Sign Up Now for
7J7 Updates and
Exclusive Content !
only $27 /year

Receive thousands of updates and pertinent information for all airlines, especially the ones that matter most to you!

We take the guess work out of flight and airport data — we are the most up-to-date resource for international airline information.


7JetSet7 Code: AAL
Status: Operational
Country: USA
Employees 130000
Web: aa.com
Telephone: +1 (817) 967 -1577
Fax: +1 (817) 967-3816

Click below for data links:
AAL-2001-11 ACCDT
AAL-2003-07 DFW-A
AAL-2003-07 DFW-B
AAL-2003-07 DFW-C
AAL-2004-01 2003 TOP25WLD AIRLINES
AAL-2004-01 2003 TRAFFIC
AAL-2004-05 NEWS
AAL-2005-10 1ST 9 MTHS STATS
AAL-2006-01 2004 STATS
AAL-2006-07-1ST-6-MTHS STATS
AAL-2006-09 JFK News
AAL-2007-01-2006 WLD-TOP-RPK
AAL-2007-04 ATW Award
AAL-2007-10 JFK NEWS
AAL-2008-01 2007-STATS
AAL-2008-01 2007-TOP-WLD-CARGO
AAL-2009-11 757 ONW
AAL-2009-12 3Q STATS
AAL-2009-12 ACCDT 737-800-A
AAL-2009-12 ACCDT 737-800-B
AAL-2009-12 ACCDT 737-800-C
AAL-2009-12 ACCDT 737-800-D
AAL-2010-08-WLD RPK-2009
AAL-2012-02-777-300ER INTERIOR
AAL-2012-02-777-300ER INTERIOR-A
AAL-2012-09 - IPAD EFB
AAL-2013-01 - NEW LIVERY
AAL-2013-01 - UPDATE-A
AAL-2013-01 - UPDATE-B
AAL-2013-05 - 777-300ER-A
AAL-2013-05 - 777-300ER-B
AAL-2013-05 - 777-300ER-C
AAL-2013-05 - 777-300ER-D
AAL-2013-05 - 777-300ER-E
AAL-2013-05 - 777-300ER-F
AAL-2013-05 - 777-300ER-G
AAL-2013-07 - NEW A319
AAL-2015-03 - NEW UNIFORMS.jpg
AAL-2015-04 - iPAD Glitch-A.jpg
AAL-2015-04 - iPAD Glitch-B.jpg
AAL-2015-04 - TOP 25 WORLD TRAFFIC.jpg
AAL-2015-05 - JFK TO Birmingham UK.jpg
AAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-A.jpg
AAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-B.jpg
AAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-C.jpg
AAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-D.jpg
AAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-E.jpg
AAL-2016-02 - LAX to Tokyo Haneda.jpg
AAL-2016-02 - Rolls Royce SelectCare.jpg
AAL-2016-03 - USA to Cuba.jpg
AAL-2016-10 INCDT 767-300-A.jpg
AAL-2016-10 INCDT 767-300.jpg
AAL-2017-03 - 2017 (ATW) Airline of the Year.jpg
AAL-2018-08 Miami Boeing Airplanes.jpg
AAL-Cabin Attendant 2018-09 x.jpg
AAL-Cabin Attendants - 2016-11.jpg
AAL-Logo - 2015-08.jpg


PO BOX 619616
DALLAS, TEXAS 75261-9616, USA

USA (United States of America) was established in 1776, it covers an area of 9,363,123 sq km, its population is 280 million, its capital city is Washington DC, and its official language is English.









AMR 1992 = -$935 MILLION (-$240 MILLION) (NET LOSS). AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL) 1992 = -$734.9 MILLION (-$165.4 MILLION).

MARCH 1993: PLANS TO GROUND 25 DC-10-10'S AND RETIRE 28 727'S BY THE END OF 1993. 757-223'S (ND181 -4) DELIVERIES.




OCTOBER 1993: 757-223 (ND186) & 500TH 767 (VN031 - 4) DELIVERIES +6 DC-10-30 GROUNDED.






JANUARY 1994: 1993 = -$110 MILLION: -0.3% (RPM) TRAFFIC, +5.25 (ASM) CAPACITY, +27% (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC.


2 727-200'S (JT8D-9A), EX-(PJE).

JANUARY 1995: 3 757'S (ND193 - 5), 2 767-323ER'S (27450) DELIVERIES.
TO CUT -900 MANAGEMENT JOBS. 1994 = +$268.5 MILLION (+$37.2 MILLION) (AMR).

MARCH 1995: 1 757-200 (RB211-535E4B), 6TH IN 12 MONTHS.


JUNE 1995: 2 757-200 DELIVERIES (8 IN LAST 12 MONTHS).







JANUARY 1996: (AMR) CORPORATION 1995 = +$167 MILLION (+$228): +3.1% (RPM) (-0.6% DOMESTIC, +9.2% INTERNATIONAL - LATIN AMERICA +12.8%, ATLANTIC +6.7%, PACIFIC +3.3%), +1.3% (ASM) (-1.9% DOMESTIC, +? INTERNATIONAL), 66.2% LF (1.1), -2.6% PAX. (AAL) 90% OF (AMR) 1995 = -$81 MILLION (-$3 MILLION).
















$6 BILLION, 100 ORDERS 737/757/767/777: 75/42 737NG'S, 12/38 757'S, 4/26 767-300ER'S AND 12/38 777'S. DEAL COMMITS TO BOEING (TBC) AS SOLE SUPPLIER, THROUGH 2018 = >$25 BILLION IF OPTIONS ARE ORDERED. 75 737-800'S, 168 TO 189 PAX WILL REPLACE 81 727'S, BUT IN INTERIM WILL HUSHKIT 40 TO 50 727'S. WILL EVENTUALLY REPLACE ALL 727'S, MD-80'S AND F 100'S WITH 3 VERSIONS 0F 737NG'S. 777'S WILL BE 777-200'S, 777-200X'S AND 777-300'S. WILL SELL MD-11'S WHEN THE 777'S ARRIVE. 35 A300B4'S TO BE KEPT THROUGH THEIR NORMAL LIFE CYCLE.
















OCTOBER 1997: 78,902 EMPLOYEES. 111,300 (AMR) GROUP.









JANUARY 1998: 1997 = +2.3% TRAFFIC (RPM), 0.7% CAPACITY (ASM), 69.6% LF (+1.1). LATIN AMERICA: +7.2% (RPM), +5.5% (ASM); PACIFIC: +0.6% (RPM), -1.1% (ASM) ATLANTIC: -1.1%, -5.1% (ASM); DOMESTIC: +2% (RPM), +0.8% (ASM). TOTAL 106.589 BILLION (RPM); 152,635 MILLION (ASM).




USA MARKET SHARE 1997 = 2ND 17.61% (RPM), 9TH LF. 1997 PRE-TAX AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL) = +$1.303 BILLION (+$1.014 MILLION). (AAL) 1997 = +$985 MILLION (+$1,016 MILLION).










+25 ORDERS (JANUARY 2000) 737-800'S (CFM56-7), 20F, 126Y TO RETIRE ALL 727'S BY 2004. 3 767'S (VS196; VS197; VS198) DELIVERIES.





EMPLOYEES (K): 1 FED 94; 2 UAL 92; 3 AAL 86; 4 DAL 63; 5 DLH 58; 6 BAB 53; 7 NWA 50; 8 USA 42; 9 CAL 40; 10 AFA 36.

PASSENGER TRAFFIC (RPK) (BILLION): 1 UAL 195; 2 AAL 172; 3 DAL 160; 4 NWA 116; 5 BAB 106; 6 JAL 77; 7 CAL 77; 8 DLH 71; 9 AFA 70; 10 USA 67.

NET ($ MILLION): 1 AMR 985 (1,016); 2 UAL 949 (533); 3 DAL 934 (248 4 BAB 754 (876); 5 SIA 670 (731); 6 NWA 597 (536); 7 FED 583 (371); 8 USA 494 (263); 9 DLH 482 (371); 10 CAL 385 (319).

PASSENGERS (PAX) (MILLION): 1 DAL 103; 2 UAL 84; 3 AAL 81; 4 USA 59; 5 NWA 66; 6 SWA 50; 7 ANA 41; 8 CAL 39; 9 DLH 35; 10 BAB 34.

FREIGHT TRAFFIC (FTK) (BILLION): 1 FED 9.3; 2 GRC 6.5; 3 KAL 5.7; 4 UPS 5.4; 5 AFA 5.0; 6 SIA 4.8; 7 JAL 4.2; 8 BAB 3.9; 9 KLM 3.9; 10 CAT 3.6; 11 NWA 3.3; 12 UAL 3.2; 13 CHI 2.8; 14 EVA 2.7; 15 DAL 2.45; 16 CLX 2.41; 17 AAL 2.40; 18 PAO 1.9; 19 SWS 1.8; 20 MTH 1.8.



$2.1 BILLION +15 ORDERS (MARCH 2000) 777-200'S. 3 757-223'S (RB211-535E4B) (29423; 29424; 21925) DELIVERIES.








757-223 (29426) DELIVERY.

1 UAL 123.3; 2 AAL 108.3; 3 DAL 102.6; 4 NWA 67.6; 5 CAL 49.7; 6 USA
41.1; 7 SWA 29.7; 8 TWA 25.0; 9 AMW 16.2; 10 ASA 11.0.

NOVEMBER 1998: IN 1999 TO RETIRE 6 727-200'S, 9 DC-10-10'S, SELL 1 MD-11 TO FEDEX (FED), TAKE DELIVERY OF 24 737-800'S, 6 757-200'S, 4 767-300ER'S, 11 777'S FOR TOTAL 677 (648). 757-223 (29427) DELIVERY.




757-223 (29428) DELIVERY.




757-200 DELIVERY (BOEING'S 800TH JETLINER). 1ST 2 777-223 (IGW) (TRENT 800).







727-223 (22015) RETURNED TO (GEH). 1ST 737-800 DELIVERY. 1 767-300ER DELIVERY.




1 UAL 200 (195); 2 AAL 175 (172); 3 DAL 166 (160); 4 BAB 117 (106); 5 NWA 107 (116); 6 CAL 87 (77); 7 DLH 72 (71); 8 USA 66 (67); 9 SIA 58 (55); 10 KLM 57 (55).


TO ACCELERATE RETIREMENT OF 78 727-200'S TO END OF 2003, 13 DC-10-10 AND 5 DC-10-30 TO THE END OF 2000. 737-823 (29507, N905AN), 1 757-200, 1 767-323ER (29604, N397AN) AND 2 777-200ER'S DELIVERIES.

MAY 1999: 82,470 EMPLOYEES.

1998 = 12.88 BILLION (FTM) (+1%).





NOW HAS 10 737-800'S & 8 777-200'S. 1ST 737-800 TO SEATTLE.

1 UAL 124.54; 2 AAL 108.87; 3 DAL 103.24; 4 BAB 72.08; 4 NWA 66.71; 6 CAL 50.94; 7 JAL 48.97; 8 DLH 46.88; 9 AFA 46.35; 10 USA 41.25; 11 SIA 35.88; 12 KLM 25.59; 13 QAN 35.22.




AUGUST 1999: 727-200 (20986) FOR PART OUT. 3 737-823'S (293-29514 N913AN; 332-29517, N916AN; 344-29518, N917AN) DELIVERIES.




1 AAL 17.37M (14.1%); 2 UAL 9.91M (8.1%); 3 DAL 7.26M (5.9%); 4 NWA 6.91M (5.6%); 5 CAL 6.61M (5.4%); 6 BAB 6.31M (5.1%); 7 JAL 4.39M (3.6%); 8 ACN 4.13M (3.4%); 9 DLH 2.92M (2.4%); 10 VAA 2.65M (2.2%).

727-223 (19493) SOLD TO AEROLINEAS INTERNACIONALES (MXC). 2 737-823'S (353-29519, N918AN; 363-29520, N919AN) DELIVERIES. DC-10-10 (46930) TO FEDEX (FED).


RETIRED 2 727-223'S (22459; 22460) AT ALLIANCE. 3 737-823'S (29521, N920AN; 29522, N921AN; 29523, N922AN) DELIVERIES. 3 DC-10-10 (46523, N123AA; 46938; 46943) TO FEDEX (FED).



737-823 (29524, N923AN) DELIVERY.



2 727-223'S (22459, N7101AA; 22460, N7102AA) RETURNED TO (GECAS) (GEH). 3 727-223'S (20188, 22461; 22462) RETIRED AT ALLIANCE.


+1 ORDER 737-800 (FOR TOTAL 105, 26 DELIVERED).




90,600 EMPLOYEES. (http://www.amrcorp.com).


1 TLS 260K (+13.7%); 2 AAL 171K (-6.5%); 3 CHA 141K (-1.9%); 4 ARW 119K (+9.4%); 5 TMP 118K (+8.3%), 6 FNE 117K (-29.7%); 7 CKF 92K (-34.1%); 8 UPS 70K (+20.3%); 9 UAL 58K (-6.4%); 10 AMJ 44K (-46.5%).

727-223 (22012, N896AA) SOLD TO AMWAY (AMA). 727-223 (22461; 22462), RETURNED TO (GEH). 737-823 (30078, N929AN) & 2 777-223ER'S (29588, N784AN; 30004, N783AN) DELIVERIES. DC-10-30 (46714) PARTED OUT.



727-223 (20991) SOLD TO AVIATION SALES CORPORATION (ASC). 2 737-823'S (29530, N923AN; 29529, N930AN) & 3 777-223ER'S (30005, N785AN; 30250, N786AN; 30010, N787AN) DELIVERIES. MD-83 (49793), MD-87 (29979) AND 727-223 (22011) RETIRED.

MAY 2000: $1.4 BILLION, +20/3 ORDERS (2001-02) 757-200, INCLUDING TRADE-IN OF 5 MD-90'S, EX-RENO (RNO). WILL ALSO RETIRE 5 MD-87'S, EX-(RNO). 3 737-823'S (30080, N933AN; 29531, N934AN; 30081, N935AN) & 1 777-223ER (30011, N788AN). MD-11 (48490) RETIRED.





737-823 (30082, N937AN) DELIVERY. 777-200ER'S (TRENT 892B) (30251, N790AN; 30254, N791AN) DELIVERIES.





TRAFFIC (RPK) (BILLION): 1 UAL 201.9; 2 AAL 177.3; 3 DAL 168.6; 4 NWA 119.3; 5 BAB 117.5; 6 CAL 93.4; 7 AFA 83.7; 8 JAL 82.9; 9 DLH 81.4; 10 USA 66.9.

NET ($MILLION): 1 DAL 1,285; 2 UAL 1,235; 3 AMR 985; 4 SIA 737; 5 DLH 633; 6 SWA 474; 7 CAL 455; 8 FED 442; 9 AFA 340; 10 KLM 324.

EMPLOYEES (1,000): 1 UPS 308; 2 FED 150; 3 UAL 96.7; 4 AAL 86.1; 5 DAL 72; 6 DLH 66.2; 7 DHL 60; 8 AFA 55.2; 9 BAB 53.1; 10 NWA 51.8.

FREIGHT TRAFFIC (FTK) (B): 11 UAL 3.58; 12 CHI 3.38; 13 CLX 3.25; 14 EVA 3.15; 15 NWA 3.02; 16 AAL 2.51; 17 NCA 2.22; 18 MTH 2.06.

3 737-823'S (29533, N938AN; 30083, N939AN; 29534, N940AN), & 1 777-223ER (30253, N792AN) DELIVERIES & MD-82 (53017) RETIRED AT OKLAHOMA CITY.

AUGUST 2000: 727-223 (1141-20988, /75 65 42, N847AA) SOLD TO AVIATION SALES (ASC). 2 727-223'S (22011; 22012) RETURNED TO (GEH). 3 737-823'S (29354, N941AN; 30084, N942AN; 30599, N943AN), DELIVERIES. +3 ORDERS (11/02) 737-800'S & 6 ORDERS (12/01) 777-200'S (IGW)'S. 1 MD-82 (53017) RETURNED TO LESSOR, DC-10-10 (26519) SOLD TO FEDEX (FED) & 1 MD-11 (48554) RETIRED.



(AMR) 1999 = +$985 MILLION (+$1.314 BILLION): 177.33 BILLION (RPK) (+1.2%) 69.2% LF; 2.51 BILLION (FTK) (+7%); 81.51 MILLION PAX (+.1%); 86,100 EMPLOYEES (+5.5%).



1 SWA 877; 2 DAL 671; 3 UAL 505; 4 USA 450; 5 AAL 416; 6 CAL 408; 7 NWA 402; 8 AMW 223; 9 ASA 143; 10 TWA 118.


2 737-800'S (29535, N944AN; 30085, N945AN) DELIVERIES.

OCTOBER 2000: 727-223 (22465) RETIRED. 2 737-823'S (29536, N947AA; 30086, N948AA) DELIVERIES. $560 MILLION, EXERCISES 4 ORDERS 737-800'S & 2 777-200'S. SOLD 3 DC-10-10'S (46947; 46948; 47828) TO HAWAIIAN (HWI). 1 DC-10-30 (46914) RETIRED.





3 727-223'S (22013; 22469, RETIRED AT MOJAVE; 5 SOLD TO (ACG). 4 DC-10-30'S (46555; 46950; 47847; 47848; RETIRED AT MOJAVE). 2 737-823'S (29537, N949AN; 30087, N950AN) DELIVERIES. EXERCISES 1 ORDER 737-800 AND 1 757-200. CONVERTS 6 767-300'S TO HAWAIIAN (HWI) CONFIGURATION (30F, 198Y).




2 737-823'S (29538, N951AN; 30088, N952AN) & 3 777-223ER'S (30256, N794AN; 30257, N795AN; 30796, N796AN), DELIVERIES. MD-11 (48527) TO FEDEX (FED).




(AMR) 2000 = +$813 MILLION (+$985 MILLION): 116.53 BILLION (RPM) (+4.1%), -.1% (ASM), 72.4% LF (+2.9).


1 UAL 128.88 2 AAL 116.51; 3 DAL 107.78; 4 NWA 94.04; 5 BAB 73.88; 6 CAL 62.31; 7 DLH 58.52; 8 AFA 57.04; 9 JAL 55.30; 10 USA 46.83.


727-223 (22467) RETIRED AT TULSA. 4 737-823'S (29539, N953AN; 30089, N954AN) AND 2 777-223ER'S (30012, N797AN) DELIVERIES. 3 MD-83'S (53184; 53185; 53186) RETIRED AT OKLAHOMA CITY. DC-10-30 (46914) RETURNED TO LESSOR.


1 727-223 (22013) RETURNED TO LESSOR. 1 727-223 (22468) RETIRED. 3 737-823'S & 2 777-223'S DELIVERIES. 1 MD-87 (49780) SOLD TO (PSS). 5 MD-90-30'S (53489; 53490; 53551; 53570; 53573) RETIRED. DC-10-10 (46522) RETURNED FROM HAWAIIAN (HWI). 1 DC-10-10 (47828) LEASED TO (HWI). 1 MD-11 (48491) SOLD TO FEDX (FED).





IN JUNE, A300'S WILL BE SWITCHED TO CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICAN ROUTES. 3 737-823'S (29542, N960AN; 30092, N961AN; 30858, N962AN) & 1 777-223ER (30798, N751AN) DELIVERIES. 3 MD-83'S (53184; 53185; 53186) RETURNED TO AWAS (AWW). MD-87 (49727) RETURNED TO LESSOR. 1 MD-90-30 (53573) RETURNED TO BOEING (TBC). 1 DC-10-10 (46948) TO HAWAIIAN (HWI). 1 DC-10-10 (47603) TO FEDEX (FED).


2 737-83N'S, 3 757-223'S AND 2 777-223ER'S DELIVERIES.


2 737-800'S, 2 757-200'S AND 1 777 DELIVERIES. DC-10-10 (46522) SOLD TO (FED). DC-10-30 SOLD TO PEGASUS (PSS).



2 737-823'S (39545, N967AN; 30095, N968AN), 1 757-223 (32384, N190AA) & 1 777-223ER (30263, N755AN) DELIVERIES. MD-82 (49931) & MD-83 (49949) WITHDRAWN FROM USE (WFU).






1 DALLAS/FORT WORTH (DFW) 15,235; 2 CHICAGO (ORD) 11,724; 3 LOS ANGELES (LAX) 7,036; 4 MIAMI (MIA) 4,770; 5 NEW YORK LAGUARDIA 4,391; 6 SAN JOSE 4,155; 7 BOSTON 3,900; 8 SAN JUAN 3,679; 9 NEW YORK (JFK) 3,676; 10 SAN FRANCISCO (SFO) 3,430.

News Item A-6: 2 737-823'S (29546, N969AN; 30096, N970AN), 2 757-223'S (32385, N191AN; 32386, N192AN), & 1 777-223ER (30264, N756AM) DELIVERIES.




See attached - - "AAL-2011-09 - 9/11 Attack.jpg



10 727-223'S (20984; 20985; 20989; 20990; 21086; 21087; 21525; 22463; 22466; 22468) WFU AT MOJAVE. 2 737-823'S (28547, N971AN; 30097, N972AN) DELIVERIES. SELLS 1 DC-10-30 (46555) TO OMNI AIR INTERNATIONAL (OAE).







2 737-823'S (29549, N975AN; 30099 N976AN), 5 757-223'S (32387, N193AN; 32388, N194AN; 32389, N195AN; 32390, N196AN; 32391, N197AN), AND 2 777-223ER (32636, N757AN; 21637, N758AN) DELIVERIES. 4 MD-11'S (48552; 48596; 48597; 48598), WFU.




727-227 (20737) WFU AT MOJAVE. 2 737-823'S (29550, N977AN; 30100, N978AN), 3 757-223'S (32392, N198AA; 32393, N199AA; 32394, N175AA) & 1 777-223ER (376-32638, N759AN) DELIVERIES. 9 727-200'S, 2 MD-82'S, 3 MD-83'S, 1 MD-87, & 1 MD-90-30 WFU.





