American Airlines posts a loss

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

FT. WORTH, TEX. and HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the first of the first quarter airline earnings reports, American Airlines has posted a quarterly loss over $400 million, blaming jet fuel prices.

AMR Corp. said Wednesday it lost $436 million in the first quarter, a large loss yet significantly smaller than a year ago when American lost more than $500 million.

American's fuel costs grew 24 percent from a year earlier, or $351 million more. Revenue rose 9 percent, an increase of $465 million.

Passenger yield, which represents average fares paid, grew 6.2 percent year over year.

"High fuel prices remain one of the biggest challenges," said CEO Gerard Arpey. "Steps to aggressively increase revenues, reduce capacity, control non-fuel operating costs, and bolster liquidity will help us."

Arpey said American will reduce its 2011 system capacity by 1 percent beyond cuts already made in March, a move that will save jet fuel and labor costs while also allowing the airline to retire 25 of its aged MD-80 aircraft.

Quarter at a glance:

  • Revenue: $5.5 billion. Year before: $5.0 billion.
  • Net loss: $436 million. Year before loss: $505 million.
  • Per share loss: $1.31. Year before loss: $1.52.

On April 1, American Airlines and Japan Airlines launched their trans-Pacific joint business between North America and Asia. The two airlines will share revenue on applicable trans-Pacific flights.

American flies to Hawaii from LAX, SFO, Chicago O'Hare, and exclusively nonstop from its headquarters hub at Dallas-Ft. Worth.

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