Make us your home page
Instagram

American Airlines' parent company files for bankruptcy

American Airlines is the nation’s third-largest airline and the first major one to file for bankruptcy protection since Delta in 2005. American also replaced its CEO and announced that it would cut its flight schedule slightly but its frequent flier program would be unaffected.

Associated Press

American Airlines is the nation’s third-largest airline and the first major one to file for bankruptcy protection since Delta in 2005. American also replaced its CEO and announced that it would cut its flight schedule slightly but its frequent flier program would be unaffected.

. Fast facts

American Airlines

Headquarters: Dallas-Fort Worth

CEO: Gerard Arpey (retiring); Thomas Horton (successor)

Employees: About 78,000

Fleet: (as of Dec. 31, 2010) 620 aircraft plus 294 aircraft at American Eagle

Passengers: 240,000 daily

Service: About 250 destinations in about 50 countries

Hubs: New York, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Miami

History: Founded in 1930 from the combining of about 80 small carriers

Source: AMR Corp., Hoovers, Reuters, McClatchy newspapers

DALLAS — The parent company of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, seeking relief from crushing debt caused by high fuel prices and expensive labor contracts that its competitors shed years ago.

The company also replaced its CEO, and the incoming leader said American would probably cut its flight schedule "modestly" while it reorganizes. He did not give specifics. American said its frequent-flier program would be unaffected.

AMR Corp., which owns American, was one of the last major U.S. airline companies that had avoided bankruptcy. Competitors used bankruptcy to shed costly labor contracts, unburden themselves of debt, and start making money again. Delta was the last major airline to file for bankruptcy protection, in 2005.

American — the nation's third-largest airline — was stuck with higher costs and had to match its competitors' lower fares or lose passengers.

Other airlines also grew by pursuing acquisitions and expanding overseas. American was the biggest airline in the world in 2008, but has been surpassed by United, which combined with Continental, and Delta, which bought Northwest.

In announcing the bankruptcy filing, AMR said that Gerard Arpey, a veteran of the company for almost three decades and CEO since 2003, had stepped down and was replaced by Thomas W. Horton, the company president.

Horton said the board of directors unanimously decided to file for bankruptcy after meeting Monday in New York and again by conference call on Monday night.

In a filing with federal bankruptcy court in New York, AMR said it had $29.6 billion in debt and $24.7 billion in assets.

With reductions to the flight schedule, Horton said there would probably be corresponding job cuts. American has about 78,000 employees and serves 240,000 passengers per day.

For travelers, American said it would continue to operate flights, honor tickets and take reservations.

AMR's move could also trigger more consolidation in the airline industry — some analysts believe American is likely to merge with US Airways.

The company will delay the spinoff of its regional airline, American Eagle, which was expected early next year.

AMR, however, wants to push ahead with plans to order 460 new jets from Boeing and Airbus, plus more than 50 previous jet orders. New planes would save American money on fuel and maintenance, but the orders will be subject to approval by the bankruptcy court.

AMR stockholders will be wiped out. The stock had already lost 79 percent of its value this year on fears of bankruptcy. The stock fell to 35 cents Tuesday afternoon, down $1.26 from the day before.

AMR has lost more than $12 billion since 2001, and analysts expect it will post more losses through 2012. Speculation about an AMR bankruptcy grew in recent weeks as the company was unable to win union approval for contracts that would reduce labor costs. The company said it was spending $600 million more a year than other airlines because of labor-contract rules.

What about Tampa

International Airport?

TIA officials said Tuesday that the announced bankruptcy was not affecting American Airlines flights. American accounts for about 9 percent of TIA's seat capacity, with daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, Chicago and New York City.

American Airlines' parent company files for bankruptcy 11/29/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 10:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  2. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump

    Business

    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  5. Pasco county lawyer disbarred for taking woman's money

    Real Estate

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis.

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis. 
[2016 booking photo via Pasco County Sheriff's Office]