1 UAL 116.60; 2 AAL 106.15; 3 DAL 97.60; 4 NWA 73.11; 5 BAB 64.24; 6 AFA 59.54; 7 CAL 58.76; 8 DLH 56.76; 9 JAL 50.77; 10 USA 45.93; 11 SWA 44.50; 12 SIA 42.76; 13 QAN 42.14; 14 ACN 41.49; 15 KLM 35.76; 16 ANA 33.16; 17 CAT 27.81; 18 TII 27.43; 19 IBE 25.64; 20 KAL 23.73; 21 ALI 22.45; 22 MAS 22.29; 23 AMW 19.06; 24 VAA 17.65; 25 VAR 16.02; 26 CHI 16.00; 27 EAD 14.37; 28 SAS 14.26; 29 ANZ 13.54; 30 SAA 12.70; 31 SVA 12.56; 32 BEJ 12.39; 33 ASA 12.23; 34 JAS 10.06; 35 THY 9.35; 36 AMX 8.51; 37 PAL 8.36; 38 GIA 8.15; 39 CMA 7.99; 40 ELA 7.79; 41 GUL 7.65; 42 PIA 7.24; 43 AIN 7.10; 44 TAP 6.43; 45 EGP 5.53; 46 OLY 5.24; 47 AUL 5.06; 48 FIN 4.93; 49 IND 4.52; 50 CQT 4.51.

2 727-227'S (20608; 20733) SOLD TO AAR (AFD) AND 1 727-223 (21087) SOLD. 2 757-223'S (32395, N176AA; 32396, N177AN) AND 1 777-223ER (31477, N760AN) DELIVERIES.


AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL)'S 118TH 757-200 DELIVERY (BOEING'S 1,000). (AAL) IS THE OPERATOR OF THE LARGEST 757 FLEET IN THE WORLD. 8 727-223'S WFU AT MOJAVE (21089; 21388; 21389; 21390; 21520; 21521; 21522; 21526) + DC-10-10 (47830).







727-223 (21527) WFU at Mojave.

June 2002: St Louis to Atlanta, Boston, Des Moines and Miami.

2001 Top World Airlines by Traffic (RPK) (Billion):
1 UAL 187.67; 2 AAL 170.88; 3 DAL 163.66; 4 NWA 117.66; 5 BAB 106.27; 6 CAL 98.37; 7 AFA 94.42; 8 DLH 86.70; 9 JAL 84.27; 10 USA 73.93; 11 SWA 71.59; 12 SIA 69.15; 13 QAN 67.89; 14 ACN 67.03; 15 KLM 57.85; 16 ANA 56.90; 17 CAT 44.79; 18 TII 44.04; 19 IBE 41.30; 20 KAL 38.45; 21 MAS 38.31; 22 ALI 36.52; 23 SWS 32.98; 24 TWA 31.85; 25 AMW 30.69.

AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL) 2001 = (AMR GROUP) -$1.76 Billion (+$813 Million): 170.88 Billion (RPK) (-8.9%); 69.4% LF (-3.1); 78.18 Million PAX (-9.5%); 2.56 Billion (FTK) (-8.5%); 92,900 employees (-.5%).

TO GUATEMALA CITY (737-800, DAILY). MD-11 (48552) to FEDEX (FED).

July 2002: Don Carty, (CEO) told employees "Survival means adapting to the realities ahead, much as American Airlines (AAL) did after deregulation in 1978. One of those realities is that customers "can't or won't pay extra for the convenience and amenities we offer." He emphasized that however much operations are simplified, (AAL) will retain and build on full-service strengths like its route network, roomy coach seats and frequent flyer program. "We won't be Wal-Mart-ing (AAL)!"

2 DC-10-30's (47847; 47848) parted out.

In August, Swiss (CSR) code share, Zurich to Mumbai/Delhi. In September, New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Chicago Midway (MDW). Code share with (CSR) from Zurich to Krakow, Warsaw and Muscat.

August 2002: Announces it will restructure and shed -7,000 jobs by March.

Will defer more Boeing (TBC) airplane deliveries. Has 67 on order, worth <$6.2 Billion. 35 were to be delivered in 2002, but were deferred, after 9/11/01 industry downturn. Will phase out its fleet of 74 F-100's during 1st Quarter 2003 to 3rd Quarter 2005 and is accelerating retirement of 9 767-300's, ex-(TWA) to November 2002. Is removing first class (F) seats from 767's on many international routes for +12% increase to 212 passengers (30C, 60-inch pitch; 182Y).

727-223 (21389) sold to Capital Cargo Airlines (CCA). 2 DC-10-30's (47847; 47848) scrapped at Mojave.

In April, Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo Narita (777-200, daily).

September 2002: Agreement with SN Brussels Airlines (DAT) to sell tickets on each other's flights. Expands code share with Swiss (CSR) to 5 additional points in Poland, India and the Middle East. To Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. In Novemnber, Miami to Punta Cana.

In October, to close 8 cargo stations: Memphis, Moline, New Orleans, Portland (Oregon), San Diego, Springfield (Missouri), Calgary and Vancouver.

Is investing $14.6 Million to expand and improve its terminals at St Louis International Airport to emphasize its commitment to the airport.

727-223 (20989) donated to College of DuPage. 727-227 (20611) sold to Kalitta Air (KAC). 727-223 (21385) & 727-227 (20729) sold to (KCP) Leasing.

October 2002: Currently, (AMR) has 111,000 workers (128,000), and plans to cut to 93,000 by early 2004.

In December, Chicago to Puerto Vallarta, and Boston to Cancun (weekends). Expands code share with Swiss (CSR) to include Accra, Budapest, Dubai, Johannesburg, Lagos and Tirana.

USA and Hong Kong, reach an "open skies" agreement at Chek Lap Kok (CLK), Hong Kong's International airport, which increases 5th-freedom rights for passengers and cargo. Cathay (CAT) code shares with American (AAL).

2 727-227's (20731; 20738) sold to (KCP) Leasing.

November 2002: American Airlines (AAL) 737-800 Engineering transferred Systems and Structures responsibilities from Tulsa (TUL) to Kansas City (MCI). Avionics 737 Engineering will remain in (TUL) for the time being.

St Louis to Las Vegas/Newark. New York LaGuardia to West Palm Beach. Boston to Providenciales (Saturdays); Boston to St Thomas (3x-weekly), and to Port-au-Prince (Saturdays). Chicago (ORD) to Los Cabos. In December, Chicago to Fort Myers. New York LaGuardia to Fort Myers (weekends). New York (JFK) to Chicago/Port of Spain (Saturdays). Dalls/Fort Worth (DFW) to Fort Myers. Boston to West Palm Beach. In February, Boston to Cancun (weekends).

1 727-223 (21371) sold to Kalitta (KAC). 2 727-223's (21374; 21387) sold to (KCP) Leasing. Sold 1 767-300ER and 5 MD-82's to Arkia Israel Airlines (ARK), which it will lease back for 13 years and 12 years, respectively. (ARK) paid $91.4 Million for 6 airplanes and expects to receive over the basic leasing period, a total of $138.2 Million.

December 2002: St Louis to Baltimore, Indianapolis, New York (LGA), San Francisco (SFO). St Louis to Miami (MIA) (weekends). Chicago and Dallas to Jackson Hole (weekends). Chicago to Acapulco (weekends). Chicago to West Palm Beach. (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), & (MIA)/New York (LGA) to Eagle. In May, (JFK) to Rome, & June, (JFK) to Barcelona. Code share with Swiss (CSR), Zurich to Tel Aviv.

4 727-223's (21382; 21520; 21525; 21526), sold to (ST) Aircorp. To accelerate retirement of F 100's with 1st in January and all remaining 74 gone by 2nd of 2004.

January 2003: (AMR) Corporation 2002 = -$3.5 Billion (-$1.76 Billion): 121.68 Billion (RPM) (-4.2%); -6.7% (ASM); 70.7% LF (+1.9). American Airlines (AAL) is burning about $5 Million in cash a day and must borrow to meet its payroll.

As a result of cutting its flight schedule, (AAL) needs -1,100 fewer cabin attendants (CA). This round of layoffs is limited to -400 in St Louis and -343 (CA) based at Lambert Field will leave by the end of the month. To avert some layoffs systemwide, 493 opted to take voluntary leaves of absence or share jobs.

767-323ER (33081, N342AN) delivery. A300B4-605R (513), WFU at Roswell. F 100 (11434), stored Mojave.

February 2003: Began interline e-ticketing with US Airways (USA) and Alaska Airlines (ASA), enabling customers to use a single e-ticket when their itineraries include travel on both or three carriers.

727-227 (20730, N722AA) sold to Ascend Aviation. 2 767-223's (22307, N301AA; 22318, N316AA), stored at Alliance. 767-323ER (33082, N343AN) delivery. 2 DC-10-10's (46525; 46948), returned from Hawaiian (HWI), WFU at Mojave.

March 2003: Next month, St Louis - Hartford. In May, Albuquerque - St Louis. Boston - Bermuda. Boston - Port au Prince (3/week).

Next month, will reduce its international schedule by -6%, in addition to previously announced -7% cut in domestic capacity.

2 727-227's (20613; 20732), & 727-223 (21390), sold to KCP Leasing. 2 767-223's (22309; 22312) & 2 767-223ER's (22316; 22317), WFU at Roswell. 767-323ER (33083, N344AN) delivery. 2 DC-10-10's (46984; 47828) & DC-10-30 (46996, N129AA), returned from Hawaiian (HWI), WFU at Mojave. 4 F 100's (11417; 11437; 11466; 11480), WFU at Mojave.

April 2003: Tentative agreements with all 3 of its major unions will save +$1.8 Billion in annual expenses and will allow American Airlines (AAL) to avoid an immediate bankruptcy filing.

Along with Air France (AFA), is testing Boeing (TBC)'s new data-monitoring and prognostic service, "Airplane Health Management," to ensure its availability to airlines in 1st Quarter 2004.

98,000 employees.

Operates a worldwide network of scheduled services to more than >160 cities.

Parent organization/shareholders: AMR (100%).

Owns: Iberia (IBE) (1%).

Main Base: Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW).

Hubs: San Juan (Luis Munoz Marin International) (SJU); Chicao O'Hare International (ORD); St Louis (Lambert International) (STL); & Miami International (MIA).

In June, Chicago - Anchorage; Dallas/St Louis - Anchorage; Chicago/St Louis - Vancouver; Dallas - Fort Myers.

Don Carty, CEO, resigns and is replaced by Gerard Arpey. Ed Brennan, Chairman AMR Corp.

Plans to lay off about -7,100 union workers.

F 100 (11447) WFU at Mojave.

May 2003: Code share with SN Brussels (DAT), beyond Brussels to Copenhagen, Milan, Munich, Stockholm, and Vienna. Later to Berlin, Geneva, Marseilles, Nice, and Venice. New York (JFK) to Seattle.

Greg Hall, VP Heavy Maintenance, Tulsa, resigned to join United (UAL) as Senior VP Maintenance & Engineering.

Will lay off -3,123 flight attendants (CA) in July, with another -1,502 going on voluntary leave.

Sells 10 727-200's to KCP Leasing & Services for startup of sports/VIP charters as Ascend Aviation, San Bernadino, with initial 3 airplanes being operated by Ryan International (RYN) on its behalf. 767-323ER (33085, N346AN) & 777-223ER (32879, N765AN) deliveries. 3 F 100's (11460; 11478; 11491) WFU at Mojave.

June 2003: (DOT) OKs code share with British Airways (BAB).

American Airlines (AAL) generated +ve cash flow from operations, mostly from reduced costs and improved unit revenues, but are still depressed, relative to historical levels.

2002 = 195.90 Billion (RPK) (-4.2%); -6.7% (ASK); 70.7% LF (+1.9); 94.1 Million PAX (-5.9%); 3.23 Billion (FTK) (+7.5%); 93,500 employees (-4.3%).

1 (AAL) 195.81; 2 (UAL) 176.15; 3 (DAL) 152.66; 4 (NWA) 115.91; 5 (BAB) 99.71; 6 (AFA) 96.80; 7 (CAL) 95.51; 8 (DLH) Grp 88.57; 9 (JAL) 83.54; 10 (QAN) 75.23; 11 (SWA) 73.05; 12 (SIA) 71.12; 13 (ACN) 69.42; 14 (USA) 69.42; 15 (KLM) 58.89; 16 (ANA) 52.97; 17 (CAT) 49.04; 18 (TII) 48.51; 19 (KAL) 41.80; 20 (IBE) 40.47; 21 (MAS) 36.90; 22 (AMW) 31.98; 23 (SAS) Grp 30.91; 24 (EAD) 30.17; 25 (ALI) 29.84.

1 (FED) 13.20; 2 (LUB) 7.16; 3 (UPS) 6.62; 4 (KAL) 6.25; 5 (SIA) 6.08; 6 (AFA) 4.87; 7 (CAT) 4.85; 8 (CHI) 4.60; 9 (JAL) 4.39; 10 (CLX) 4.16; 11 (BAB) 4.12; 12 (KLM) 3.99; 13 (EVA) 3.28; 14 (NWA) 3.24; 15 (AAL) 2.93; 16 (UAL) 2.79; 17 (AAR) 2.75; 18 (NCA) 2.21; 19 (POA) 1.97; 20 (EAD) 1.96; 21 (MAS) 1.92; 22 (BEJ) 1.88; 23 (TII) 1.824; 24 (DAL) 1.823; 25 (ACN) 1.58.

MD-82 (53089) WFU at Roswell.

July 2003: 90,000 enmployees. SITA: HDQPRAA.

Oneworld (ONW) partners American (AAL) and LanChile (LAN) introduced interline e-ticketing.

Will close its St Louis reservations center in September, resulting in furlough of -2,000 employees.

767-323ER (33088, N349AN) delivery.

August 2003: 767-323ER (33089, N350AN) delivery. 2 F 100's (11483, N1463A; 11490, N1464A), WFU at Mojave.

September 2003: In November, Dallas - Providence. In January, Dallas - Cozumel. Miami - Liberia (Costa Rica) (737-800, 142 PAX, 3/week).

Started 1st phase of code share with British Airways (BAB) on flights in the USA & UK. American Airlines (AAL) will place its code on (BAB) flights to destinations in the UK, continental Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. (BAB) will code share on (AAL) flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, New York (JFK), Boston, Chicago (ORD), Miami, and Los Angeles to cities in the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. No code share on each others transatlantic services to London. However, (AAL) code share OK on (BAB)'s daily nonstops New York (JFK) to Manchester. In turn, (BAB) code share on (AAL) flights (ORD) to Manchester & Glasgow.

Swiss (CSR) decides to join British Airways (BAB) and American Airlines (AAL) in the OneWorld (ONW) alliance. Swiss (CSR) has a separate agreement with (BAB) for a "strategic alliance."

In 1st Quarter/2004, to open 2 lines at St Louis to convert flight decks & cabins on 17 ex-(TWA) MD-80's to (AAL) standards, saving 190 of -350 planned mechanic Maintenance Technicians (MT) cuts. Kansas City is converting remaining 1 to 3 (36 complete).

3 767-223's (22311; 22313; 22334) WFU at Roswell. 7 F 100's (11352; 11403; 11411; 11419; 11425; 11427; 11481) WFU at Mojave.

October 2003: Captain Mark Hettermann, VP Flight, Susan Garcia, VP Real-time & Analytical Systems, and Roger Frizzell, VP Corporate Communications & Advertising.

American Airlines (AAL) reached an agreement with the city of Kansas City & the state of Missouri on a $81.5 Million support package that will permit it to retain its wide body airplane maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) base in Kansas City (KC) under a 25-year lease agreement ($77 Million in hangar improvements, & $4.5 Million in tax credits for asbestos removal). The deal means that American Airlines (AAL) will keep all of its 3 maintenance (MRO) bases: Fort Worth Alliance; Tulsa; & Kansas City (KC).

757-2Q8 (28160), 757-231 (28481), & 23 MD-83's transferred from (TWA). 3 F 100's (11395; 11405; 11436), WFU at Mojave. 2 F 100's (11501; 11520), sold to Airfleet Credit.

November 2003: 4 F 100's (11360; 11418; 11457; 11459), WFU at Mojave. 3 F 100's (11459; 11490; 11498) sold to Pembroke Leasing (PEB)

December 2003: In February, to code share with Alaska Airlines (ASA).

AMR Corp named James Beer, Senior VP Finance & CFO, replaces Jeffrey Campbell who joined the McKesson Corporation. Craig Kreeger, VP Europe & Asia, and David Cush, VP & General Sales Manager.

757-231 (29385), & MD-83 (53189) transferred from (TWA). F 100 (11415; 11435; 11464; 11466; 11478) WFU at Mojave.

January 2004: Japan Air Lines (JAL) becomes 3rd carrier after American Airlines (AAL) and Air France (AFA) to agree to become a "developmental partner" for Boeing's Airplane Health Management (AHM) system, in what will be a 4 month pre-release test. (AHM) gathers data about airplane systems and relays it in real time via datalink to technical personnel on the ground, similar to the Airman system developed by Airbus for its fly-by-wire airplanes.

4th Quarter AMR Corporation = -$111 Million (-$529 Million)). 2003 = -$1.12 Billion (-$3.51 Billion): 193.6 Billion (RPK) (-1.1%); 72.8% LF; 88.24 Million PAX (-6.3%); 2.59 Billion (FTK) (+.3%).

February 2004: Code share with British Airways (BAB), London - Aberdeen/Bucharest/Lyon/Newcastle. Code share with Alaska (ASA), Los Angeles (LAX) - Portland/Seattle & Seattle - Anchorage/Spokane.

757-231 (29954, N721TW) & 2 MD-83's (53187; 53566), transferred from (TWA). 8 F 100's (11340; 11414; 11426; 11465; 11469; 11482; 11502; 11515), WFU at Mojave.

March 2004: Jeffrey Brundage, VP Human Resources (HR), replaces Sue Oliver, who has left to join Wal-Mart.

F 100 (11434) sold to Jetsgo (JTG)/(ROY).

April 2004: Expands its engine Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) joint venture with Rolls Royce (RRC) with a 5-year contract to Texas Aero Engine Services Ltd (TAESL) worth $1.6 Billion. (RR) will send $900 worth of engine (MRO) work to (TAESL) at Alliance Airport over the next 5 years. If (TAESL) meets its "business goals" (RR) will send another $700 Million in work to the (MRO). The joint venture, formed in 1998, repairs and overhauls (RB211) and (Trent 800) engines.

Selects Rockwell Collins Kaiser Electroprecision business to provide repair and overhaul services for the horizontal stabilizer trim actuator on (AAL)'s fleet of 757's.

5 F 100's (11355; 11369; 11413; 11479; 11499) WFU at Mojave.

May 2004: 5 MD-83's (48787; 53139; 53126; 29400; 53121) transferred from (TWA). 2 MD-83's (49788; 53045) returned to lessors. 4 F 100's (11356; 11369; 11370; 11396; 11437; 11467), WFU at Mojave, 11369; 11396; 11437 sold to JetsGo (JTG)/(ROY).

June 2004: Implements interline e-ticketing with OneWorld (ONW) partners Iberia (IBE), and Aer Lingus (ARL).

Gerard Arpey, Chairman & CEO, was elected to lead the board of the Air Transport Association (ATA).

USA and China have signed a landmark air services agreement that will more than double the number of USA airlines that may serve China and will permit a nearly 5-fold increase in weekly flights between the 2 countries over the next 6 years.

The agreement allows for +5 airlines from each country, the USA may name +1 additional all-cargo carrier, while China may name either a passenger or cargo carrier, to start service later in 2004. The other 4 new-entrant airlines may be either passenger or cargo carriers, with 1 new carrier entering the market in each of the years 2005, 2006, 2008, & 2010. United Airlines (UAL), Northwest Airlines (NWA), FedEx (FED), & United Parcel Service (UPS) currently serve China.

The agreement allows +195 weekly flights for each side, +111 by all-cargo carriers, & +84 by passenger airlines, resulting in a total of +249 weekly flights at the end of a 6-year phase-in period. A total of +14 of these flights will be available for new passenger services later this 2004.

Each country's carriers are now allowed to serve any city in the other country. Currently, Chinese carriers are limited to 12 USA cities, and USA passenger carriers may fly to only 5 Chinese cities. The agreement allows unlimited code-sharing between USA and Chinese carriers, thus expanding the current agreement which only allows code-sharing only to a limited number of cities.

The agreement also provides that when carriers establish cargo hubs in the other country, they will be afforded a high degree of operating flexibility, and expands charter opportunities beyond those provided by the existing agreement.

Trade between the countries has grown dramatically fromn $4.8 Billion in 1980 to >$170B in 2003. The USA is China's largest export destination, and China is the USA's fastest-growing market.

OneWorld (ONW) Alliance now: Aer Lingus (ARL); American (AAL); British Airways (BAB); Cathay Pacific (CAT); Finnair (FIN); Iberia (IBE); LAN (LAN); & Qantas (QAN).

6 MD-83's (49567; 49824; 53137; 53138; 53141; 53470) transferred from (TWA). 4 F 100's (11376; 11406; 11468; 11456) WFU at Mojave. 2 F 100's (11499; 11515) sold to Pembroke (PEB). 3 F 100's (11340; 11359; 11361) sold to (JTG)/(ROY).

July 2004: Global ePoint's AirWorks Division to install laptop power systems in +103 MD-80's for $361,000.

Will furlough -123 more pilots (FC) in October. In total, since 9/11/01, 2,470 pilots (FC) have been furloughed.

Anerican Airlines (AAL) and Qualcomm successfully demonstrated in-cabin voice communications using commercially available (CDMA) mobile phones on an (AAL) airplane.

F 100's (11406; 11408) sold to JetsGo (JTG)/(ROY). 2 F 100's (11377; 11416) WFU at Mojave.

August 2004: 15 MD-82's (48012; 48014; 49100; 49156; 49169; 49184; 49185; 49186; 49356; 49358; 49366; 49367; 49369; 49427; 49704), MD-83's (49530; 49395), & 757-231 (28479) transferred from (TWA). 767-223ER (22320, N319AA) removed from storage. F 100 (11412) WFU at Mojave.

September 2004: All 4 USA airlines that fly 777's over the North Pacific ocean: American Airlines (AAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Airlines (DAL), & United Airlines (UAL), plus All Nippon (ANA), Singapore Airlines (SIA), & Korean Air (KAL) are flying 207-minutes (ETOPS). Boeing twin-engine airplanes have dominated flights over the North Atlantic ocean and are now expected to dominate the Pacific. With the current trend of 390 Pacific (ETOPS) flights/day and rising, Pacific (ETOPS) flights will soon outnumber those over the Atlantic ocean.

F 100's (11353; 11354; 11367; 11483; 11506; 11514) WFU at Mojave. F 100 (11368, N1410E; 11397; 11404) sold to JetsGo (JTG)/(ROY).

October 2004: In 2005, plans to withdraw capacity equivalent to -15 narrow body airplanes, with 1st Quarter 2005 = -5% (ASM) capacity. Also is looking at expanding further into the Asia/Pacific market.

Applies to (DOT) for April, Chicago - Nagoya daily nonstop) & resume in November, Dallas/Fort Worth - Osaka.

