Editorial: American Airlines' improved earnings encouraging
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, January 18, 2013
1/18/13 at 7:01 AM
It's been a long year with a lot of anxiety on the part of about 7,000 American Airlines employees working in Tulsa. Last year at this time, AMR Corp., the bankrupt parent company of American Airlines, posted $1.09 billion in 2011 fourth-quarter losses.
This week, there's room for encouragement. A fourth-quarter report for 2012 shows a net loss of $88 million. That figure excludes bankruptcy reorganization savings of $350 million and special items. For the full year of 2012, AMR posted a net loss of $1.88 billion, compared with 2011's net loss of $1.98 billion. AMR's full year 2012 results include $1.7 billion of net negative reorganization and special items costs.
What's most promising is that last year's net revenue set a company record, up 3.7 percent to $24.85 million.
Progress might seem slow, but "momentum is growing toward emerging as a strong, healthy and vibrant competitor," says Thomas Horton, AMR chairman and CEO.
What remains to be seen is what happens with AMR and US Airways. In August, the two airlines signed nondisclosure agreements that permit them to exchange confidential financial information. Some industry analysts believe a merger of American and US Airways could come in the first quarter.
"It is remarkable what the American team has been able to accomplish, including generating record revenue and a return to an operating profit for the year while restructuring every aspect of our company," Horton said.
Those who work at American's maintenance facility in Tulsa continue to watch closely and to wait, their economic futures dependent on whether any additional "streamlining," which by any other name could mean layoffs, will occur.
The fate of AMR has been a source of great anxiety for local American employees since the parent company filed bankruptcy in November 2011.
There still are no guarantees for those employees' future. But an improving financial report beats the alternative.
Original Print Headline: AA's future