American Airlines Profitable for First Time Since 2007

American Airlines parent AMR Corp. returned to the black for the first time in three years, reporting third-quarter net income of $143 million, reversed from a $359 million net loss the year-ago period.


American

The company rebounded from a second quarter in which it was the only one of nine US majors in the red. “While there is clearly much work to do, our results show significant improvement in revenue and reflect our continued dedication to controlling costs,” Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey said. CFO Bella Goren told analysts and reporters that the quarterly profit “is a step in the right direction” but emphasized the airline is “laser focused” on building on the period’s revenue performance and staying fiscally conservative.

She said AMR had $5 billion in cash on hand and short-term investments as of Sept. 30, up 8.7% from $4.6 billion on Sept. 30, 2009. AA’s full-year 2010 mainline capacity will be up just 1% compared to 2009 including a small 0.2% lift in domestic ASMs. Full-year 2011 mainline ASMs will rise another 1% year-over-year, she noted.

Arpey commented that capacity growth going forward will be “consistent with GDP growth in the areas of the world where we operate.” President Tom Horton said growth is currently “principally international growth capitalizing on our joint venture agreements”.

Separately, AA said that in addition to launching US Dept. of Transportation-approved Los Angeles-Shanghai Pudong 777 flights on April 5  it will increase LAX service in spring 2011 with two added daily flights each to Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami and one added daily flight each to Chicago O’Hare, Las Vegas and Orlando. New destinations to be served from LAX starting in the spring by AA and regional affiliate American Eagle include Albuquerque (thrice daily), El Paso (twice daily), Oklahoma City (once daily), Sacramento (four-times daily), Boise (twice daily), Houston Intercontinental (thrice daily), Phoenix (four times daily), Salt Lake City (thrice daily) and Tucson (thrice daily). It said some of the flying will be operated by Eagle CRJ700s featuring first-class seating.