Will furlough -450 pilots (FC) and -650 maintenance (MT) workers in St Louis & Kansas City. Is also considering reducing its flight schedule.

November 2004: Because of its continued precarious financial situation, American Airlines (AAL) has negotiated with Boeing (TBC) for deferrals of some of its 47 737-800's (for 7 years) and 7 777's (for 6 years) (scheduled for delivery 2006 - 2010. 2 777's will be delivered in 2006.

December 2004: Successfully completed the closing of a new $850 Million credit facility, replacing its $834 Million revolving credit facility that was due to mature next year. Citigroup and JP Morgan acted as lead arrangers and book runners for the transaction and the new facility, which is payable over a 6-year period, and supported by Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman Sachs, who served as documentation agents. Has received support from other key financial institutions including CIT, UBS, WestLB, and Calyon, who served as senior managing agents.

767-223ER (22318, N316AA) sold to Capital Cargo (CCA) for conversion to cargo (F) by Aeronavali (ARP). 2 F 100'S (11360; 11428) sold to JetsGo (JTG)/(ROY).

January 2005: AMR Corp 2004 = -$761 Million (-$1.23 Billion): 130.03 Billion (RPM) (+8.3%); +5.5% (ASM); 74.8% LF (+2). AMR Corporation 4th Quarter = -$387 Million (-$111 Million).

Oliver Martins, VP Engineering, Quality Assurance & Planning succeeds Randy Phillips, who retired.

February 2005: Interline e-ticketing with Mexicana (CMA).

American Airlines (AAL)'s Tulsa Maintenance & Engineering Base, is the largest airline Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility in the world. It aims to achieve $500 Million in revenue through 3rd party work and turn the base unto a profit center by the end of 2006. It has 7,000 mmaintenance technicians (MT) workers employed at this base. Carmine Romano, VP, Tulsa Base Maintenance stated "We know we are bucking the trend of the aviation industry by keeping most of our maintenance work in house, but we have agreed to take a different approach to address our challenges."

April 2005: LanPeru (LPU) and American Airlines (AAL) launched interline e-ticketing.

May 2005: American Airlines (AAL) Tulsa maintenance base wins multimillion contract with Synergy Aerospace, Brazil to perform heavy maintenance on 29 F 100's formerly leased by (AAL). The Synergy Group holds controlling interest in Avianca (AVI), OceanAir Brazil, and Wayra Peru. Includes 7 light "C" checks, 22 heavy "C" checks, various modifications including seat reconfigurations and installation of Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, plus component repair and replacement. Period will take 12 to 15 months starting in June.

American Airlines (AAL) operates a worldwide network of scheduled services to more than >160 cities.

93,500 employees (including 13,500 Flight Crew (FC)).

(IATA) Code: AA - 001. (ICAO) Code: AAL (Callsign - AMERICAN).

Parent organization/shareholders: AMR Corporation (100%).

Shareholdings: Iberia Airlines (1%).

Alliances: OneWorld; Aerosur (REO); Air Pacific (APC); Alaska Airlines (ASA); American Eagle Airlines; Chautauqua Airlines; China Eastern Airlines (CEA); (EVA) Air; Executive Airlines; Gulf Air (GUL); Hawaiian Airlines (HWI); Japan Airlines International (HWI); Mexican (CMA); Regions Air; SN Brussels (DAT); TACA International Airlines (TAC); TAM Linhas Aereas (TPR); (THY) Turkish Airlines; & Trans States Airlines.

Main Base: Dallas/Fort Worth International airport (DFW).

Domestic, scheduled destinations: Albuquerque; Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Birmingham; Boston; Burbank; Charlotte; Chicago; Colorado Springs; Columbus Ohio; Dallas/Fort Worth; Dayton; Denver; Detroit; El Paso; Fayetville Arkansas; Fort Lauderdale; Fort Myers; Fresno; Hartsford; Honolulu; Houston; Huntsville; Indianapolis; Jackson Wyoming; Jacksonville Florida; Kahului; Kansas Cityt; Kauai Island; Kona; Las Vegas; Long Beach; Los Angeles; Louisville; Mcallen; Memphis; Miami; Minneapolis/St Paul; Montrose; Nashville; New Orleans; New York; Norfolk; Oakland; Oklahoma City; Omaha; Ontario; Orlando; Palm Springs; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Portland; Providence; Raleigh/Durham; Reno; Richmond; Sacramento; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose; Santa Ana; Seattle; St Louis; Steamboat Springs; Tampa; Tucson; Tulsa; Vail; Washington; West Palm Beach; Westchester County; & Wichita.

International, scheduled destinations: Acapulco; Antigua; Aruba; Asuncion; Barbados; Belize City; Bermuda; Bogota; Brussels; Buenos Aires; Calgary; Cali; Cancun; Caracas; Cozumel; Curacao; Frankfurt; Grand Cayman Island; Guadalajara; Guatemala City; Guayaquil; Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo; Kingston; La Paz; La Romana; Leon/Guanajuato; Liberia; Lima; London; Madrid; Managua; Manchester; Maracaibo; Medellin; Mexico City; Montego Bay; Monterrey; Montevideo; Montreal; Nassau; Panama City; Paris; Port au Prince; Port of Spain; Providenciales; Purto Plata; Puerto Vallarta; Punta Cana; Quito; Rio de Janeiro; San Jose; San Jose Cabo; San Juan; San Pedro Sula; San Salvador; Santa Cruz; Santiago; Santo Domingo; Sao Paulo; St Croix Island; St Kitts; St Lucia; St Maarten; St Thomas Island; Tegucigalpa; Tokyo; Toronto; Vancouver; & Zurich.

757-231 (28482, N714P) returned to Pegasus (PSS).

June 2005: Adds a new feature to its website that allows domestic e-ticket passengers with interline connections to check in online up to 24 hours prior to departure and print boarding passes as long as the flight originates on American Airlines (AAL).

July 2005: In November, Chicago O'Hare - Delhi (777-200ER, 236 Passengers, daily nonstop).

American Airlines (AAL) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) launched interline e-ticketing (IET), bringing the number of domestic and international carriers providing (IET) in cooperation with (AAL) to 28.

August 2005: 92,100 employees (-4.5%).

Applied to the USA Department of Transportation to offer nonstop service from St Louis to Puerto Vallarta from February to April. The winter season flights will operate on Saturdays using a 136-seat MD-80. (AAL) already offers seasonal service from St Louis to Cancun on both Saturday and Sunday using 188-seat 757s and the Cancun flights will resume in November. (AAL) also offers daily connecting service to both destinations through its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) hub.

USA airlines cancelled dozens of flights across the Gulf Coast region as Hurricane Katrina came ashore yesterday. As of midday Monday, Continental (CAL) said it had cancelled 111 flights at airports in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana. A spokesperson for American Airlines (AAL) said (AAL) had cancelled 36 flights. US Airways (USA) cancelled 40 flights over Sunday and Monday, a spokesperson said, while United Airlines (UAL) dropped 63. AirTran (CQT) cancelled 24 flights yesterday to New Orleans, Gulfport/Biloxi and Pensacola and all flights to New Orleans and Gulfport/Biloxi for Tuesday, a total of 18. Delta (DAL) declined to provide a specific number but suspended most or all service to nine cities in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

2 MD-82's (49825; 49925), 4 MD-83's (49395; 49567; 49657; 49663), WFU to Roswell.

September 2005: American Airlines (AAL) resumed limited service at New Orleans September 21, operating three daily roundtrips to Dallas/Fort Worth. It will add service from New Orleans to Chicago and Miami "as demand increases," with a relaunch of full service tentatively set for November 1.

(AAL) applied to the USA (DOT) for authority to launch service between New York (JFK) and San Jose del Cabo on February 4. It proposes two weekly 757 services during the high season and one weekly service during the low season.

(AAL) filed a motion with the USA (DOT) asking the department to suspend consideration of the joint application for antitrust immunity (ATI) by Northwest Airlines (NWA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) and four SkyTeam (STM) alliance partners - - Alitalia (ALI), (KLM), Air France (AFA) and Czech Airlines (CSA) - - in light of the bankruptcy filings by both (DAL) and (NWA) last week. (AAL) believes (DOT) should postpone deliberation "for at least 12 months," arguing, "The simultaneous bankruptcies of two of the largest USA carriers are unparalleled in USA aviation history. The impact of these bankruptcies on competition - - in both domestic and international markets - - will not be known for some time." In its motion, (AAL) suggested that at the end of the one-year suspension period, all six SkyTeam (STM) partners seeking antitrust immunity should present a comparison of their respective operations "immediately prior to the (DAL) and (NWA) bankruptcies versus 12 months later showing any deleted cities, city-pairs, frequencies and capacity, and any added cities, city-pairs, frequencies and capacity."

(AAL) and Emirates Airline (EAD) launched interline e-ticketing earlier this week.

(AAL) said it made a $74 million contribution to its defined benefit pension plans, raising its total contributions in 2005 to $287 million. (AAL) said its plans are funded at 80%, the best in the industry. United Airlines (UAL) and US Airways (USA) terminated their plans in bankruptcy, while Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Northwest (NWA) may do the same during their reorganizations.

The Italian government's refusal to allow (AAL) and (UAL) to add their codes to flights operated by their respective European Union (EU) partner airlines between Milan Linate and European gateway cities is drawing the ire of the two carriers, as seen in a letter to European Commission Director for Transport Daniel Calleja. The Italian government consistently has rejected demands by (AAL) to place its code on flights operated by British Airways (BAB) between Linate and London Heathrow, as well as requests by (UAL) to codeshare on flights operated by its Star Alliance partner bmi (BMA) between Linate and (LHR) or flights operated by its partner Lufthansa (DLH) between Linate and Frankfurt. Conversely, (EU) carriers including Air France (AFA) and British Airways (BAB) are allowed to carry Linate - USA traffic on their own services.

The two USA carriers are not seeking to operate direct flights between Linate and USA destinations but argue they have the right to market Linate - USA services under the open skies agreement signed between the countries in December 1999. They note that the agreement permits unlimited codesharing, including to Linate, and pointed out that by allowing (EU) airlines to carry Linate traffic either directly or via codeshare, the Italian government is discriminating against the USA carriers.

The timing of the communication was not coincidental. The (EU) and USA were meeting in Washington late last week for so-called technical talks on reopening negotiations for a transatlantic Open Aviation Area. Earlier this year, the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) dismissed a complaint by (AAL) and (UAL) on the matter while stating that Italy's policy is "contrary to the spirit" of an open skies agreement and indicating it will continue to pursue the issues "in the context of our ongoing dialog with the (EU)."

Inflight Canada's iCACHE design was chosen by (AAL) as part of its 767-300 business class (C) seat enhancement program. (AAL) said the design "eliminates all wires within the business class cabin and should provide an enhanced inflight entertainment system."

(AAL) ordered 20 Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) 757 blended winglet shipsets and took options on an additional 123 sets, which would cover its entire 757 fleet. (AAL) will retrofit the winglets at its Tulsa maintenance base beginning in November. As part of the agreement, it also will retrofit a 737-800 with winglets in October.

October 2005: American Airlines (AAL) Cargo raised its fuel surcharge from $0.50/kg to $0.55/kg for most international shipments of USA origin and from $0.20/lb to $0.22/lb for USA domestic shipments. New rates take effect from October 19. The fuel surcharge also will be adjusted in local currency for most shipments not of USA origin unless the adjustment is not allowed for regulatory reasons.

INCDT: An (AAL) 757-200 operating flight AA1393 from New York La Guardia to Miami was forced to make an emergency landing at Washington's Dulles International Airport on Saturday evening after the crew (FC) reported smoke on board. An (AAL) MD80 operating flight AA859 from Chicago O'Hare to San Diego was forced to make an emergency landing at Palm Springs International Airport on Sunday after the crew for a warning of a fire in the cargo compartment. The airplane landed safely around 5:05pm. Firefighters checked the cargo compartments and found no evidence of fire.

The world's largest nonaligned airline is independent no more - - Japan Airlines (JAL) said it will apply to join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance, a decision that was "warmly welcomed" by the alliance. In terms of revenues, (JAL) Group is the No 3 airline company in the world, trailing Lufthansa (DLH) Group and Air France (AFA) - (KLM) Group. (JAL) will bring a lineup of 206 airports in 34 countries to the Oneworld network, which covers 600 cities in 135 countries. It will expand (ONW)'s existing network by +10%, adding +68 unique destinations including +56 in Japan, +five in China and Guam.

(AAL) will be supporting (JAL) through the membership application process as its prime oneworld sponsor, assisted by Cathay Pacific (CAT).

The (ONW) alliance announced its first member from the Middle East: Royal Jordanian (RJA).

(AAL) began full operations Saturday from the new international Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Initially, (AAL) will operate about 78 flights per day from the terminal, expanding to approximately 115 in the coming months.

November 2005: American Airlines (AAL) launched its first new international service from Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) yesterday, flying nonstop to Osaka. The daily flights will be aboard 777s equipped with 16 first class (F), 35 business class (C) and 185 coach seats (Y). Osaka is (AAL)'s 33rd international destination from its (DFW) hub and its fifth nonstop route to Japan.

(AAL) and Air Sahara (SAQ) reached code share and fully reciprocal frequent-flier agreements. Subject to government approval, (AAL) plans to put its code on Air Sahara (SAQ) flights to 26 destinations while the Indian carrier will place its code on (AAL) flights between Delhi and Chicago and destinations beyond O'Hare.

(AAL) launched daily service from Chicago O'Hare to Delhi, becoming the second USA carrier to operate nonstop to India after Continental Airlines (CAL). (AAL) is using 777-200ERs on its longest nonstop route.

BAE Systems' Jeteye commercial airliner anti-Manpads system made its first flight on an (AAL) 767. BAE is participating in the USA Department of Homeland Security's Counter-Manpads Program. Installation of the laser-based infrared countermeasures system was done in partnership with (AAL)'s Maintenance and Engineering Services.

(AAL) applied to the USA (DOT) for permission to begin code sharing with Vietnam Airlines (VIE) next year.

(AAL) will begin charging $2 per bag for curbside check-in at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in December, a move that will reduce annual costs by -$10 to -$30 million, according to "The Dallas Morning News." (AAL) already charges for the service at more than >20 airports.

December 2005: INCDT: The White House defended the two air marshals who shot and killed 44-year-old Rigoberto Alpizar as he exited an American Airlines (AAL) 757 at Miami International Airport, although there were some discrepancies in witness accounts about whether or not the Costa Rica-born USA citizen claimed to be carrying a bomb, according to media reports. "From what we know, the team of air marshals acted in a way that is consistent with the training that they have received," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters. The marshals, who have been placed on administrative leave, said Alpizar claimed he had a bomb in his carry-on luggage, which he reached into and refused to put down when instructed to do so on the airbridge. Passengers heard Alpizar's wife claim he had bipolar disorder, which his mother-in-law confirmed, and had not taken his medication. Other passengers reported he was agitated and in a hurry to exit the airplane, CNN News reported.

A short time after Southwest Airlines (SWA) launched its first flights to St Louis and Kansas City from Dallas Love Field, (AAL) announced its own schedule from the airport, where it owns the rights to three gates. Daily flights to St Louis, Kansas City, San Antonio and Austin will begin March 2. Regional affiliate American Eagle will operate the flights within Texas. The airlines will require two gates for the current schedule and said they are working with airport officials to arrange for ticket counters and other facilities.

In conjunction with the schedule, (AAL) said it will not back down from the fight to keep the Wright Amendment in place and to maintain Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)'s position as the area's only long-haul gateway. (SWA) won a major victory when President George W Bush signed a transportation bill earlier this month opening Missouri to service from Love Field.

"We have not, and will not, abandon our efforts in support of the Wright Amendment and all those in North Texas who want to keep (DFW) International Airport strong, vibrant and growing," (AAL) Executive VP Marketing, Dan Garton said. "(DFW) is the region's economic engine and was always intended to be the home for all commercial air service in Dallas/Fort Worth. (AAL) remains intensely devoted to that principle."

With no choice but to compete with (SWA) in the meantime, (AAL) unveiled a schedule from Love highlighted by four daily flights to St Louis and three-times-daily service to Kansas City. Both routes will be operated with 136-seat, two-class MD-80s.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will lose service to five USA cities and one international market and see flights to several additional cities pared as (AAL) reapportions assets at its principal hub following this month's action to open Missouri to flights from Dallas Love Field. (SWA) launched service to Kansas City and St Louis and American countered with the announcement of its schedule from Love Field to the Missouri cities, San Antonio and Austin beginning March 2.

"We had to find assets from somewhere to operate" at Love Field (DAL), said an (AAL) spokesperson. "No good business is going to take assets away from better performing areas. High fuel prices were already making those marginal flights pretty difficult to make money on. The need to add service to Love Field is the tipping point."

(AAL) holds rights to three gates at (DAL) but will use only two when the mainline and American Eagle begin operations in March with 16 departures per day. "We could probably get six more roundtrips using those two gates before we need to go to three," the carrier said. "They're right there together. Once we get the waiting area done, gate counters and such, the third gate will be pretty easy to open up."

An American (AAL) spokesperson confirmed that daily service to Long Beach (LGB), Providence, Toledo, Green Bay, Rochester (Minnesota) and Lima will cease beginning with the latter in February. Domestic cuts will take place in March and April. (AAL)'s withdrawal from (LGB) will end its presence in Long Beach, where Southwest (SWA) competitor JetBlue (JBL) holds sway. American Airlines (AAL) will end service to Asuncion on February 2. (AAL) flies to the Paraguayan capital daily from Miami through Sao Paulo.

(AAL) announced a service reduction for its Dallas Ft Worth (DFW) hub with 5 domestic destinations cut from March and 1 international from February as follows:
Austin = Reduction from 16 to 14 flights a day;
Cincinnati = Reduction from 6 to 5 flights a day;
College Station = Reduction from 6 to 3 flights a day;
Green Bay = Service discontinued;
Lima, Peru = Service discontinued;
Long Beach = Service discontinued;
Providence = Service discontinued;
Rochester, Minnesota = Service discontinued;
San Antonio = Reduction from 15 to 12 flights a day;
St Louis = Reduction from 12 to 7 flights a day;
Toledo = Service discontinued;
Tyler = Reduction from 7 to 4 flights a day;

(AAL) announced it will not inaugurate new nonstop service from New York (JFK) to Newcastle which was planned for May 1st.

(AAL) started interline e-ticketing with Korean Air (KAL) and Turkish Airlines (THY).

767-223 (22315), sold to Aircraft One. 3 MD-82's (49245, 49266; 49267), WFU stored at Roswell.

January 2006: American Airlines' (AAL)'s full year 2005 = 2.22 Billion (RPK) (No 1 highest in world!).

Despite $700 million in cost reductions achieved last year, AMR Corporation could not overcome the impact of record nominal fuel prices that cost it an additional $1.7 billion over what it spent in 2004, plus a handful of special items. The parent of American Airlines (AAL) reported a net loss of -$604 million in the fourth quarter and -$861 million for the full year, compared to losses of -$387 million and -$761 million in the fourth quarter and full year of 2004 respectively.

Excluding $180 million in net special items, AMR's 12-month loss was -$681 million with operating earnings of +$100 million, compared to a deficit of -$896 million in 2004 with an operating loss of -$133 million.

Special items in the quarter amounted to $191 million, without which AMR would have lost -$413 million, narrowed from -$473 million in 2004 if a +$86 million net special gain is excluded from those results.

"Finding our way back to profitability is our goal and we have made enormous progress," Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey said. He noted that the company achieved its first annual operating profit, excluding special items, since 2000, adding, "Obviously we have not done enough."

February 2006: American Airlines (AAL) unveiled new first class (F) and business class (C) menus on all transcontinental flights and select flights from Brazil. It is (AAL)'s first menu revamp since 1999 and is designed to give it "a competitive advantage" over Low-Cost Carriers (LCC)s and help it "compete effectively" with international carriers.

Separately, (AAL) signed a deal with Lenovo to provide Admirals Club members access to Lenovo personal computers. (IBM) will provide deployment services.

American Airlines (AAL) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) representing its mechanics (MT) reached agreement on a goal "to obtain -$150 million in value creation" at its Kansas City (KC) Maintenance & Engineering Base and to make the base a profit center by the end of 2007 through developing third-party business and implementing Continuous Improvement. The base, acquired in (AAL)'s purchase of (TWA) in 2000, employs 900 people.

(AAL) took a similar approach at its Tulsa Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) base last year with a goal of winning $500 million in third-party business by the end of 2006. Through the end of January it had earned $130 million.

Venezuela's Instituto Nacional de Aeronautica Civil said that it is reducing dramatically the number of flights USA carriers (AAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), and FedEx (FED) will be allowed to operate into the country beginning March 30.

(AAL) will launch daily Chicago O'Hare - Shanghai service the night of April 2 aboard 777s.

March 2006: Venezuela apparently agreed to rescind a proposed ban on most USA airline operations into the country that was set to take effect March 30. Currently, American Airlines (AAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and FedEx (FED) operate services between the countries.

Wire services initially quoted USA Ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield as saying that the ban would not take effect and in return (FAA) would send a technical team to the South American nation to help it achieve a Category 1 safety rating. The country has had a Category 2 rating since 1995. The rating means that Venezuelan carriers must wet-lease USA-registered airplanes or airplanes from airlines operating out of Category 1 countries to serve USA destinations.

Later, Venezuela, following negotiations with USA aviation officials, announced it had agreed to postpone placing restrictions on incoming USA flights until April 25, when (FAA) officials release the results of a safety audit, that Venezuela hopes will return it to Category 1 status.

April 2006: (AAL) will park 27 MD-80s by July, 1 as it flattens its summer peak schedule. These airplanes represent "extra resources" that (AAL) carries year round at added cost, Arpey explained during a conference call. (AAL)'s MD-80 fleet totals 361 airplanes of which 34 are in storage.

(AAL) sent letters to approximately 600 maintenance workers (MT), cleaners, stock clerks and crew chiefs at 24 USA airports warning them of possible layoffs. "We cannot say right now whether these job reductions will be temporary or permanent," said a letter to Los Angeles employees obtained by Bloomberg News.

The tentative pilot (FC) contract at Delta Air Lines (DAL), if ratified by its (ALPA) membership, will drop (DAL) from having the third-highest-paid narrow body captains (FC) to the middle of the pack, while Northwest Airlines (NWA), if its pilots (FC) ratify their agreement, will fall even further, from having the second-highest-paid work group to the No 8 position, just above JetBlue (JBL).

