman Al Becker said "almost all" of the laid-off employees will be "absorbed into other positions in the company. We want to eliminate those jobs mainly through attrition."The Fort Worth-based airlines, which employs more than 90,400 workers, took the action "to reduce costs," he said. "The (cost-cutting) plan isn't completed yet and won't be for several more weeks."

Airline officials had said this past summer that American planned to trim costs sharply, and a surprise hike in the price of jet fuel last winter contributed to a first-quarter loss of $19.3 million.

An unexpected decline in domestic air travel followed, helping to slash second-quarter profits by 27 percent, to $129.2 million, when compared to the year-ago period.