Interestingly, the (NWA) and (DAL) pilot (FC) ratification voting periods overlap. This sets up a scenario in which the (NWA) pilots may develop a case of "Delta (DAL) envy" because the terms of the (DAL) (TA) "appear significantly richer than those at (NWA)."

The analysis shows that a 12-year Northwest (NWA) A320 captain currently earns $180 per hour, which falls to $137 under the (TA). By comparison, a 12-year (DAL) 737 captain (FC)'s hourly pay will fall from $173 to $149. Prior to their November 2004 concessionary agreement, (DAL) captains (FC) were the highest-paid in the industry, earning $202 per hour.

In addition, (DAL) pilots (FC) will receive a $2.1 billion unsecured claim, and management has agreed that if the pilot (FC) pension plan is rejected (as appears likely) they will get cash and securities worth $650 million. Furthermore, the (DAL) contact runs through 2009, versus 2011 for (NWA).

The overall salary leader among USA passenger carriers is Southwest Airlines (SWA), whose 12-year 737 captains (FC) earn $186 per hour. Among legacy network carriers, the leader is (AAL) at $161. At the bottom is (USA) at $125, followed by (UAL) at $131 and America West (AMW) at $134. US Airways (USA) and (AMW) pilots (FC) are in discussions about merging seniority lists.

(AAL) said it is hopeful that it will be permitted to resume a fourth daily Miami - Caracas flight canceled in January owing to road conditions near Simon Bolivar International Airport. Operations were scheduled to begin, but the Venezuelan government has prohibited (AAL) from restarting service. Venezuela agreed to postpone restrictions on other USA flights until April 25 after meeting with USA inspectors. "We were under the impression that once an agreement between the USA and Venezuelan governments had been reached to allow service by USA airlines to continue as previously scheduled, that (AAL) would be able to restore this service," (AAL) said. "We are hopeful that this situation will be resolved shortly and that (AAL)'s service will continue as scheduled." (AAL) will continue to operate its remaining Venezuelan routes.

(AAL) completed (IATA)'s Operational Safety Audit and achieved (IOSA) Registration.

(AAL) is increasing its fuel surcharges adding $10 each way on most transatlantic and transpacific routes, excluding Japan, effective immediately.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) now offers interline e-tickets for connections to (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), and Varig (VAR), bringing to 17 the number of carriers with whom (SIA) has partnered for interline e-ticketing.

Venezuela's threat to restrict flights by USA airlines into the country, appears to have been successful, as the USA (FAA) raised the nation's safety rating to Category 1, meaning it complies with (ICAO) standards. USA aviation officials conducted a safety audit and inspections last month, after the South American country agreed to postpone until April 25 its ban on all operations conducted by Continental Airlines (CAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) and some (AAL) flights. Venezuela had been a Category 2 country since 1995, the last time (FAA) conducted a safety assessment. The action meant that Venezuelan airlines could not add flights to the USA. Venezuela said when it proposed the ban in February that the USA was ignoring its progress on safety and regulatory issues and was not living up to the terms of the bilateral agreement between the countries. (FAA) said that two (ICAO) audits conducted since 1995 have uncovered "increasing improvements."

May 2006: American Airlines (AAL) Chairman and (CEO), Gerard Arpey said (AAL) needs at least -$1 billion in additional annual savings to keep pace with rivals restructuring through bankruptcy and "just to keep even with our costs last year," and has evaluated replacing the (JT8D-200) engines on its MD-80 fleet to save fuel.

(AAL) set a goal of reducing fuel usage this year by an additional -30 million gallons on top of an estimated -84 million gallons it already expects to save, as a result of a series of measures put in place under the "Fuel Smart" program launched last year. That 84 million gallons of unburned fuel, translates into $161 million at current prices. Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey said (AAL) expects to consume more than 2.6 billion gallons of fuel this year.

(AAL) notified the Chicago Department of Aviation that it will cease operations at Midway (MDW) on September 1. (AAL) operates a five-times-daily (MDW) - Dallas/Fort Worth service. ATA Airlines (AAT) will continue to operate the route nonstop.

(AAL) chose (ARINC)'s Web-based OpCenter to serve as a backup to its Flight Operations host computer, a move (AAL) said will allow it to maintain its full flight schedule without interruption if its host system shuts down.

June 2006: American Airlines (AAL) will discontinue service on its San Jose to Tokyo Narita route on October 28th. Currently, (AAL) operates a daily nonstop flight using a 777-200.

INCDT: The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating an uncontained engine failure on an (AAL) 767-223ER (22330, N330AA), that occurred during a ground maintenance test run on June 2 at Los Angeles International. According to (NTSB), the High Pressure Turbine (HPT) stage one disk on the number one (GE) (CF6-80A2) broke into several pieces that "were found embedded in the fuselage, the number two engine, and scattered as far 3,000 feet from the airplane." The ensuing holes in the wings caused fuel leaks, that resulted in a ground fire that was extinguished by airport firefighters. There were no reported injuries. Initial examination of the disk pieces found indications of fatigue cracking, the board said.

INCDT: (AAL) Flight 1740, an MD-80 airplane en route from Los Angeles to Chicago, was involved in a safe emergency landing at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD). There were no injuries among the 131 passengers and five crewmembers. At approximately 6:15 am, pilots (FC) from Flight 1740 indicated a mechanical issue involving the nose gear of the airplane. After a fly-by of the air traffic control tower, it was confirmed the nose gear was not lowered and locked. The pilots and crew followed (AAL) emergency procedures and executed a flawless landing without use of the nose gear. The airplane came to a safe stop on runway 14 Right. The 131 passengers and five crewmembers deplaned the rear exit stairs. There appears to be no damage to the runway and minimal damage to the airplane.

July 2006: (AAL) will fly all 777 airplanes to Buenos Aires from both Miami and New York starting this fall, adding more passenger and cargo capacity to one of South America's largest cities. The all-777 schedule from Miami to Buenos Aires will begin in early September, while 777 service from New York's John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport to Buenos Aires will begin in late October. The (JFK) service will operate through early April 2007. (AAL) currently operates two daily nonstop flights between Miami and Buenos Aires - - one flown with a 777 and the second with a 767. Effective September 6, the second flight will also be flown with 777 airplanes. Service to Buenos Aires from New York is currently operated once daily with a 767. Effective October 29, 2006 through April 2, 2007, a 777 will fly the route, and then revert again to a 767-300.

(AAL) Cargo announced that online booking is now available through Cargo Portal Services.

(AAL) announced a redesigned business-class (C) section on its 767-300s and 777s, that includes lie-flat seats, personal in-flight entertainment systems and other features that many of its competitors already have implemented on long-haul service. (AAL) has installed the changes on one 767-300 and plans to complete the revamp on its remaining 57 767-300s and begin retrofits of its 777 business cabins early next year. "Our business class (C) passengers can now fly more comfortably, work more productively and enjoy the flight with expanded entertainment features and dining options," said Senior VP Global Sales, David Cush. (AAL)'s 767-300s are operated on most of its transatlantic services as well as on select routes within the USA and to Latin America. The 777s are flown to London, Japan, China, India and select cities in Latin America.

August 2006: UK officials raised the number of arrests in the airline terror bombing conspiracy to 24 from 21 reported early in the day. Official statements remained sketchy amid reports that the plotters intended to blow up as many as 10 USA commercial airplanes en route from the UK to the USA. Authorities added that all those arrested were UK citizens and said most were of South Asian descent and several of the suspects reportedly traveled to Pakistan recently. Airplanes operated by American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Continental Airlines (CAL) are believed to have been targeted.

(AAL) will increase the frequency on its Miami - La Paz - Santa Cruz - Miami route from 7 to 12 flights a week on December 14th and will operate 2 flights a day except on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, all with 757-200s. (AAL) will end service from Tampa to Nassau as well as from Orlando to Nassau on September 3rd. (AAL) will end service from Boston to Orlando on December 13th. (AAL) will operate two of its three weekly Austin - San Jose flights with 757s instead of MD-80s from December 14. (AAL) will launch daily Chicago O'Hare (ORD) - Shannon service from October 28 aboard a 767-300, replacing its 757 flight from Boston. The new flight will be an extension to (AAL)'s existing (ORD) - Dublin service.

(AAL) will operate weekly New York (JFK) - San Jose del Cabo service from December 16 through April 9 aboard a 757.

(AAL) introduced roundtrip Web-based check-in for return flights that leave within 24 hours of departure.

The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued "urgent" recommendations upon conclusion of its investigation into the uncontained (CF6-80A) failure in June on an (AAL) 767 parked at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The (NTSB), in finding that the high-pressure turbine stage 1 disk rupture resulted from a rim-to-bore radial fracture originating at a "small dent" at the bottom of the blade slot and that the disk, which had accumulated 9,186 cycles in service, had two additional cracks, proposed that the (FAA) require that disks be removed for inspection every 3,000 cycles.

The (FAA) recommended that the disks be inspected after 6,900 cycles (they have a service life of 15,000 cycles) following the (LAX) incident. "This significantly more stringent standard would not permit disks to remain in service without inspection beyond the earliest known number of cycles at which cracks have been detected or failure has occurred," (NTSB) said.

September 2006: Sabre Travel Network reached a five-year distribution agreement with American Airlines (AAL), which becomes a Sabre Efficient Access Solution carrier.

(SAS) Cargo became the eighth airline to join Cargo Portal Services (CPS), the Unisys-operated online booking portal that gives freight forwarders free Internet access to member carriers' schedules and space availability and the ability to book and confirm shipments in real time. (CPS) membership includes (AAL), Air Canada (ACN), Austrian Airlines (AUL), (KLM), Northwest Airlines (NWA), and United Airlines (UAL). Continental Airlines (CAL) is in the process of going live.

Officials from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) said yesterday that (AAL)'S proposed (DFW) - Beijing service would generate $180 million annually for the state economy and plans to submit its own economic impact study to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) in support of (AAL)'s application to win the new route authority.

(AAL) signed a five-year service agreement with the US Postal Service (USPS) to deliver mail that the airline said potentially is worth $500 million in revenue. It is the largest single contract ever awarded to American (AAL) Cargo. (AAL) said it re-engineered its mail processes in 2003 and now "is the preferred carrier of the Postal Service (USPS) and carries more mail than any other passenger airline."

October 2006: Airlines serving Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) will benefit from the airport's deal with Chesapeake Energy Corporation to mine the natural gas produced on (DFW)'s 18,000 acres. The "monumental deal," as (DFW) (CEO), Jeff Fegan characterized it, includes an initial payment of $185 million and a 25% royalty on the value of the gas. Fegan said nonaviation revenue will reach "new highs for the next couple of decades," which will "help keep costs lower for airlines, making (DFW) a more attractive market, and create new airline competition." Natural gas production is expected to begin within two years.

Willis Lease Finance of California (WLFC) announced the signing of an engine sharing agreement with (AAL), Southwest Airlines (SWA) and WestJet (WJI) covering (CFM56-7B)s used to power 737NGs.

The pool initially will service more than >450 airplanes. "I believe engine sharing pools will ultimately change the way all engines are leased . . . Engines can literally be rented in a matter of minutes," (WLFC) President & (CEO), Charles Willis said.

Southwest (SWA) has firm orders, options or purchase rights for 317 737s over the next six years, while (AAL) and WestJet (WJI) will make engines available to the pool as well as lease from it. (AAL) also may lease engines for its Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) operations, Willis said, adding that the pool should improve spare engine productivity for the three carriers by 30% - 50%.

November 2006: British Airways (BAB) announced that it purchased American Airlines (AAL)'s 1% stake in Iberia Airlines (IBE) for approximately €19 million, lifting its stake to 10% and preserving its two seats on the (IBE) board. (BAB) and (AAL) made their original investment in (IBE) in 1999 through (BAB) & (AAL) Holdings. (BAB) owns 90% of this holding, which in turn now owns around 10% of (IBE).

(AAL) will operate thrice-weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays leaving Miami and leaving Montevideo on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays, seasonal Miami - Montevideo service from November 17 to April 10 using a two-class 767.

(AAL) will abandon its services from Boston to Baltimore/Washington International and Orlando International on December 13. AirTran Airways (CQT) will begin operating the Orlando International (MCO) service on December 21. (AAL) still will serve 23 destinations from Logan, and is working with local authorities on an upgrade of its facilities at the airport, the paper said.

(AAL) said it has equipped more than >365 self-service kiosks with passport readers to allow international self-service check-in, with more to come.

December 2006: American Airlines (AAL)will discontinue service from Boston to Baltimore, as well as to Orlando on December 13th.

(AAL) applied to operated from Miami to Valencia. If approved, (AAL) intends to inaugurate daily nonstop service on April 7th using a 737-800.

(AAL) announced the launch of daily Chicago O'Hare (ORD) - Shannon service on May 1 aboard a 757. (AAL) already flies to Dublin from (ORD) with 767-300s.

(AAL) signed a four-year, $30 million deal with Allegiant Air (WJE) for the provision in Tulsa of heavy Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO), including "C" checks, on Allegiant (WJE)'s 24 MD-80s. The deal leaves room for additional airplanes if (WJE) grows its fleet.

(AAL) will launch daily Seattle - Austin service on April 10 aboard a 136-seat MD-80.

January 2007: The "Air Transport World" magazine selected American Airlines (AAL) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to receive the "Labor Management Relations" award, citing their efforts under their "Working Together Initiative" to preserve jobs, while improving the efficiency of (AAL)'s Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) division.

Following five years of steep losses, (AAL) parent AMR Corp posted 2006 net income of +$231 million, a reversal from a net loss of -$857 million in 2005 and its first profitable year since 2000.

Full-year revenues increased +8.9% to $22.56 billion, while expenses rose just +3.4% to $21.51 billion. Operating profit of +$1.1 billion was a reversal from a -$89 million loss in 2005. All areas of expenditure, save fuel, grew no more than +2.5%, with several categories dropping year-over-year. Fuel costs climbed +14% to $6.4 billion.

Full-year mainline passenger traffic lifted +0.8% to 139.45 billion (RPM)s on a -1.2% drop in capacity to 174.02 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 80.1% LF, up +1.5 points. "We will continue to take a measured approach to capacity," Horton said. Yield rose +6.7% to 12.81 cents as (RASM) lifted +8.8% to 10.26 cents and (CASM) increased +3.8% to 10.9 cents. (CASM) excluding fuel was up just +0.5% to 7.82 cents.

Arpey and Horton pointed out that unit revenues on Latin American services jumped +13% in 2006, which they said validated (AAL)'s continued strong presence on the continent despite recent lean years. "Some other guys got out of town and we decided to stick it out and now it's paying off," Arpey said, though he cautioned that "political developments" in the region will have to monitored closely.

Serial airline investor FL Group (ICE) was busy over the holidays, announcing that it had purchased a 5.98% stake in (AAL) parent (AMR) Corp for more than >$400 million and selling Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Sterling Airlines (STR) for €210 million/$277 million in cash and a three-year shareholder loan to Icelandic consortium Northern Travel, of which FL Group (ICE) is a member.

FL Group (ICE) now is (AMR)'s third-largest shareholder with 12.8 million shares. It said it has been building the stake "for a considerable period of time" and made the announcement once it exceeded the 5% reporting threshold.

(AAL) transferred its Tokyo Narita operation to Terminal 2 from Terminal 1, and opened a new 13,300-sq-ft lounge as part of the Oneworld (ONW) alliance's effort to collocate its members prior to (JAL)'s entry into the alliance later this year. By the end of 2007, five Oneworld (ONW) members will operate out of T2.

February 2007: The FL Group of Iceland (ICE) raised its stake in American Airlines (AAL) parent (AMR) Corp to 8.63%. The company purchased a 5.98% share in December and now with the additional investment "appears" to be (AMR)'s largest single shareholder.

(AAL) announced that "Expedia" has resumed ticketing international and domestic first (F) and business class (C) fares.

Snow, ice and freezing rain covered much of the USA Midwest and Northeast, forcing many hundreds of flight cancellations and delays. (FAA)'s Flight Delay Information website indicated that flights to Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Cincinnati and Philadelphia were being delayed or cancelled at their point of origin. The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority said "many flights" were cancelled at both National and Dulles (IAD). United Airlines (UAL), which has hubs at both (ORD) and (IAD), was hit hard, reportedly shutting down all traffic headed into Washington and Baltimore and canceling half its schedule at (ORD). (AAL) had cancelled half its (ORD) schedule by mid-morning.

(AAL)'s and (TWU)'s "Working Together" initiative, which earned the Air Transport World (ATW) "2007 Labor Management Relations" award, has sought to keep (AAL) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) in-house, while turning (AAL)'s Tulsa base into a revenue generator through third-party work. "We have stopped thinking of [Tulsa] as a cost center and now think of it as an 'opportunity' center," (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey said. "I very much hope someday to think of Tulsa and our entire [maintenance and engineering] organization as a profit center."

Added (AAL) Senior VP Technical Operations, Bob Reding, "American (AAL)'s long-term vision is to transform its maintenance organization into a world-class (MRO) business, that offers our customers a one-stop shop for most of their maintenance requirements."

The $175 million target does not include $225 million of anticipated engine overhaul work for customer airlines by Texas Aero Engine Services, a joint venture between (AAL) and Rolls-Royce (RRC). Reding said the near doubling in targeted revenue does not require new customers. "We are seeing our existing customer base actually approaching us about doing more work," he said.

Continental Airlines (CAL) became the eighth carrier to have its cargo booking system go live on the Unisys-operated Cargo Portal Services (CPS), a Web-based booking tool used by more than 2,500 freight forwarders. "Our customers want choice and convenience. (CPS) fills this need because of its rapid adoption by forwarders, its multicarrier model and its capability to handle virtually all types of cargo products," (CAL) VP Cargo, Jack Boisen said. (CAL) joins (AAL), Air Canada (ACN), Air France (AFA)/(KLM), Austrian Airlines (AUL), Northwest Airlines (NWA), Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), and United Airlines (UAL) on (CPS).

March 2007: (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation is planning to invest up to $100 million into its Maintenance Services group in an effort to bolster third-party business. It said the funding will be used to update facilities, invest in new technology and increase efficiencies. "In the past three years, we have worked with our [Transport Workers Union (TWU)] partners to reduce costs, streamline processes and keep the vast majority of our own airplane maintenance work in-house," said Senior VP Technical Operations, Bob Reding.

(AAL) applied to the USA Department of Transportation for authorization to begin code sharing with future Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner, Royal Jordanian (RJA) from March 25. (RJA)'s code would be placed on 15 (AAL) domestic routes, out of New York (JFK), as well as operations to and from Chicago O'Hare (ORD). (AAL) would place its code on (RJA) flights to Amman from (ORD), (JFK), London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt, as well as on services from Amman to Aqaba and Dubai.

USA legacy airlines do not plan to ramp up capacity this year despite posting their best full-year financial results since 2000. The 11 largest USA carriers (including America West Airlines (AMW), part of US Airways (USA)Group) reported a -1% decrease in domestic capacity in 2006.

(AAL) announced the recall of +60 employees to full aviation maintenance technician (MT) positions at its Tulsa Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) base. Plans to backfill those workers' vacated positions will raise the number of employees receiving recalls or reassignments to more than >100. (AAL) said the additional work required to operate more 757 winglet modification lines prompted the recalls. (AAL) and the Transport Workers Union, which represents the recalled workers, won Air Transport Worlds "Labor Management Relations" award last month.

(IBM) announced a 7.5-year, $217 million business transformation outsourcing agreement with (AAL) covering its human resources (HR) functions. IBM will provide support for standardized (HR) resources processes, Information Technology (IT) and call center support. Mercer (HR) Services will deliver compensation and benefits administration and consulting.

(AAL) said it will expedite both the delivery of the 47 737-800s it has on order and the replacement of a portion of its MD-80 fleet. It will take three airplanes in early 2009 that originally were scheduled to arrive in 2016 and "intends to continue pulling forward deliveries" from the current 2013 to 2016 timeframe to 2009 to 2012. It said it hopes to improve the entire fleet's fuel efficiency by more than >20% by 2020. "We believe that beginning to replace some of our MD-80s in a measured way makes economic sense," CEO, Gerard Arpey said, adding that (AAL)'s agreement with Boeing (TBC) "gives us ample flexibility for our long-term fleet plan," allowing the carrier to buy additional 737s with 15 months notice as well as 787s.

April 2007: (AAL) and AeroSvit Airlines (UKA) reached an interline ticketing accord. AeroSvit (UKA) serves New York (JFK) five-times-weekly from Kiev.

(AAL) filed an application with the USA (DOT) to operate daily Chicago O'Hare - Buenos Aires (EZE) service beginning October 28 onboard 219-seat 767-300s. (AAL) already serves (EZE) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami and New York (JFK). The USA and Argentina signed an expanded air services agreement recently.

(AAL) announced plans to upgrade its 124 757s with new seats, new interiors and updated In-Flight Entertainment (IFE). The first class (F) cabin will increase to 24 seats from 22, while new economy (Y) seats, sidewalls, (LCD) monitors that will replace Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors and new digital media file servers will be added. Work will begin next year and will be conducted in-house, (AAL) said. It previously committed to revamping its 777s, 767-300s and 767-200s.

May 2007: American Airlines (AAL) started Chicago O'Hare (ORD) - Shannon, using 757-200s. Starting September 5th, New York (JFK) - Las Vegas. Starting November 17th, (JFK) - St Kitts, using 757-200s. (AAL) will offer thrice-weekly Miami - Montevideo service from July 1 aboard 767-300s. (AAL) currently operates the route on a seasonal basis, but Senior VP Miami, Caribbean & Latin America, Peter Dolara said that "our seasonal nonstop service . . . has been so encouraging, that we believe the route can be successful on a year-round basis as well."

(AAL) said it will enhance its USA - Colombia service with 14 additional weekly flights from December 13, including launching daily Miami - Barranquilla service aboard 737-800s configured to carry 148 passengers in two classes. Existing daily Miami - Medellin service will be augmented with three additional flights per week aboard 737-800s and current twice-daily Miami - Bogota service, operated with 767-300s and A300s, will be augmented by four additional flights per week aboard 757s. (AAL) will launch thrice-daily, New York LaGuardia - Minneapolis/St Paul flights on September 5 aboard two-class MD-80s. On October 1st, stops Chicago (ORD) - Shannon. On October 28th, stops Dallas (DFW) - Zurich. Starting November 15th, New York (JFK) - St Lucia, using 757-200s. Starting November 17th, (JFK) - St Kitts, using 757-200s.

(AAL) moved its international service at New York (JFK) into Concourse B of its new $1.3 billion terminal, which is near the new USA Customs and Immigrations facility. With the opening of Concourse B, (AAL) increased its gates in the new facility from 18 to 28, with 15 able to handle arriving international flights. When the terminal is complete in early 2008, it will have 36 gates, including 19 capable of handling international arrivals. (AAL) offers 92 daily flights to 38 destinations, including 23 international destinations from (JFK).

(AAL) is the launch customer for 767-300ER blended winglets produced by Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), the airline announced. (AAL) will remove an airplane from service and lease it to (APB) for an eight-month flight test certification program beginning in January. It then intends to install winglets on each of its 58 767-300ERs by the middle of 2010.

(AAL) announced the recall of 200 furloughed flight attendants (CA) to compensate for "projected attrition" through year end.

(AAL) has 2,799 pilots (FC) on furlough status. It recalled 30 pilots in April and is recalling another 30 this month.

(AAL)'s 777-200 fleet will feature a similar next-generation business class (C), but in a 2-3-2 configuration. A "test" retrofit of a 777 is planned for this summer and fleet-wide refurbishment should begin this fall. Upgrades for 757s are planned for early next year.

757-2Q8 (27620), returned to (ILF).

June 2007: American Airlines (AAL) announced that it will apply for the right to operate a daily Chicago O'Hare - Beijing service beginning in March 2009 aboard a three-class, 245-seat 777.

(AAL) announced it will accelerate deliveries of six 737-800s into the first half of 2009, in order to speed up replacement of its MD-80s. Three months ago, it said it would bring forward the delivery of 47 737-800s, including three scheduled for 2016 delivery to 2009. It now plans to take nine airplanes in 2009 under its existing purchase agreement with Boeing (TBC).

757-2Q8 (28165), WFU at Alliance.

July 2007: 2 757-2Q8s (27625; 28168), & 757-231 (29378), WFU at Alliance.

August 2007: 2006 Results: American Airlines (AAL) is world #1 airline by passenger operations ranked by traffic: 224.30 billion (RPK) (+0.8%); 279.88 billion (ASK) capacity (-1.1%); 80.1% LF (+1.6); 98.1 million passengers (+0.1%); 86,600 employees (-2.0%); 3.25 billion (RTK) (+0.7%) cargo traffic; 673 airplanes (see link to world airline (RPK) comparison chart).

(AAL) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with AirCell to become the first USA carrier to test that company's high-speed broadband capability for passengers traveling within the continental USA. The test will be conducted next year on (AAL)'s 767-200s "that primarily fly transcontinental routes," according to the airline. The solution will provide passengers the ability to use Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and Personal Digital Assistants (PDA)s "coast-to-coast, border-to-border," surf the Internet, and send and receive e-mail, according to AirCell. Neither the (FCC), nor the (FAA) has approved the use of mobile phones or (PDA)s for voice communication in flight. The technology, which relies on ground stations to transmit the signal, will use three antennas installed on the outside of the airplanes. Signals received inside the cabin will be 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi.

(AAL) has 2,497 pilots (FC) on furlough status. Plans to recall 56 pilots (FC) in September, and +50 in October. (AAL) said it will recall +460 furloughed flight attendants (CA), all formerly employed by (TWA), bringing the number of cabin staff (CA) recalled this year to +660. Those who accept the recall and qualify, will return to service as early as October, (AAL) said.

MD-82 (49667), returned and leased to Allegiant Air (WJE).

September 2007: While Delta (DAL) is expected to launch service to London Heathrow (LHR) once the USA - (EU) "open skies" deal takes effect next spring, (AAL) already operates six-times-daily to (LHR), and adds a daily Stansted (STN) service at the end of October, to be followed by a second daily flight in April.

(AAL) and (DAL) also confront one another at LaGuardia, where (DAL)operates one of the two East Coast shuttles, while Continental Airlines (CAL) operates a full-fledged hub at Newark.

(AAL) conducted a test on flights from San Francisco, during which it will accept only credit or debit cards for onboard transactions. (AAL) began accepting cards for purchases last year, and said it is investigating whether passengers prefer that payment method.

(AAL) launched thrice-daily flights between New York LaGuardia and Minneapolis-St Paul aboard MD-80s, added a third daily New York (JFK) - Chicago O'Hare service, and launched daily (JFK) - Las Vegas flights aboard a 757.

INCDT: An (AAL) MD-82 in-flight engine fire took place this month. It was "probably due to an unapproved and improper procedure used by mechanics (MT) to manually start one of the engines," the USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a recent report, adding that "the fire was prolonged and the safety of the airplane further jeopardized by how the flight crew (FC) handled the emergency." Another contributing factor was "a flawed internal safety management system," the (NTSB) said in a hard-hitting report that broadly criticized (AAL). The board said the left engine fire, which started during a departure climb from St Louis (STL), likely was caused by an "inappropriate" engine-start procedure that "led to the uncommanded opening of the left engine air turbine starter valve and a subsequent left engine fire."

The airplane quickly returned to (STL) for an emergency landing. The 143 passengers and crew escaped with no injuries but the airplane "sustained substantial damage," the (NTSB) said. "We're closely studying the board's findings to ensure we fully understand and are able to comply with their recommendations," an (AAL) spokesperson said. "Our flight crew (FC), given all of the factors in this event, overcame numerous difficulties to safely land the plane with no injuries to anyone on board."

The board's investigation revealed that "a component in the manual start mechanism of the engine was damaged when a mechanic (MT) used an unapproved tool to initiate the start of the [left] engine while the airplane was parked at the gate at (STL)." But the critique of (AAL) does not stop there. "The (NTSB) examined how the flight crew (FC) handled the in-flight emergency and found their performance to be lacking," the (NTSB) said. "The (NTSB) was particularly concerned with how the flight crew (FC) repeatedly interrupted their completion of the emergency checklist items with lower priority tasks."

In addition, (AAL)'s internal maintenance system "failed" by not raising a red flag when the MD-82's left engine air turbine starter valve was replaced six times in the 13 days prior to the accident flight, the (NTSB) stated.

The (AAL) spokesperson said the "initial causes of the engine problem [were] the air filters." He added that "all of the filters of this type on our MD-80s [have been replaced] regardless of their apparent condition. We've also changed our maintenance procedures to frequently examine the filters for potential deterioration." (AAL) has updated its pilot (FC) training, based on lessons learned from the incident, he said. (SEE LATER FINDINGS IN MAY 2009 (NTSB) REPORT.)

October 2007: American Airlines (AAL) has 2,390 pilots (FC) on furlough status. (AAL) plans to recall another 20 pilots (FC) in October.

(AAL) will close its Cincinnati reservations office in September 2008. It said it will offer jobs to the 450 affected employees elsewhere in the company.

(AAL) announced the June 2, 2008, launch of a six-times-weekly Chicago O'Hare - Moscow Domodedovo service aboard a 225-seat 767-300.

(AAL)'s program to improve the aerodynamics of its MD-80 fleet is progressing with 51 airplanes flying with revised tail cones and a further 40 earmarked for retrofit. The program was initiated two years ago, retrofitting its 300 MD-80s that do not have low drag, Kevlar tail cones. (AAL) says its employees at its Tulsa maintenance base had suggested that they manufacture the tail cones themselves. It is expected the retrofit will save more than >3.8 litres/1 million USA gallons of fuel a year, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than >9 million kg/20 million lbs. The retrofits are part of (AAL)'s "Fuel Smart" initiative, which also involves (AAL) installing Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) winglets on its 737s, 757s, and 767s.

2 757-2Q8s (27624; 28169), ex-(TWA), returned to (ILFC) (ILF), leased to Delta Airlines (DAL).

November 2007: American Airlines (AAL) plans to recall another 30 pilots (FC) in November and +30 more in December. (AAL) expects to begin recalling 40 to 50 pilots (FC) per month in January.

(AAL) and Jet Airways (JPL) reached agreement to start code share cooperation on January 16, pending regulatory approval. Under the proposal, (AAL) would place its code on Jet (JPL) flights to certain cities in India, beyond its Delhi hub. In turn, Jet (JPL) would place its code on certain (AAL) domestic flights out of New York (JFK). In addition, (AAL) and Jet (JPL) will code share and cooperate on traffic between the USA and India, connecting in Brussels.

Oneworld (ONW) Alliance members (CAT), British Airways (BAB), and Qantas (QAN) opened the first airport lounge developed as an "alliance project" in Los Angeles International Airport's international terminal. Passengers flying Japan Airlines (JAL) or (LAN) Airlines (which operate from that terminal), and elite members of other alliance carriers, will have access to the 1,360-sq-m facility. (AAL) maintains its own lounge in Terminal 4.

Virgin America (VUS), forced by the USA Department of Transportation to replace (CEO), Fred Reid, announced that (AAL) Senior VP Global Sales, C David Cush will take over the position on December 10. "David's extensive industry experience, business acumen and creativity are the perfect attributes for leading the company as it continues to grow from a promising startup to a major carrier," (VUS) Chairman, Donald Carty said. "Both Fred Reid and I have worked with David during our careers, and we are confident he is the right person to lead Virgin America (VUS)." Cush also served as VP & General Sales Manager, VP of (AAL)'s St Louis hub, and was VP International Planning & Alliances during his 20 combined years at the carrier. He left (AAL) in 1996 to become (COO) at Aerolineas Argentinas (ARG), but returned to (AAL) two years later.

December 2007: American Airlines (AAL) has 2,357 pilots (FC) on furlough status. (AAL) recalled 58 pilots (FC) in November. (AAL) plans to recall another +51 pilots (FC) in January.

(AAL) announced the recall of 247 furloughed former (TWA) flight attendants (CA) for next year, with a return to service scheduled for March. (AAL) has recalled more than >900 cabin staff (CA) in 2007.

El Al (ELA) and (AAL) applied to USA and Israeli authorities to begin code sharing. El Al (ELA) and (AAL) passengers will have access to Israel from 28 North American destinations, up from the current five. In addition, El Al (ELA) passengers will have access to (AAL)'s transatlantic flights, and (AAL) passengers will have access to El Al (ELA)'s Europe - Israel services. Chairman, Israel Borovich said the deal will be "the most comprehensive agreement between El Al (ELA) and any airline."

(AAL) says it will begin testing in-flight Internet access next year on its 767-200 airplanes. The carrier will use AirCell's broadband Internet service on planes that primarily fly transcontinental routes. AirCell Chief Executive, Jack Blumenstein said the company can provide Internet access for about $10 per user. "Airline customers across the USA list broadband access in flight as one of their top wishes," said Blumenstein. "As the first airline to deploy broadband access, (AAL) is demonstrating its commitment to the business (C) traveler and to its industry-leading position in technological innovation." (AAL) says Internet access will be available on all of the 767 airplanes and if the test is successful, they could extend the service to the rest of (AAL)'s domestic fleet.

January 2008: American Airlines (AAL) 2007 statistics: 222.73 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic (Number One in the world!) -.7%; -2.4% capacity (ASK)s; +1.4 load factor for 81.5% LF. SEE ATTACHED COMPARISON CHART TO SELECTED OPERATORS - "AAL-2007-STATS."

(AAL) parent, the AMR Corporation reported full-year 2007 net income of +$504 million, more than double the +$231 million earned in the prior year, despite a fourth-quarter net loss of -$69 million that it attributed largely to "record fuel prices." The quarterly loss was reversed from a profit of +$17 million in the year-ago period and ended the carrier's streak of six straight quarters in the black. But Chairman & CEO, Gerard Arpey noted that AMR posted back-to-back profitable years for the first time since 1999 to 2000, despite "enormous challenges from unprecedented weather disruptions, air traffic control problems and record fuel prices."

Full-year operating revenue increased +1.6% to $22.94 billion, while expenses rose +2.2% to $21.97 billion, producing operating income of +$965 million, down -9% from +$1.06 billion in 2006. Full-year mainline traffic declined -0.7% to 138.45 billion (RPM)s on a -2.4% drop in capacity to 169.91 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 81.5% LF, up +1.4 points. Passenger yield grew +2.8% to 13.17 cents as (PRASM) lifted +4.6% to 10.73 cents, and (CASM) increased +4.4% to 11.38 cents.

(AMR)'s net debt at the end of 2007 was -$11 billion, down -19% from -$13.6 billion at the end of 2006.

(AAL) introduced a mobile version of its website that will allow users to check in and confirm their itinerary and schedule/status in addition to other features. Booking, reservation changes and loyalty program features will be available this spring.

February 2008: 767-323ER (27449, N389AA), leased to Aviation Partners Boeing (APB).

March 2008: 757-231 (30340), returned to Pegasus (PSS).

April 2008: American Airlines (AAL) plans to "accelerate" replacement of MD-80s with more fuel efficient 737-800s and "plans" to take delivery of 34 in 2009 and 36 in 2010.

May 2008: INCDT: The USA (FAA) is investigating why a fuselage panel fell off an American Airlines (AAL) 767 following takeoff from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) last month en route to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), the "Associated Press" reported. The (FAA) also is examining why the airplane carried on to (CDG), rather than returning to (DFW). An internal (AAL) memo obtained by the "AP" stated that while pictures of the fuselage with a missing panel "are very dramatic," the flight did not pose a safety risk. Pilots (FC) heard a loud noise shortly after takeoff, but did not know what it was, and "obviously" would have returned to (DFW) had they been aware of the missing panel, the memo said.

(AAL) has 2,043 pilots (FC) on furlough status. American (AAL) recalled 25 pilots (FC) on May 7th; 25 pilots (FC) on May 21st, and plans to recall 15 (FC) on June 4th.

(AAL) said it will retire "at least" 75 airplanes, including 40 to 45 mainline jets, this year and begin charging $15 for the first piece of checked luggage on North American flights as it tries to cope with oil prices that reached more than >$130 per barrel. "We are facing an extraordinarily difficult environment," Chairman & CEO, Gerard Arpey said in announcing the cutbacks. "The USA airline industry was not built for $125 or $130 barrel oil . . . [and] will not and cannot continue in its current state." The reductions will comprise mostly MD-80s, but also some A300s. As a result, (AAL) expects mainline domestic capacity to be down -11% to -12% in the fourth quarter, compared to the year-ago period. In mid-April, it had estimated a -4.6% reduction. Regional capacity will drop by -10% to -11% versus previous guidance of a +2% rise in capacity (ASM)s.

(AAL) becomes the first major USA airline to charge a fee for the first piece of luggage. Most already charge for a second piece. It does not apply to high-mileage members of AAdvantage, including those who have achieved Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum status, or to full-fare travelers. (AAL) also increased charges by from $5 to $50 for other items including reservations service, pet carriage and oversize baggage. It estimated that the new and increased fees will generate "several hundred million dollars" in incremental annual revenue.

Of all the actions taken by the airlines to defend against high fuel costs, none has brought the gravity of the fuel crisis home to consumers quite like (AAL)'s plan to charge most coach (Y) passengers $15 each way for the first checked bag. The high fuel costs are "the biggest threat to the world's airlines ever," Henry Harteveldt, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, said. Even in the dark days following "9/11," "we knew demand would return." But there is no certainty that the soaring price of oil, now more than >$130 per barrel, will come down. "We have to accept the fact that air transportation is probably going back to being something for higher-income people," Harteveldt said. "It's the end of an era."

(AAL) began specifying the services it is cutting following its recent announcement that 40 to 45 mainline airplanes and 35 to 40 regional airplanes will be parked this year, in an effort to cope with "an extraordinarily difficult environment" characterized by "skyrocketing fuel prices and a softening economy."

(AAL) parent AMR Corp Chairman, President & (CEO), Gerard Arpey said fuel costs are "negating all of the [cost-cutting] progress we have made in the last few years . . . Despite our best efforts, fares are not keeping pace with the meteoric rise in fuel prices."

MD-83 (49529), WFU at Roswell.

June 2008: American Airlines (AAL) and Aircell tested their in-flight Internet product on two 767-200 flights between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles, while the carrier announced that its fourth-quarter capacity cuts will include cessation of service at eight airports. The Internet test was free for passengers, but (AAL) eventually will charge $9.95 to $12.95 for the vast majority of the "Gogo" service, which is expected to be more widely available in the coming weeks, according to press reports. (AAL) initially plans to offer the technology on each of its 15 primarily transcontinental 767-200s.

(AAL) has 1,990 pilots (FC) on furlough status. No additional recalls are planned at this time.

MD-82 (49311), WFU at Roswell. MD-82 (49245), returned to lessor.

July 2008: (AAL) parent AMR Corp told its employees that more than >6,700 of them will be cut by year end, representing about -8% of the company's total workforce. The cuts are in line with large capacity reductions for the second half of 2008 announced last month.

Flight attendants (CA) who want to keep working at (AAL) will remain aloft without fear of layoffs, at least for a while. Airline and union officials said that enough attendants had accepted early-retirement offers or extended leaves of absence to offset -900 jobs the airline said had to be eliminated by August 31.

Airline officials confirmed that 777 maintenance work will be moved from (AAL)’s base at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth to Tulsa. That move is part of a general rethinking of the airline’s maintenance resources as its fleet shrinks.

(AAL) also plans to cut -200 pilot (FC) jobs, and could eliminate up to 1,500 ground-worker (MT) positions. About 8% of management and non-union support staff will also be cut.

The USA (FAA) issued new airworthiness directives requiring "repetitive inspections for cracking" of overwing frames on MD-80s and of the upper frame to side frame splice on the fuselage of 737 Classics. (AAL) is the largest operator of the MD-80 and Southwest Airlines (SWA) is the largest operator of the 737 Classic series, but one or both of the types are present in the fleets of most other USA major airlines. It does not appear that the (AD)s, to take effect next month, will require widespread groundings like those that occurred earlier this year.

GKN Aerospace said it delivered blended winglets for certification flight tests to Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) in support of their launch customer American Airlines (AAL)'s fleet of 767-300ERs.

August 2008: American Airlines (AAL) will launch daily, Miami - Antigua from November 20, aboard 737-800s. (AAL) will launch flights from Miami to Belo Horizonte (thrice-weekly) and Recife, via Salvador de Bahia (daily) on November 2 aboard 767-300s. (AAL) will launch five-times-weekly, Chicago O'Hare - Montego Bay on January 31 aboard a 757.

Oneworld (ONW) partners, (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Finnair (FIN), and Royal Jordanian (RJA) confirmed that they filed for worldwide antitrust immunity (ATI) from the USA Department of Transportation and notified the appropriate regulatory authorities in the European Union (EU).

(AAL) launched its "Gogo" in-flight Internet service provided by Aircell on 767-200s operating from New York to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami. The service is available in all cabins and costs $12.95 per person on flights of more than 3 hours.

(AAL) has 1,990 pilots (fc) on furlough status.

(AAL) firmed up commitments for 26 new 737-800s, comprising 20 converted options and six new orders. The six new airplanes will be part of the accelerated fleet plan and MD-80 replacement program. (AAL) now has ordered 36 737-800s this year and is "accelerating deliveries of airplanes booked in prior years," according to the manufacturer.

(AAL) said that it will speed up deliveries of its 737-800s, taking an additional six in 2010 as it as it seeks to replace its MD-80s with more fuel efficient airplanes. (AAL) now plans to take delivery of 36 737-800s in 2009 and 40 in 2010. It has firm orders for an additional 11 737NGs to be delivered in 2013 and "continues to evaluate opportunities to accelerate MD-80 replacement with additional 737s," it said in a statement.

Executive VP Finance & (CFO), Tom Horton added, "Replacing MD-80s with 737s at current fuel prices provides financial benefits, while enhancing our products and services."

September 2008: (AAL) adds 767-300ERs flights to Belo Horizonte and Salvador, via Recife, Brazil, in November.

More than >400 (AAL) employees at five USA airports have received notices that they could lose their jobs, effective November 1.

(AAL) has 1,970 pilots (FC) on furlough status.

October 2008: American Airlines (AAL) placed a firm order for 42 787-9s valued at more than >$8 billion with first delivery scheduled for September 2012, a move it said signals its continued focus on the future even as it navigates current economic difficulties. (AAL) also has options for 58 more 787-9 Dreamliners.

Managing Director Fleet Transactions, Jay Hancock said in an interview that the 787s will be replacements for 767-300s and also will allow (AAL) to grow its wide body long-haul fleet to match new opportunities presented by potential transatlantic antitrust immunity with British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE).

Arpey said that if the airline's costs and revenue reach "calm waters" by the next decade, the 58 787 options "position us for growth." He added that the order is in line with taking delivery of 76 737-800s in 2009 through 2010 to replace the MD-80 fleet. "The 787 will help reduce our fuel and maintenance costs [and] lessen our environmental impact," he said.

November 2008: An additional 35 American Airlines (AAL) pilots (FC) retired.

(AAL) named former American Beacon Advisors President & (CEO), Doug Herring as VP Operations Finance & Strategic Planning.


December 2008: American Airlines (AAL) will launch daily, Dallas/Fort Worth - Madrid service on May 1 aboard a two-class, 225-seat 767-300. (AAL) will launch daily, Boston (BOS) - San Diego on April 7 aboard a 757 as part of a service at (BOS) that will include additional daily frequencies to Los Angeles (LAX), Dallas/Fort Worth, St Louis and London Heathrow (LHR). Seasonal (BOS) - Paris Charles de Gaulle flights begin May 1 aboard a 767-300.

(AAL) announced the reopening of its 3,600-sq-ft Miami (MIA) Flagship Lounge. It has similar facilities at Chicago O'Hare (ORD), (LHR), New York (JFK), and (LAX).

(AAL) suspended its Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), which allowed pilots (FC) to report safety issues confidentially without fear of punishment from the carrier or the USA (FAA).

January 2009: American Airlines (AAL) parent, (AMR) Corporation reported a net loss of -$340 million for the 4th quarter of 2008, propelling it into a full-year loss of -$2.07 billion, its largest annual deficit since 2002 and a significant reversal from net income of +$504 million in 2007.

4th-quarter results included a $23 million charge for airplane groundings, facility write offs and severance related to previously announced capacity cuts and a non cash pension charge of $103 million "driven by a large number of early pilot (FC) retirements." Excluding these charges, (AMR) lost -$214 million in the quarter compared to a loss of -$184 million in the year-ago period excluding special items of $69 million inclusive. For the full year, the company lost -$1.2 billion excluding special items, compared to income of +$504 million (+$420 million excluding special items) in 2007. "Our 4th quarter and full year 2008 results reflect the difficulties all airlines faced last year, but we believe our steps to reduce capacity, bolster liquidity and improve revenue helped us better manage the challenges of record fuel prices and a weak economy," (AMR) Chairman & (CEO) Gerard Arpey said.

For the full year, (AAL)'s fuel expenses increased by +$2.7 billion as fuel averaged a record $3.03 per gallon compared to $2.13 in 2007. Quarterly operating loss was -$196 million compared to -$69 million in 2007.

(AAL) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants announced implementation of a new Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) that encourages cabin staff (CA) to voluntarily and confidentially report safety-related issues without reprisal. (AAL) and pilots (FC) represented by the Allied Pilots Association suspended their (ASAP) last month.

(AAL) plans to recall 24 furloughed pilots (FC) in February, a spokesperson told the "Associated Press." It will mark the 1st time in 8 months that (AAL) has added pilots (FC).

February 2009: American Airlines (AAL) said it has become the 1st USA passenger carrier to join the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Climate Leaders program to reduce emissions. New airplanes will account for a large portion of that reduction, as (AAL) replaces its older MD-80s with 737-800s that create about -35% less pollution per mile flown.

(AAL) and Gol (GOT) announced a reciprocal interline and baggage check-through agreement. (AAL) serves Rio de Janeiro Galeao (GIG), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), Belo Horizonte, Recife and Salvador from Miami (all 5 Brazilian cities), New York (JFK) (from (GIG) and (GRU)) and Dallas/Fort Worth (from (GRU)).

(AAL) will begin transitioning to cashless cabins this summer on domestic and Canadian flights, accepting only major credit/debit cards for on board purchases. It is using GuestLogix's technology platform featuring the company's Mobile Virtual Store point-of-sale hand held device.

March 2009: American Airlines (AAL) is to lay off -323 Cabin Attendants (CA) next month; these will aggravate already toxic labor relations.

(AAL) operated the 1st revenue flight with an Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) blended winglet-equipped 767-300ER. (AAL) plans to install winglets on each of its 58 767-300ERs by 2011, and expects to save up to -500,000 gallons of fuel per airplane each year, depending in mileage. (AAL)'s 124 757s and 77 737s already fly with winglets.

Worldwide Flight Services announced a 2-year contract with (AAL) to provide cargo handling and cargo-related customer service at Toronto, taking over (AAL)'s 22,000-sq-ft cargo facility at the airport.

April 2009: (AAL) announced it will install Aircell's Gogo in-flight Internet service in >300 domestic airplanes over the next 2 years. Installation on 150 MD-80s will begin next year, followed by 737-800s. The service will cost $7.95 to $12.95, depending on the length of flight and whether the passenger is using a laptop computer or a Personal digital assistant (PDA).

MD-82 (49340, N428AA) donated to the "Miguel Such Vocational School."

May 2009: American Airlines (AAL) launched daily, Dallas/Fort Worth - Madrid service aboard a 225-seat 767-300. It also started a 3rd daily, Boston (BOS) - London Heathrow frequency and restarted daily seasonal (BOS) - Paris Charles de Gaulle flights. (AAL) said it deployed a 757 on New York (JFK) - Brussels service, the 1st of 18 757s it is reconfiguring with 166 economy (Y)/16 business-class (C) seats for international flying. The airplanes feature "new seats, new cabin interiors and updated in-flight entertainment [IFE]."

(AAL) will operate a cashless cabin on USA and Canadian mainline flights beginning June 1.

June 2009: American Airlines (AAL) and Air France (AFA) will both conduct Paris-to-Miami "green flights," hoping to prove that (GPS) technology can dramatically reduce fuel burn and emissions. The NextGen technology recently installed at Miami International Airport will allow the planes to fly more direct routes and make quicker landings, potentially saving several thousand pounds of fuel.

Qantas Airways (QAN) announced and expanded code share deals with (AAL). From June 17, (QAN) will place its code on (AAL) flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco via Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O'Hare to eight USA cities.

FltOps.com (later to become FAPA.aero), an assistance service for professional pilots (FC), released a report of what each major USA carrier pays its Captains (FC) and First Officers (FC). For the 11 largest USA airlines, including freight carriers FedEx (FED) and (UPS), the average annual pay for a 1st-year First Officer (FC) flying the smallest mainline airplane is about $36,000. But the range between the best and worst paying airlines is large, with (FED) paying $51,000 and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) just $22,000. Southwest Airlines (SWA) is the 2nd highest, paying at the entry level ($50,000), while Continental Airlines (CAL) and United Airlines (UAL) are tied for 2nd last at $27,000. At the other end of the scale are long tenured Captains (FC) flying the largest airplanes, who earn an average of $165,000 per year. Again, the cargo carriers are tops with (UPS) and (FED) paying $231,000 and $211,000, respectively. The best paying passenger airline is (SWA) ($181,000), quite remarkable, considering its pilots (FC) only fly narrow body 737s. The worst is JetBlue (JBL) ($123,000). Flt.Ops.com (FAPA.aero) notes that pilots (FC) can earn considerably more than their base pay through international overrides, overtime work, per diems and other items.

Recently released federal government employment figures for airline pilots (FC) and mechanics (MT) run counter to data compiled by private organizations and the personal stories of highly-trained pilots (FC) standing in unemployment lines. FltOps.com (FAPA.aero) recently held a pilot (FC) recruiting conference in Dallas-Fort Worth in which only a handful of airlines were on hand to interview pilots (FC). Last year’s event drew 35 airlines, spelling out how drastic the drop in pilot (FC) hiring has been, as air carriers quit hiring and in many case furlough pilots (FC). FltOps.com (FAPA.aero) says the 15 largest USA airlines it tracks, hired 2,300 pilots (FC) in 2006 and 2,440 in 2007. But last year, only 1,300 pilots (FC) found jobs. Through the 1st 4 months of 2009, only 28 new pilots (FC) joined the 15 air carriers. FltOps.com (FAPA.aero)’s figures jive with that of AIR Inc, the aviation career information service, that for 2 decades served as a reservoir of data on pilot (FC) hirings. But if anyone needed more evidence of the worsening condition of the airline industry, Air Inc in February this year, shuttered its operation as a result of the sorry state of the economy worldwide, which has produced a dearth of new commercial pilot (FC) jobs, as legacy airlines shed capacity, implementing pilot (FC) furloughs and layoffs while also putting off new flight deck crew (FC) hiring.

By the end of 2008, as the recession deepened, it became clear that the future would be bleak for newly minted flight school graduates. Air Inc said airline pilot (FC) hiring totals for 2008 were less than half of what they were the previous year, 6,479 compared to 13,157 in 2007.

However, the federal government says USA scheduled passenger airlines employed +2.3% more pilots (FC) and +5.9% more maintenance (MT) workers in 2008 than in 2007, while total industry jobs declined by -3.0%. According to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the 7 large network carriers employed +1.1% more pilots (FC) and +8.6% more maintenance (MT) workers in 2008 than in 2007. The 7 largest low-cost carriers (LCC)s employed +5.2% more pilots (FC) and -6.8% fewer maintenance (MT) workers from 2007 to 2008.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) had the largest increase in pilots (FC) of any network airline from 2007 to 2008, while Alaska Airlines (ASA) had the greatest percentage decrease in pilot (FC) employment of the network airlines. United Airlines (UAL) had the largest increase in maintenance workers of any network airline from 2007 to 2008, while Northwest Airlines (NWA) had the smallest increase.

All of the low-cost carriers (LCC)s except Frontier Airlines (FRO) added pilots (FC) from 2007 to 2008. Spirit Airlines (SPR) had the largest increase in pilot (FC) employment, followed by Allegiant Airlines (WJE). (WJE) had the largest increase in maintenance (MT) workers of any low-cost airline from 2007 to 2008, while (SPR) had the largest reduction. The 7 network carriers employed 13.2 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, down from 13.5 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007. The (LCC)s employed 11.2 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, down -1.8% from 11.4 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007.

Alaska Airlines (ASA) had 12.0 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, down from 12.9 (FC) per airplane in 2007, the fewest of any network airline. Delta (DAL), with 14.9 per airplane, up from 14.3 per airplane in 2008, had the largest increase in the number of pilots (FC) per airplane from 2007 to 2008 and had the most pilots (FC) per airplane of any network carrier.

Allegiant (WJE) had 9.3 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, the fewest of any (LCC), compared to 9.6 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007. Spirit (SPR), with 15.5 (FC) per airplane, up from 12.6 (FC) per airplane in 2007 had the most pilots (FC) per airplane in the (LCC)s group.

As regards airline mechanics (MT), the (BTS) said the passenger airlines had 8.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, up from 8.3 per airplane in 2007. The network airlines had 12.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, up from 12.3 (MT) per airplane in 2007. Spending by network airlines for outsourced maintenance increased from 42.5% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 42.8% in 2008. The (LCC)s had 3.2 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, down from 3.7 (MT) per airplane in 2007. Spending by (LCC)s for outsourced maintenance increased from 52.1% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 54.6% in 2007.

(NWA) had 0.8 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the fewest of any network airline and unchanged from the 0.8 employees per airplane in 2007. (NWA)’s spending for outsourcing maintenance declined from 71.0% of total spending in 2007 to 65.9% in 2008. (AAL) had 22.4 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the most of any network airline. (AAL)’s spending for outsourcing was 23.6% of total maintenance spending in 2008, the lowest percentage spending share of the network carriers.

Virgin America (VUS) had 1.7 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008 the fewest of any (LCC). Of the (LCC)s, Spirit (SPR) spent the smallest portion of its maintenance expense on outsourcing at 22.6%. Southwest (SWA) had the highest percentage share for outsourcing at 61.3%. (FRO) had 3.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the most of any (LCC) but down from 7.7 (MT) employees per airplane in 2007. (FRO)’s spending for outsourcing increased from 20.5% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 24.9% in 2008.

(SWA) pilots (FC) rejected a tentative 5-year contract that would have increased their salaries and retirement benefits. Almost 51% of pilots (FC) voted against the agreement, which was reached in January after >2 years of talks. In the interim, the existing contract remains in effect. >95% of pilots (FC) voted.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the skies aren’t so friendly for Steffan Schmidt and Chris Campbell. They were recently found on a street in Seattle, at rush hour, holding signs more often used by panhandlers. “2 laid-off pilots (FC)” read Schmidt's sign. “Will Fly for Food” Campbell’s sign said. It’s a small industry, and there aren’t a lot of pilot (FC) gigs on Craigslist or Monster, said Campbell, who lost his job flying a corporate airplane. Schmidt was laid off from his job flying a corporate plane 3 months ago, and figured they would get some “exposure” by standing at a busy freeway ramp. “The normal way to find employment didn’t cut it,” he said. Schmidt said he wanted to get off unemployment, and not “waste any more tax dollars.” They're seeking pilot (FC) jobs, not handouts, but passersby offered them money and books, which they politely declined.

July 2009: (AAL) is continuing with an aggressive narrow body fleet modernization, taking delivery of 84 737NGs by the end of 2011 to replace MD-80s, saying the -35% lower per-seat fuel burn rate of the newer planes is urgently needed with fuel prices starting to rise again following last year's steep fall.

(AAL) and Gol (GOT) said they intend to enter a code share agreement "in the near future" and will initiate a frequent-flyer accord from August 1 that will allow members of (AAL)'s "AAdvantage" and (GOT)'s "Smiles" programs to cross-access benefits. Passengers from the 2 programs will be able to earn miles on each airline's flights and in the fall will begin to be allowed to redeem miles on each. (GOT) (CEO) Constantino de Oliveira Jr added, "Not only are we offering Smiles members service across the USA, but we're also providing access to destinations in all continents through [AAL]." (GOT) no longer operates flights to North America or Europe. (AAL) operates 58 weekly flights to/from Brazil. In November 2008, it began service from its Miami hub to Belo Horizonte, Recife, and Salvador.

(AAL) is testing a new technology at Boston Logan International Airport that could cut passenger waiting times without increasing the need for agents. The 20 mobile devices, known as "Your Assistance Delivered Anywhere (YADA)," will eventually allow roaming airline workers to check bags, upgrade seats and print boarding passes anywhere they are needed. "The beauty of this device is that it allows our agents to be more mobile and to approach customers," said Jim Moses, (AAL)'s Managing Director Facilities at Logan.

(AAL) raised its fee for a first and second checked bag on flights within the USA by $5. The fee for the first bag will be $20 instead of $15, and for the second $30 instead of $25. The change will take effect for tickets purchased on or after August 14.

August 2009: American Airlines (AAL) said that it will start charging economy-class (Y) passengers a $50 fee for a second checked bag on flights to/from or through India and to/from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. The first checked bags will remain free. The policy takes effect for tickets purchased on or after September 14. On flights within the USA, (AAL) already charges $20 for a first checked bag and $30 for a second checked bag.

SEE ARTICLE - - "AAL-A300-ADIEU-2009-09."

September 2009: United Airlines (UAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) followed American Airlines (AAL)'s lead in imposing a $10 surcharge on travel on three peak days following upcoming holidays.

(AAL) will furlough 228 flight attendants (CA) on October 1 and place an additional 693 on leave. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said (AAL) originally had planned to cut -1,200 positions in response to previously announced capacity reductions but that the union and management worked to minimize the final number. As a result, 244 employees will go on leave in October and November and an additional 449 will be asked to take voluntary leave. Of the furloughs, 105 will come at New York LaGuardia and 65 at Chicago O'Hare, with the remainder at Boston, St Louis and Washington National, according to the "Associated Press."

Later, (AAL) said it will cut 921 flight attendant (CA) jobs starting October 1 due to falling demand and reduced capacity. About half the reductions will come from voluntary leaves, while the remaining half will be furloughs or involuntary leaves.

(AAL) will extend its daily, Boston - London Heathrow 767-300 service to Brussels beginning November 19.

(AAL)'s decision to work with Hewlett Packard (HP) to build a new passenger services system (PSS) - - dubbed a "bold move" by Monte Ford, (AAL)'s Chief Information Officer (CIO) - - took many observers by surprise.

Amadeus has been courting (AAL) for several years. Its Altea platform is up and running, serving several of (AAL)'s Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners, including British Airways (BAB) and Qantas (QAN). The announcement that (AAL) would end the most significant element of its relationship with Sabre also signaled the end of an era.

Henry Harteveldt, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, wrote in his blog that (AAL) and Sabre are "so intertwined that it's hard to imagine one without the other - - kind of like 'Cher' and 'farewell tour.'" But Sabre will remain, metaphorically at least, in the next room. (EDS), which was acquired by (HP) last year, manages Sabre's Information Technology (IT) systems.

In an analysis of the (AAL)-(HP) deal, Ian Tunnacliffe, Research Director of Travel Technology Research Ltd in Burnham, UK, wrote that "if (HP) finds that the going gets really rough as it tries to deliver on its promises, help may well be at hand - - and not so far away. The most experienced company in the airline (IT) industry knows (AAL)'s needs inside and out. And it is already a key subcontractor to (EDS) in delivering the current solution."

October 2009: The European Commission (EC) confirmed that it sent a "statement of objections" to American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) in September, warning the carriers that their proposed cooperation on transatlantic services "may be in breach of European rules on restrictive business practices." The (EC) in April opened an antitrust inquiry into the proposal, which would see the Oneworld (ONW) partners deepen their cooperation across the Atlantic by coordinating commercial, operational and marketing activities, in particular by jointly managing schedules, capacity and pricing as well as sharing revenue on transatlantic routes.

The USA (FAA) is investigating (AAL)'s maintenance of MD-80s, "The Wall Street Journal" reported, citing preliminary (FAA) findings that "have identified as many as 16 [(AAL) MD-80s] that were operated for months despite allegedly substandard bulkhead repairs."

Investigators reportedly are examining claims by pilots (FC) that one or more airplanes were flown at low altitudes without passengers to (AAL)'s Tulsa Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility because they were feared to be in too poor a condition to withstand the stress of operating at higher altitudes. The newspaper said the (FAA) confirmed the inquiry and (AAL) confirmed that it received a "letter of investigation" from the (FAA). In April 2008, (AAL) was forced to cancel 3,300 flights over several days while MD-80s were grounded for airworthiness directive (AD) compliance inspections.

(AAL) will close its Kansas City (MCI) Maintenance Base next September as part of a downsizing of its Maintenance & Engineering "footprint" that will result in up to -700 management and union job losses. (AAL) jad acquired this large maintenance facility in 2001 as part of its purchase of Trans World Airlines (TWA). According to a letter to employees from Senior VP Maintenance & Engineering, Carmine Romano, (AAL) plans to shutter the former (TWA) facility at (MCI), because of "reduced flying and a fleet that has shrunk from a high of more than >900 planes to approximately 600 today." Its San Francisco Maintenance base will be reduced to Class II status, while current Class II stations at Detroit, Minneapolis-St Paul and San Jose, California, will close. St Louis (STL) operations "will be downsized to adjust to the reduced flight schedule," Romano wrote.

(AAL) said it is "working diligently to find ways to minimize the impact on our people" and is offering a voluntary "separation allowance" of $12,500 to (MCI) and (STL) employees who choose to leave prior to September 2010, among other programs. "Our goal with these changes is to move toward a more flexible, cost-efficient operation that improves flow and takes into account the long-term impact of the recession on travel, deep capacity cuts across the industry and a corresponding decline in the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) business, along with the changes to our network and corresponding fleet size," Romano wrote. He added that (AAL) "remain[s] committed to performing as much of our airplane maintenance in-house as we are able to accomplish on a competitive basis." Its largest (MRO) bases are at Tulsa and Fort Worth Alliance.

(AAL) has 1,891 pilots (FC) on furlough. No further recalls are expected at this time.

November 2009: American Airlines (AAL) celebrated 20 years of operating a Miami International Airport (MIA) hub, which it acquired from Eastern Airlines (EAL) in 1990.

(AAL) has indicated that it will put up a strong fight to keep (JAL)/(JAS) in the (ONW) alliance, including challenging a move to the (STM) on antitrust grounds owing to (DAL) subsidiary, Northwest Airlines (NWA)'s strong presence in Japan. (AAL) reportedly has teamed with (TPG) Capital to propose investing $300 million in (JAL)/(JAS).

December 2009: American Airlines (AAL) is partnering with Texas Pacific Group (TPG) Capital to offer to invest $1.1 billion in Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) to assist with (JAL)/(JAS)'s restructuring and ensure it remains in the Oneworld (ONW) alliance fold.

(AAL) (CFO) & Executive VP Finance & Planning, Tom Horton insisted that the (AAL)/(TPG) proposal is "far superior" to the $1 billion package Delta Air Lines (DAL) offered (JAL)/(JAS) to induce it to switch to the SkyTeam (STM) alliance. He added that the value of the (AAL)/(TPG) deal could increase by as much as $700 million over 10 years "if (JAL)/(JAS) builds its links" with (AAL). He stated, "The total incremental financial support from the (AAL), (ONW) and (TPG) proposal is in excess of >$1.8 billion and far exceeds any other available proposition."

He further claimed that (ONW) "provides (JAL)/(JAS) with roughly $500 million in annual revenue" and claimed that (JAL)/(JAS) would lose $500 million in the first two years following a switch to the (STM).

Horton stated that (AAL) would apply to form an antitrust-immunized transpacific joint venture with (JAL)/(JAS), which he said will be permissible under the USA - Japan "open skies" accord expected to be finalized imminently. Additionally, (ONW) members, British Airways (BAB) and Finnair (FIN) said they would code share "far more widely" with (JAL)/(JAS), while (LAN) Airlines and Mexicana (CMA) also pledged greater cooperation to increase (JAL)/(JAS)'s access to Latin America.

(JAL)/(JAS) President, Haruka Nishimatsu has said he would like to choose between the (AAL) and (DAL) offers by year end.

The USA and Japan announced that they reached agreement on an "open skies" accord that will liberalize access, largely removing restrictions on the number of airlines allowed to serve each market as well as the number of flights. The long-elusive pact, agreed to after an intensive fifth round of negotiations this year took place in Washington, is contingent upon approval of antitrust immunity (ATI) for transpacific joint ventures (JV)s between Japanese and USA carriers. (ANA) is seeking to form a (JV) with Star Alliance (SAL) partners United Airlines (UAL) and Continental Airlines (CAL), while Japan Airlines (JAL) intends to form a (JV) with either (AAL) or (DAL), both of which are negotiating with (JAL) about taking a stake. The pact would replace a bilateral air services agreement that dates back to 1952, though it was expanded in 1998.

(AAL) and Gol (GOT) announced a code share arrangement under which (AAL) will place its code across (GOT)'s domestic network of 49 airports. The launch is pending government approval. The airlines began linking their loyalty programs in August. (AAL) serves five Brazilian destinations.

The USA Air Transport Association (ATA) announced that 15 airlines have signed Memos of Understanding (MOU)s with either AltAir Fuels, Rentech or both expressing nonbinding commitment to support future biofuel supply. Air Canada (ACN), American Airlines (AAL), Atlas Air (TLS), Delta Air Lines (DAL)/(NWA), FedEx Express (FED), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Lufthansa (DLH), Mexicana (CMA), Polar Air Cargo (PAO), United Airlines (UAL), (UPS) Airlines, and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) signed with both providers. Alaska Airlines (ASA) and Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) went with AltAir only and AirTran Airways (CQT) signed with Rentech. The (ATA) said discussions with additional fuel producers "about other projects" have started. "This agreement is a significant step forward, establishing a framework for a large group of diverse carriers to negotiate a definitive fuel purchase agreement," Rentech President & (CEO), D Hunt Ramsbottom said.

AltAir is working on producing some 75 million gallons of jet and diesel fuel derived from camelina oils or comparable feedstock per year at a new plant in Anacortes, Washington, USA. Rentech plans to produce around 250 million gallons per year of synthetic jet fuel derived principally from coal or petroleum coke near Natchez, Mississipi, USA with the resultant carbon dioxide sequestered and the carbon footprint potentially further reduced by integrating biomass as a feedstock. Last summer, eight airlines operating at Los Angeles International (LAX) signed a deal with Rentech for the supply of a renewable synthetic diesel fuel for use in ground service equipment (GSE).

ACCDT: An (AAL) 737-800 suffered a runway mishap with an overrun at Jamaica Kingston airport (KIN), resulting in destruction W/O (DBER) of the airplane and dozens of injuries. (AAL) 737-823 (CFM56-7B27) (1019-29550, /01 N977AN), operating Flight 331 originated at Washington National airport, stopped in Miami, then headed to Kingston airport (KIN). At approximately 9:22 pm local time, the 737-823 overran the runway at rainy Norman Manley International airport (KIN), skidded across a road and fell down a small grassy dune onto a nearby beach. Photos (SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2009-12 ACCDT 737-800-A/B/C/D") show the fuselage split nearly all the way through, both in front of and behind the wing (Damaged Beyond Economical Repair (DBER)). The engines broke off. (KIN) airport's runway measures 8,900 ft. Flight Safety Foundation's Aviation Safety Network (ASN) said the airplane landed in "heavy rain showers" with a tailwind gusting at 8 kt. Seven passengers were admitted to local hospitals, while others were "treated and released," (AAL) said. The 737-800 was carrying 148 passengers and six crew (FC - CA). Reports concerning the number of passengers injured ranged from 40 to 90. Chairman & CEO, Gerard Arpey said, "We are grateful for the professionalism of our crew members who safely evacuated the airplane." The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dispatched investigators to Jamaica.

January 2010: American Airlines (AAL) parent, the AMR Corporation reported a fourth-quarter 2009 net loss of -$344 million, improved slightly from a -$347 million loss in the prior-year period, on a -7.4% drop in revenue to $5.06 billion. Operating loss widened -99.2% year-over-year to -$390 million.

Its net loss for the full year 2009 was -$1.47 billion, improved +30.7% from a -$2.12 billion deficit in 2008, on a -16.2% decline in revenue to $19.92 billion. "It was a very tough year," Executive VP Finance Planning & (CFO), Tom Horton said, though he cited "a clear positive trend through the second half of 2009" and advance bookings that are "up modestly." He added that there is evidence of a "return in international premium travel, albeit at lower yields."

Consolidated capacity was down -7% for the year versus 2008 and down -11% compared to 2007, Horton noted. Arpey projected that system wide capacity will rise +1% year-over-year for full-year 2010, owing to a new Chicago O'Hare - Beijing service and the re-launching of flights dropped last year during the "H1N1" flu scare. He touted an expected operational efficiency gain from 45 737-800s to be delivered this year. "Those planes are +35% more fuel efficient than the MD-80s they're replacing," he said.

(AAL) will accept only credit and debit cards for onboard purchases on all mainline flights beginning February 1. It implemented a cashless cabin in the USA and Canada last June.

(AAL) will increase its charge for the first checked bag on domestic flights to $25 and the second bag to $35 effective February 1, matching the raises announced by Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL), and US Airways (AMW)/(USA). Premium passengers and loyalty program members are exempt.

(AAL) said it has made the "painful but necessary decision" to furlough up to 175 pilots (FC) in the first half of this year, with the first round of reductions coming at the end of February. "The impact of the economy and reduction in capacity over the last 18 months, coupled with lower-than-expected pilot (FC) attrition, has resulted in a pilot (FC) surplus," the company said in a statement. "This staffing adjustment will better align the size of our pilot (FC) organization with the size of our current operation." (AAL)'s pilot (FC) workforce totals about 7,800. When announcing its full-year results, (AAL) said it expected a system wide capacity increase of +1% in 2010.

February 2010: The nine largest USA airlines posted a cumulative net loss of -$3.43 billion in 2009, considerably improved over a net deficit of -$25 billion in 2008 when heavy goodwill impairment charges and Delta Air Lines (DAL)/Northwest Airlines (NWA) merger costs weighed down the collective bottom line.

Operating loss was -$532 million, significantly narrowed from a -$22.15 billion operating deficit the prior year. A brightening economic environment in the second half of the year helped four of the nine USA majors to post a 2009 net profit and five to earn positive full-year results on an operating basis.

AirTran Airways (CQT) was the top performer with a +$135 million net profit that was reversed from a -$266 million loss in 2008. The Alaska Air (ASA) Group followed with +$122 million in net income. The worst performer was American Airlines (AAL), which posted a -$1.47 billion net loss.

(AAL) announced new international service from New York (JFK) to San Jose, Costa Rica (five-times-weekly from April 6 aboard a 757), Madrid (daily from May 1 aboard a 757) and Manchester (daily from May 13 aboard a 757), boosting the number of foreign destinations it serves from the airport to 31.

(AAL) will begin charging economy passengers $8 for a blanket and inflatable pillow on North and Central American flights lasting more than 2 hours on May 1.

The European Commission (EC) confirmed that it is assessing "the effectiveness of proposed commitments" received from Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners: British Airways (BAB), (AAL) and Iberia (IBE) designed "to alleviate" its concerns over anti-competitive aspects of their proposed joint venture (JV).

Months of high-stakes jockeying between the Oneworld (ONW) alliance's (AAL) and the SkyTeam (STM) alliance's Delta Air Lines (DAL) over partnering with troubled Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) came to an end when (JAL)/(JAS) announced it will stay in the (ONW) alliance and jointly apply for antitrust immunity (ATI) on transpacific routes with (AAL).

Airports in the USA Mid-Atlantic and Northeast reopened as the regions began to dig out from back-to-back storms that produced record snow accumulation in some areas. Seven consecutive days of snow removal were required at Washington Dulles and National, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said. Baltimore, Philadelphia and the three major New York area airports also were operational, although airlines continued to cancel flights as they sought to reposition airplanes and employees and return to normal operation.

(AAL) had canceled 465 of the 1,419 scheduled departures tracked, or 32.8%. The number of departures tracked represented 72.4% of the total. Continental Airlines (CAL) canceled 13.2% of its 675 tracked departures, representing 69.9% of the total schedule. (DAL) canceled 10.4% of its 1,658 tracked departures, representing 69.6% of its total. United Airlines (UAL) canceled 13.8% of its 741 tracked departures, representing 64.5% of its total. US Airways (AMW)/(USA) canceled 24.2% of its 921 tracked departures, representing 68.7% of its total. Southwest Airlines (SWA) canceled 22.4% of its 2,012 tracked departures, representing 62.9% of its total, FlightStats reported.

(AAL) modified standby procedures for travel within and between the USA, Puerto Rico, the USA Virgin Islands, and Canada, stating that for tickets purchased from February 22, it will only allow premium loyalty program members, holders of first (F)- and business (C)-class tickets, those who paid unrestricted economy (Y) fares and military personnel to remain eligible to fly standby at no charge on the day of travel for a flight on which they are not confirmed. Holders of standard economy (Y) tickets who want to change flights on the day of travel will be charged $50 if space is available.

(AAL) and (DAL) joined (UAL), (CAL) and Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) in applying to serve Tokyo Haneda (HND). The USA Department of Transportation will distribute four slot pairs. (AAL) applied for the right to operate daily 777 flights to (HND) from both New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) beginning October 1 and (DAL) proposed daily flights from Seattle (A330-300s), Detroit, Honolulu, and (LAX) (all 747-400s) beginning October 31. (DAL) argued that with the Oneworld (ONW) alliance (Japan Airlines) and Star (SAL) Alliance (ANA) already entrenched in Tokyo, its presence at the airport "would add a third major airline alliance" and "is critical to advancing airline competition" in the capital. (DAL) currently serves 11 USA cities from Narita.

American Airlines Cargo opened a new Los Angeles (LAX) cargo terminal adjacent to its previous (LAX) cargo terminal. "The facility will offer streamlined handling capability including a 3,000-sq-ft cooler for perishables and expanded areas for courier cargo, mail processing and a designated holding area for live animals," (AAL) said.

March 2010: USA airlines presenting at the Transportation Conference in New York agreed that they see signs of a nascent industry recovery but that they will maintain cost and capacity discipline for now. "We're clearly seeing signs of economic recovery and premium and corporate travelers returning," (UAL) Corporation's (CFO), Kathryn Mikells said, adding, "The return of higher quality traffic, combined with the significant reductions in capacity that we undertook in 2009, has really begun to improve our relative revenue results." (AAL) Executive VP Finance & Planning and (CFO), Tom Horton said first-quarter mainline passenger (RASM) will be up +6.5% to +7.5% year-over-year, while (CAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Jeff Smisek said (CAL) is "seeing business (C) travel begin to return." (DAL) agreed that corporate sales trends are improving, though its system capacity at the end of the first quarter will be down -4% to -5% year-over-year. (DAL) President, Ed Bastian said (DAL) will "continue to maintain that level of capacity restraint."

From the low-cost sector, (SWA) said it is taking a slow approach to expanding in new markets, remaining focused on improving profitability rather than increasing fleet size. (CFO), Laura Wright said (SWA) wants additional slots at New York LaGuardia and that it will be filing comments in the next few weeks to express interest. "We don't have an expectation to have 100 flights a day at LaGuardia, but we know we've got demand for more than the eight that we have today," she said. Slots might become available if US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and (DAL) proceed with their slot swap agreement. AirTran Airways (CQT) said it expects capacity growth of +3% to +4% over the next year owing to higher utilization and will maintain a conservative fleet plan for the "next couple of years." It expects to take delivery of seven airplanes over the next year. JetBlue Airways (JBL) has decided to take four A320s in 2011 rather than the eight previously planned, along with five EMB-190s, according to the "Associated Press."

Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners British Airways (BAB), (AAL) and Iberia (IBE) offered to lease at least four daily slot pairs at London Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) to competing carriers for service to three USA cities in order to address regulatory concerns about their proposed transatlantic joint venture (JV).

Early last month the European Commission (EC) said it was assessing "the effectiveness of proposed commitments" by the airlines designed to address a formal Statement of Objections issued last September. At that time, the (EC) identified a number of long-haul routes, mainly between (LHR) and the USA, with potential antitrust issues (ATI).

Later in February the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively granted antitrust immunity (ATI) to the (ONW) alliance joint venture (JV) under the condition that the carriers surrender four slot pairs at (LHR) for up to 10 years. The (DOT) did not suggest (LGW) was an acceptable alternative. (AAL) and (BAB) repeatedly have resisted ceding slots at (LHR).

(BAB) issued a statement addressing the (EC) investigation and pledged that the trio will make available for lease to non-(ONW) alliance airlines, two daily slot pairs to Boston from either (LHR) or (LGW), one daily slot pair to Dallas/Fort Worth from (LHR) or (LGW) and one daily slot pair to Miami from (LHR) or (LGW). In addition, two slot pairs from London to New York (JFK) could be made available "should today's competitive conditions between [the cities] change," according to (BAB).

"The slots can be leased from the airlines' current slot portfolio and don't have to be slots currently used on the specified routes. The (EC) has agreed that the airlines should be compensated financially by those airlines wishing to lease slots," (BAB) said.

"We're pleased that the (EC) has recognized that we should be compensated for leasing the slots. This reflects the fact that there is an active slots market in London where slots are generally traded for value," (BAB) CEO, Willie Walsh said. There had been speculation that the (EC) might demand the slots be surrendered for free. The initial leasing period will be five years, a (BAB) spokesperson said, adding that the decision regarding which airline will give up which slot will be finalized once regulatory approval is finalized.

The (EC) is expected to conduct its "market test" phase, which allows third parties to comment on the airlines' proposal, before making a final decision on April 10.

Regarding the USA (DOT) ruling, the (ONW) trio reiterated that it is "reviewing the order and will respond by the time frame established for comments," and said it "welcomed the (EU)'s announcement that it will be working closely with the USA (DOT) and taking into account its opinion at key points in the regulatory process." A final (DOT) ruling is expected at the end of April.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) said it will request that the National Mediation Board release it from mediated talks, which if granted would trigger a 30-day "cooling-off" period after which the 18,000 members would be allowed to strike.

Meanwhile, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) representing (AAL)'s 28,000 ground workers said it is "very disappointed that the flight attendants union was not able to reach an agreement with (AAL) . . . We know where they're coming from. It has become increasingly clear that management at (AAL) is not committed to reaching an agreement with the airline's workers."

(AAL) said it has canceled the planned furloughs of about 75 pilots (FC) scheduled for April 1, citing "attrition rates and a number of other variables" that allowed it to reevaluate its original decision. It said in January that it had made the "painful but necessary decision" to furlough up to 175 pilots (FC) in the first half of this year. The first round occurred at the end of February when around 100 pilots (FC) were furloughed. Another round totaling about 75 was expected April 1 but the carrier said in a statement that "the total number of necessary furloughs is lower than we previously thought." The Allied Pilots Association representing (AAL)'s 7,700 active pilots (FC) said it had worked with management to reach agreement on "furlough mitigation" strategies.

April 2010: American Airlines (AAL) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) announced a slot swap agreement at New York area and Washington National (DCA) airports as well as a limited interlining deal at (JFK) and Boston Logan (BOS), which will bolster both carriers' competitive positions in the face of Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s growing strength in New York.

Under terms of the agreement, (AAL) will give (JBL) eight slot pairs at (DCA) and one slot pair at Westchester County (New York), while (JBL) will provide (AAL) with 12 slot pairs at (JFK). Last month, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) said it would transfer five (DCA) slot pairs to (JBL) as it sought to satisfy (FAA) demands concerning its massive slot swap with (DAL) that will increase (DAL)'s presence at LaGuardia (LGA) significantly, while boosting (AMW)/(USA)'s position at (DCA).

As part of the deal, (AA) and (JBL) agreed to sell interline connections via AA.com, Global Distribution Systems (GDS)s and online agencies that will give (AAL) passengers access to (JBL) flights to/from (JFK) and (BOS) serving 18 "non-overlapping domestic markets." (JBL) will add the capability as it adds functionality to it website. "This deal will generate a lot of traffic in support of our international network including planned joint ventures with British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) across the Atlantic and with Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) across Asia," (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey said at a press conference in New York. He noted that the "two airlines will continue to be adversaries in many markets where we compete today."

The (JBL) markets comprise Nantucket, Denver, New Orleans, Portland (Maine), Salt Lake City, Burlington, Houston Intercontinental, West Palm Beach, Richmond, Sarasota, Buffalo, Washington Dulles, Portland (Oregon), Rochester, Syracuse, Jacksonville, Phoenix, and Fort Myers.

(JBL) passengers will be able to connect on (AAL) flights to 12 international destinations from (JFK) and Boston. These comprise Barcelona, Brussels, Buenos Aires, London Heathrow, Madrid, Manchester, Milan Malpensa, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome Fiumicino, Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Tokyo Narita, and Zurich.

(AAL) will increase mainline service with additional round trips to Miami and Chicago O'Hare.

(AAL) also will invest approximately $30 million in (LGA) and (JFK) terminal improvements. Additionally, (AAL) and Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner, British Airways (BAB) are evaluating a proposal by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to expand (AAL)'s $1.3 billion Terminal 8 to allow the airlines to co-locate.

April 2010: American Airlines (AAL) became the first USA airline to "test next-generation technology and procedures" on a transatlantic flight aboard a 767-300 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Miami using several fuel conservation measures including single-engine taxi on departure and arrival, continuous climb and descent, a tailored arrival and "several key elements" of its existing fuel conservation program Fuel Smart.

The scheduled passenger flight came one day after Air France (AFA) successfully operated "the very first transatlantic flight optimized from start to finish to reduce noise and emissions levels," according to (AFA).

An (AAL) spokesperson said that its flight "by all accounts went well" and was "on course" to have saved approximately 1,500 lbs of fuel, although the airplane arrived in Miami 10 minutes behind schedule. (AAL) expects to have "preliminary numbers" and projects that a final analysis may be available in "a couple of weeks."

The test, conducted through the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), was operated as a normally scheduled flight to obtain "real-time" benefits. (AAL) had tried twice before to operate the (AIRE) flight but had been impeded first by an "airplane issue" and then by bad weather, the spokesperson said.

The (AFA) flight, aboard a 747-400ER from (CDG) to (MIA), cut CO2 emissions by -6 to -9 tonnes and saved -2 to -3 tonnes of jet fuel utilizing shorter taxi times, continuous climb, optimum altitude and speed and continuous descent. Noise levels during the departure and arrival phases were minimized by up to 7dB, (AFA) said. It projected that once optimizations are applied to all (AFA) long-haul flights to and from North America, CO2 emissions will be cut by -135,000 tonnes per year with fuel savings of -43,000 tonnes.

In the next few weeks, (AAL) will conduct post-flight data analysis along with the (FAA) and the European Commission (EC). It has conducted trials in Miami with the (FAA) since last year to determine the best way to use NextGen technology. It said it aims in 2010 to increase its annual fuel savings rate to +120 million gallons, which will reduce carbon emissions by -2.5 billion lbs.

May 2010: Following a delay in the launch of its Chicago O'Hare (ORD) - Beijing (PEK) route, (AAL) announced that the four-times-weekly service will begin May 25, becoming daily July 3, aboard a three-class 777-200ER. The service previously had been slated to commence May 4, but (AAL) did not receive "viable" time slots; it initially was allocated 2:20 am arrival and 4:20 am departure times. Service to (PEK) now will depart (ORD) at 8:30 pm on Friday/Sunday and at 9:30 pm Tuesday/Thursday. Return service to (ORD) (beginning May 27) will depart (PEK) at 7:59 am on Thursday/Saturday/Sunday and at 6:59 am on Tuesdays. "(PEK) is a slot constrained airport and we recognize the challenges the Chinese aviation authorities face in determining slot assignments," (AAL) Senior VP International, Craig Kreeger said. "We will continue to work with them to secure more appropriate arrival and departure times in the future."

(AAL) will launch daily, New York (JFK) - Rio de Janeiro service November 18 aboard a 767-300 and four-times-weekly, Miami - Brasilia service November 19 aboard a 757.

According to (AAL)'s pilot (FC) contract, American Eagle will now be sending several hundred pilots (FC) to (AAL) over the next few years; 35 in the next month. American Eagle will now be hiring more junior pilots (FC) at a rate of 20 per month, enhancing its cost effectiveness and making it the only - - or one of the only - - airlines currently hiring, according to Peter Bowler, American Eagle President & (CEO).

June 2010: American Airlines (AAL) introduced "Your Assistance Delivered Anywhere" (YADA), hand held mobile devices to enable airport employees at Dallas-Fort Worth, New York (JFK) and LaGuardia, Chicago O'Hare, Miami, Boston, Albuquerque, St Louis, and San Juan to assist customers anywhere in the airport by providing real-time information on flights, gates and standby lists and printing bag tags and boarding passes, as well as pulling up maps of other airports. (AAL) said its eventual goal is to have a (YADA) device at every gate. It first launched a pilot of (YADA) at Boston Logan during the summer of 2009.

July 2010:

American Airlines (AAL)’s parent, AMR Corporation announced that it has exercised options for 35 additional 737-800s.

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) issued its final clearance of antitrust immunity (ATI) for (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Finnair (FIN) and Royal Jordanian (RJA) to "more closely coordinate international services" including a planned (AAL)/(BAB)/(IBE) joint venture (JV) on transatlantic flights. The granting of (ATI) follows on the heels of the European Commission (EC)'s approval and cements the (DOT)'s tentative approval earlier this year.

"The department found that granting (ATI) to the Oneworld (ONW) alliance will provide travelers and shippers with a variety of benefits, including lower fares in some markets, new nonstop routes, improved services and better schedules," the (DOT) said. "The (DOT) also said that the (ONW) alliance will enhance competition around the world by enabling the (ONW) alliance to compete more vigorously with Star (SAL) Alliance and SkyTeam (STM) Alliance, which operate similar immunized alliances." The (DOT) said that to alleviate any anti-competitive concerns the carriers had agreed "to make four pairs of slots at [London] Heathrow available to competitors for new USA - London service, with two pairs to be used for Boston - London service and the other two for service from any other USA cities."

British Airways (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh added, "This final approval is fantastic news for [(AAL)/(BAB)/(IBE)] and the Oneworld (ONW) alliance. We've waited 14 years to bring the benefits of the transatlantic joint business to our customers and level the playing field with the other two global alliances. We're pleased that the (DOT) and the (EU) have worked together to ensure that there is consistency in the number of slots that the three airlines have to give up for our competitors to use on services from Heathrow to the USA."

(AAL) promoted Executive VP Finance & (CFO), Tom Horton to the post of President, reporting directly to Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey. Horton and Arpey said they were pleased with the quarter's "considerable progress" compared to both the year-ago period and the first quarter, in which it lost -$505 million, but acknowledged that failing to return to the black was inadequate. "Losing money is not acceptable," Horton said. "But we believe the improvement we're seeing indicates we're heading in the right direction." The company said the 35 737-800s ordered are in addition to an order for 84 of the type that began arriving in 2009. It expects to have 195 737-800s in its fleet by the end of 2012. The airplanes are replacements for MD-80s. "These are of course replacement airplanes," Arpey said, emphasizing that (AAL) will still be in position to "reduce capacity" if necessary. "I think certainly our bias after the past 10 years with the industry losing over $50 billion…should be cautious as it relates to capacity," he said.

With Horton becoming President, Senior VP Customer Relationship Marketing, Bella Goren ascended to the role of CFO, reporting directly to Horton.

(AAL) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) are launching a cooperative agreement under which (JBL) customers will gain access to 14 of (AAL)'s international destinations departing from New York (JFK) and Boston: Barcelona, Brussels, Paris (CDG), Buenos Aires, Rome Fiumicino, Sao Paulo, London Heathrow, Madrid, Manchester, Milan Malpensa, Tokyo Narita, Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo Haneda. (AAL) passengers will gain access to 18 (JBL) domestic markets: Nantucket, Burlington, Buffalo, Denver, Houston, Washington Dulles, Jacksonville, New Orleans, West Palm Beach, Portland (Oregon), Phoenix, Portland (Maine), Richmond, Rochester, Fort Myers, Salt Lake City, Sarasota, and Syracuse.

(AAL) will give (JBL) eight slot pairs at (DCA) and one slot pair at Westchester, while (JBL) will give (AAL) 12 slot pairs at (JFK). "This new agreement with JetBlue (JBL) complements both airlines' networks and greatly benefits our respective customers," said (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey. "It will also provide important opportunities for us to grow (AAL)'s international traffic into and out of New York and Boston." The carriers said they are currently working to make flights offered through the agreement available for purchase on their respective websites. (AAL) and (JPL) also announced they have agreed "to begin a frequent flyer relationship later this year."

(AAL) made mobile boarding pass capability available to passengers on flights departing London Heathrow (LHR), Colorado Springs, San Jose and Washington National. The option is now available to (AAL) passengers departing from 42 airports. (LHR) is the first international location to offer the program, (AAL) said. "We know our customers are mobile by definition, which is why the option to use personal devices to expedite travel has been so popular with our customers over the past two years," VP Customer Technology, Andrew Watson said. Customers also can use the electronic option for checking bags by scanning the boarding pass on their cell phone or smart phone screen at (AAL) self-service kiosks, ticket counters or curbside check-in facilities.

(AAL) will launch thrice-weekly, Dallas Fort Worth - Rio de Janeiro service November 18, subject to regulatory approval.

Six airlines formed a member-based, not-for-profit organization called Open (AXIS) Group to promote a standardized XML (eXtensible Markup Language) schema as the optimal electronic messaging structure for airline system connectivity used in content distribution. The members are Air Canada (ACN), (AAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL), and US Airways (AMW)/(USA). (ATPCO) has been invited to serve as the founding Allied Member and former Frontier Airlines (FRO) VP, Jim Young will serve as Executive Director.

The Open (AXIS) Group’s mission is to expand the adoption, promotion, enhancement and maintenance of a robust airline industry-standardized XML schema that supports a range of airline transactions, including booking and (PNR) management, multiple passenger management, ticketing, exchange, refunds, voids, optional services, bundling and (EMD) management. "Having this standard provides a one-stop shop for modern airline connectivity," said (AAL) Director Merchandising Strategy, Cory Garner.

Membership is not a requirement to use the group's messaging standard; the XML schema is available to all on the group's website. "We plan on being an open, transparent and inclusive group," Young said. "The Open (AXIS) Group is structured to respond quickly to the fast-paced needs of the airlines."

Midway through deliveries of 84 new 737-800 airplanes, (AAL) has announced it will renovate its older 737-800 models to unify its fleet. (AAL) will remove a galley and add 12 seats per plane, in addition to upgrading seating, overhead bins and electrical outlets.

August 2010: American Airlines (AAL) 2009 Passenger Traffic = 196,904 Million (-7.1%) (RPK)s (World Highest #3); Total Employees = 66,500 (-6.2%) (World Highest #3). SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2010-08-WLD RPK-2009."

(AAL) saw its load factor drop fractionally in July, with capacity gains rising ahead of traffic. Mainline load factor dropped -0.3 points to 87% LF. Traffic was up +2.7% on a +3.1% capacity hike. Domestic mainline traffic declined -0.4% (RPM) compared with a +0.8% (ASM) capacity increase, and international traffic rose +7.8% on a capacity rise of +6.5%. Transatlantic routes saw the biggest load factor increase of +4.2 points, as traffic grew +5% on flat capacity.

(AAL) has unveiled a new iPhone app that it says gives customers
the tools they need to do everything from tracking elite status in AAdvantage to storing mobile boarding passes. (AAL) has had a mobile web site since 2005, says spokesman Billy Sanez. “That website has done pretty well, but we heard from customers that they wanted an iPhone app,” he said. “The iPhone was the highest on our list, but it doesn’t mean that we won’t to an Android or Blackberry apps. Those are in the works.” The company split development of the app between its Information Technology (IT) department and an outside company, says Sanez. “Because we had a variety of systems to integrate with the iPhone app, it took around 11 months to develop.”

Other features available on the app include: booking flights; check-in; flight status notifications; flight status and schedules; check AAdvantage account; and access airline contact information. The app also includes monitoring standby lists, viewing personal flight details, terminal maps and (GPS) to locate American's airports.

“We looked at things we could actually do in the first rollout when we decided what features would be included,” says Sanez. “We wanted key things customers wanted right away.” The app also includes two unique features: a Sudoku game and a parking reminder. Because many parking lots look alike to customers, Sanez says, it conducted an informal poll asking people how they reminded themselves where they parked. “Most people take a picture with their cell phones, so we included that in our app. Our (IT) team came up with it. It was a very simple addition, but also practical.” Sanez says that “looking ahead, we want to expand and add features like airport maps, where vendors are located and where customers are relative to the gate they need.”

(AAL) said it will begin to offer an "Express Seats" option, allowing customers to purchase seats in the first few rows of economy (Y) and board as part of the first general boarding group. The seats can be purchased exclusively at airport self-service kiosks beginning 24 hours before the flight and up to 50 minutes prior to departure. Pricing begins at $19 per flight and heightens, based on distance flown.

(AAL)'s mechanics (MT) rejected a tentative agreement on a new labor contract, setting up a potentially disruptive standoff between airline management and the workers. The Transport Workers Union (TWU), representing (AAL)'s 11,500 mechanics (MT) and related workers, said 6,071 members voted against ratification of the May 5 tentative collective bargaining accord, nearly double the 3,371 who voted in favor. (AAL)'s 1,200 stores workers, also represented by (TWU), additionally rejected a tentative contract by a 384 - 332 vote.

"(AAL) felt the tentative agreements reached with both groups represented the company's best offer," (AAL) said in a statement. "We look forward to re-working the agreements in a balanced way that will achieve ratification."

(AAL)'s 90 (TWU)-represented technical specialists voted to accept their tentative labor agreement with management by a 60 to 18 count. (AAL) said those workers "will realize immediate financial gains."
(AAL) said it will "continue working toward new agreements [with mechanics (MT) and stores workers] and will look to the [USA] National Mediation Board (NMB) for guidance on next steps with these work groups." The workers won't be allowed to strike unless the (NMB) officially releases the groups from negotiations, triggering a 30-day "cooling-off" period before a work action can commence.

The (TWU) represents about half the airline's 50,000 unionized employees including 10,600 fleet service workers, a group that reached a tentative agreement on a new contract in late May. While (AAL) is hopeful that contract will be ratified, (TWU) leadership has cast doubt on whether the accord will win approval from rank-and-file members.

(AAL) "can't afford to sweeten the deal" rejected by mechanics (MT) and clerks, a top executive said. With the highest labor costs in the industry, (AAL) is seeking to wrest more productivity in exchange for greater compensation, while the union wants a return to the wages and benefits given up in 2003 when the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. "At the end of the day, our cost structure is going to have to be competitive," said Jeff Brundage, (AAL)'s Senior VP Human Resources, noting that (AAL) may reshuffle elements of the rejected contract without increasing its overall cost.

(AAL) still remains far apart in negotiations with its pilots (FC), represented by the Allied Pilots Association, and is also in (NMB)-overseen negotiations with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents 18,000 (AAL) cabin crew (CA) who have voted to authorize a strike. The flight attendants (CA) are seeking their release from mediated talks.

The (APFA) said in a statement, "We applaud (TWU)'s mechanics (MT) and store clerks for standing in solidarity. They have recognized nothing can be accomplished with (AAL) other than through a struggle. We share their frustration and anger with (AAL) management."

An American Airlines (AAL) 737NG became the first airplane in the USA to use a "publicly available, commercially designed instrument flight path" when it landed at Bradley International airport (BDL) in Hartford, Connecticut, according to Naverus, the GE Aviation (GEC) subsidiary that designed the path. Naverus received a Letter of Qualification from the USA (FAA) in September 2009 enabling it "to design and validate Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths for public use in the United States." The (AAL) flight marked the first time a USA carrier used an (RNP) approach designed by a third party for public use. All previous (RNP) approaches to USA airports were designed by the (FAA) in conjunction with carriers such as Southwest Airlines (SWA) and Alaska Airlines (ASA).

Naverus, which was acquired by (GEC) last November, said the new landing procedure at (BDL) "will enable airliners to land on Runway 15 during periods of low clouds and visibility that previously would have stopped them from landing there." Naverus General Manager, Steve Forte said the (AAL) 737NG flight "marks a significant milestone for the flying public by augmenting the means to develop and deploy airspace improvements in the USA that will translate to fewer delays, less air pollution and greater system reliability . . . We showed how third-party navigation providers, like (GEC), and airlines, like American (AAL), are helping accelerate these improvements."

6 838-823s (29575, N847NN; 31101, N846NN; 31103, N848NN; 33213, N849NN; 40579, N845NN; 40580, N850NN), deliveries.

September 2010: American Airlines (AAL) will operate thrice-weekly, Dallas/Fort Worth - Rio de Janeiro seasonal service on December 16, 2010 to April 4, 2011 and June 9, 2011 to August 22, 2011 aboard a 767-300 configured with 28 seats in business class (C) and 191 in coach (Y).

American Airlines (AAL) has signed a code share agreement with GOL (GOT) to place its designator code on 10 Brazilian city-pairs. With this accord, (AAL)’s “AA” code will appear on GOL (GOT)’s services between Sao Paulo and Belem, Brasilia, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, and Salvador, as well as (GOT)’s flights between Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre.

Niki (NKI) will begin code sharing with American Airlines (AAL) at the end of October. President, Niki Lauda said (NKI)'s first routes will be from Munich, Frankfurt, and Zurich to Vienna. (NKI) has announced it will add a fifth Embraer EMB-190 to its fleet in October, exchanging one leased A320, which will be returned to Air Berlin (BER). (NKI)’s fleet, comprising of 17 airplanes (EMB-190s and A320s), will grow to 22 in 2011; seven of them will be EMB-190s.

Members of (AAL)’s AAdvantage frequent flyer program will be able to earn and redeem miles on all flights operated by (GOT). “This code share agreement with (GOT) makes it even more convenient for travelers to see more of Brazil, South America’s largest country,” says Peter Dolara, (AAL)'s Senior VP Mexico, the Caribbean & Latin America, in a statement. “Our customers traveling to and from Brazil
will now have an unparalleled choice of destinations and schedules.”
(AAL) currently serves five Brazil destinations from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Miami International Airport and New York John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, and from November plans to begin service from its Miami hub to Brasilia and from (JFK) to Rio de Janeiro if granted the appropriate government approvals. (AAL) is also seeking authority from the USA Transportation Department to operate nonstop service from its (DFW) hub to Rio de Janeiro, starting Novrmber 18. If these three routes are approved, (AAL) will operate 36 weekly services to Brazil.

(AAL) will in the spring of 2011 relocate its San Francisco International operations to Terminal 2 from its current location in Terminal 3. (AAL) will have 14 ticket counter positions and 20 self-service machines in the newly constructed 575,000-sq-ft terminal, as well as a 9,000-sq-ft (AAL) Admirals Club lounge. The new terminal, which is expected to receive Silver LEED certification under the USA Green Building Council's "Leadership in Energy & Designs" program, will feature six security screening lanes, free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal, lounge areas, 12 restaurants and nine retail stores.

"We are pleased to relocate into a brand-new space that is both functional for our customers and employees, and is environmentally friendly in its design," said (AAL) Senior VP Airport Services, Tom Del Valle. "The LEED-certified terminal will allow us to provide exceptional customer service while reducing our environmental impact."

Jim Ream, the new Senior VP Maintenance & Engineering at American Airlines (AAL) says relations with the (FAA) are improving, despite the (FAA)'s proposed $24.2 million fine dating back to a 2008 maintenance disagreement. Jim Ream says misunderstandings and personality conflicts can lead to "disagreements at the margins [but] the airplanes themselves are perfectly fine to a factor of 10." Ream believes his status as a newcomer may help to smooth out relations with the (FAA). "Sometimes you have an opportunity to play mediator and give people the opportunity to step back and take another look at things," he says.

(AAL) will close its Kansas City overhaul base on September 24, but (AAL) has found work at its other maintenance shops for about half the 400 workers affected by the shutdown. Many of the workers will transfer to Dallas as the company seeks to consolidate operations at its largest hub.

(AAL) said it will move its Tokyo-based Asia/Pacific regional office to a vacant floor at Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS)'s (JAL) Building headquarters by January. The Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners have jointly applied to the Japanese Transport Ministry and the USA Department of Transportation for antitrust immunity (ATI) to operate as if they are one airline for commercial purposes on flights between North America and Asia. "With American (AAL)'s proposed Pacific joint business with (JAL)/(JAS) anticipated to receive government approval by the end of this year, co-locating our offices with those of (JAL) will be beneficial and enable us to forge closer working relationships," (AAL) said in a statement. "We have been working closely so that we will be able to implement our joint business as quickly as possible after government approvals are received."

Aircell announced it has installed its Gogo In-flight Internet service on the 1,000th airplane to be equipped, a Delta Air Lines (DALO) DC-9. (DAL) currently has 527 out of a planned 549 Gogo installations complete, Aircell said. "This is a big milestone for our company and for consumers who want to stay connected at 30,000 feet," Aircell President & CEO, Michael Small stated. "A few years ago Internet on a commercial flight was unheard of, and today it is commonplace."

This month, Aircell equipped a total of 32 airplanes for Delta (DAL) (A320s, 757s, DC-9s), American Airlines (AAL) (737-800s) and Alaska Airlines (ASA) (737-700s). The service is currently available on approximately "one-third of all mainline domestic airplanes," it said, roughly translating to 3,800 daily flights, up from 2,100 last year.

"We have a couple hundred airplanes in the pipeline, about half of which we will install by end of year," an Aircell spokesperson said. "We continue to look for additional opportunities with our existing airlines partners and new airline partners." The in-flight connectivity provider said it expects to begin installations on Frontier Airlines (FRO)'s airplanes "very soon."

October 2010: All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) have both secured regulatory approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism for their respective transpacific joint ventures (JV)s with Continental Airlines (CAL) and United Airlines (UAL), on one hand, and American Airlines (AAL) on the other.

The approvals follow tentative Anti Trust Immunity (ATI) clearance for both alliances earlier this month from the USA Department of Transportation. On receipt of final (DOT) approval, the airlines say they will accelerate preparation of their joint network, with implementation expected in the first half of 2011.

(JAL) says that following the formal signing of "open skies" between the USA and Japan, which is anticipated shortly—and upon obtaining the final (DOT) approval—the two airlines will enter into a joint business agreement as two independent legal entities, enabling them to cooperate commercially on routes between North America and Asia.

(JAL) President, Masaru Onishi said, "There has been and will be more developments in the Japanese aviation sector and we are intent on keeping the marketplace competitive so that customers can benefit from more travel options and enhanced services. I look forward to taking our partnership with American Airlines (AAL) to a deeper level so that we can more effectively serve the needs of our valuable customers." (AAL) CEO, Gerard Arpey called the (JV) "a win-win situation for all involved."

Japan Airlines (JAL) and American Airlines (AAL) reached a code share agreement under which (JAL) will place its code on daily (AAL) New York (JFK) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos 777 flights beginning October 31.

American Airlines (AAL) parent, the AMR Corporation 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.

The company rebounded from a second quarter in which it was the only one of nine USA 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 & 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 September 30, up +8.7% from $4.6 billion on September 30, 2009. (AAL)'s full-year 2010 mainline capacity will be up just +1% compared to 2009 including a small +0.2% lift in domestic (ASM)s. Full-year 2011 mainline (ASM)s will rise another +1% year-over-year, she noted.

Arpey commented that capacity growth going forward will be "consistent with Gross Domestic Product (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."

Third-quarter revenue heightened +14% to $5.84 billion, while expenses increased +3.4% to $5.5 billion, producing operating income of +$342 million, reversed from a -$104 million operating loss in the 2009 September quarter. Mainline traffic rose +3.7% to 33.55 billion (RPM)s on a +3.6% lift in capacity to 39.94 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 84% LF, up +0.1 point. Yield improved +10.7% to 13.28 cents as (PRASM) increased +10.7% to 11.15 cents and (CASM) decreased -0.8% to 12.2 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel lowered -0.7% to 8.59 cents.

(AAL) said that in addition to launching USA Department of Transportation-approved Los Angeles (LAX) - 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 (AAL) 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 CRJ-700s featuring first-class (F) seating.

(AAL) will launch Chicago O'Hare – Helsinki service aboard 767s next summer. Finnair (FIN) will code share on the flight.

(AAL) secured USA Department of Transportation approval to operate daily, Los Angeles - Shanghai Pudong 777 flights from April 5, 2011. Finnair (FIN) will extend its code share cooperation with American Airlines (AAL) next summer, when (AAL) begins Chicago O’Hare – Helsinki service aboard a 767-300ER.

American Airlines (AAL) named Peter Stanham Managing Director Finance for Mexico, the Caribbean & Latin America. (AAL) additionally named Marvin Diaz, Managing Director Mexico.

Oneworld (ONW) alliance carriers British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and American Airlines (AAL) are to open four new routes next April as part of their new transatlantic joint venture (JV). (AAL) will operate New York (JFK) - Budapest and Chicago - Helsinki, connecting the USA gateways with the bases of Oneworld (ONW) members Malev (HGA) and Finnair (FIN).

(BAB) will operate London Heathrow - San Diego, while Iberia (IBE) will open Madrid - Los Angeles.

(ONW) disclosed the routes at an event marking the three-way tie-up in London. (BAB) CEO, Willie Walsh describes the venture as "historic", adding: "We've waited 14 years for this."

(AAL) is placing its code on 322 (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) flights, while (BAB) will add its code to 2,063 (AAL) and Iberia (IBE) flights.

(IBE)'s code will feature on 354 flights operated by (BAB) and (AAL).

"There will be further opportunities to increase code shares in future," Oneworld (ONW) adds.


Westjet (WJI) has added another major operator to its growing list of partners with its first interline agreement with a USA legacy carrier, American Airlines (AAL). The deal initially enables (AAL)’s passengers to transfer to a (WJI) flight at six Canadian airports on a single ticket for bookings made from November 9, but both carriers say they “are exploring other ways to enhance customer benefits through other commercial cooperation agreements.”

(WJI), which has similar arrangements with Air France (AFA)-(KLM) and China Airlines (BEJ), has signaled it wants to expand the relationship with some of its partners to full code share. “(AAL)’s interline agreement with (WJI) complements our North American network and greatly benefits our customers by offering additional connections to and from new Canadian markets,” says (AAL)’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Virasb Vahidi in a statement. Hugh Dunleavy, (WJI)’s Executive VP Strategy & Planning, in the same statement notes that “this agreement represents (WJI)’s first interline with a USA carrier, and we are excited to be working with such a well-established and recognized global airline like (AAL).”

For now, (AAL) will interline through the six gateways in Canada currently served by (AAL) or its American Eagle Airlines regional affiliate: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. The carriers expect this arrangement to expand in December to include “additional connecting opportunities through (WJI)’s nonstop USA flights to Canadian cities.” According to the two operators, this interline accord provides (AAL) connecting service to 25 new Canadian cities not currently served by (AAL).

INCDT: The USA National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating an incident on October 26 involving an American Airlines (AAL) 757 that experienced a decompression event after a hole opened in the fuselage on the upper crown just above the left door. The airplane was en route from Miami to Boston and landed safely after returning to Miami. Preliminary indications are that a section of the fuselage skin approximately 1-ft by 1-ft tore away.

November 2010: The USA Department of Transportation gave final approval for antitrust immunity (ATI) to Oneworld (ONW) alliance members American Airlines (AAL) and Japan Airlines (JAL) and, separately, to Star (SAL) Alliance members United Airlines (UAL), Continental Airlines (CAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), to operate their respective transpacific joint ventures (JV)s.

The (DOT)'s official clearance of both (JV)s follows tentative approval last month and enables the implementation of the USA - Japan "open skies" accord to which the two nations agreed late last year. The Japanese government has already approved both partnerships.

(ANA) President & CEO, Shinichiro Ito said, "The clearance enables us to begin the preparatory work necessary to launch our joint venture (JV) next spring, and to cooperate more closely with United (UAL) and Continental (CAL) for the benefit of customers." (UAL)/(CAL) parent, United Continental Holdings President & CEO, Jeff Smisek added that the (JV) will allow for "more convenient, more seamless" transpacific travel.

(JAL) President, Masaru Onishi noted that the (DOT)'s approval of its (JV) with (AAL) "clears all regulatory procedures necessary" for the carriers to begin working "expeditiously" toward implementation. (AAL) said the companies "anticipate launching their transpacific joint business in early 2011. It will provide enhanced travel options and experiences for passengers of both (AAL) and (JAL)."

(AAL) plans to launch daily, New York (JFK) - Tokyo Haneda (HND) service on January 20. (JAL) launched daily, (HND) - San Francisco service at the end of October. The carriers will code share on the flights.

American Airlines (AAL) and JetBlue Airways (JBL), as expected, are expanding an interline accord formed earlier this year to include a reciprocal frequent flyer agreement, another international flight operated by (AAL) and nine of (JBL)’s domestic markets. The frequent flyer agreement, effective November 18, was first announced in July when the two carriers implemented an interline arrangement on routes out of Boston Logan International Airport and New York John F Kennedy International Airport. The new deal also includes expanded sales rights, with (AAL) selling the interline itineraries on its newly revamped website.

With this latest update, the two USA operators will connect on 15 of (AAL)’s international services, including the new addition of New York to Budapest, Hungary from April 2011, and 26 (JBL) domestic destinations. The new (JBL) services all operate from Boston and include Baltimore, Maryland; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco, California; and Reagan Washington National Airport. (JBL)’s service between Boston and Newark Liberty International Airport will be added in May 2011.

“The opportunity for AAdvantage members to earn AAdvantage miles on select (JBL) flights and our expanded ability to connect customers between our airlines provides more choice, more value, and more flexibility,” said program President, Maya Leibman in a statement. “This is the latest step in our network strategy which is designed to provide the best connections between (AAL)’s global network and the networks of other quality airlines.”

More than >63,000 American Airlines (AAL) employees will split $8.8 million in bonuses after (AAL) hit customer-satisfaction goals for the third quarter. (AAL) noted this will be the seventh consecutive quarter for incentive payouts, with $30.3 million paid this year alone.

(AAL) and Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) reached a code share agreement under which (AAL) will place its code on its London Heathrow (LHR) service to Delhi and Mumbai and on (KFH) domestic service beyond Delhi. (KFH) will places its Information Technology (IT) code on (AAL)'s Chicago O'Hare (ORD) service to Delhi as well as on selected (AAL) flights between the USA and (LHR). The code share on (AAL)'s flight to (ORD) will be the first time (KFH) has placed its code on any flight operating into the USA. Subject to regulatory approvals, the agreement will begin in 2011.

December 2010: American Airlines (AAL) flew 10.33 billion (RPM)s traffic in December, a +1.8% year-over-year increase, while capacity rose +1.8% to 12.82 billion (ASM)s and load factor stayed flat at 80.6% LF. Total traffic for 2010 increased +2.5% to 125.45 billion (RPM)s, capacity rose +1% to 153.18 billion (ASM)s and load factor grew +1.2 points to 81.9% LF.

(AAL) said that it expects 2010 fuel costs to increase by more than >$800 million from 2009 levels. At an average of $2.31 per gallon, the total tab for 2.77 billion gallons of jet fuel should come to $6.40 billion, compared to $5.55 billion last year.

Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) are expanding their transatlantic relationship by adding up to 317 new code share routes to their current joint venture (JV). The new code share routes expand the joint business agreement approved two months ago to more than >400 destinations in 100 countries from December 28, according to the three airlines. Five previously announced routes are also scheduled to launch in the spring.

“When we launched the joint business in October, we said that we would be rolling out more benefits to customers, and this introduction of more code share flights across our three airlines is exactly that,” says (BAB)’s Commercial Director, Andrew Crawley. “The feedback we’re getting from customers is very positive already, and we will continue to align our policies in order to bring them even more benefits.” With this latest addition, (AAL) will add its ‘AA’ designator code to +57 more (BAB) flights to 16 markets, including five North American services to London Heathrow International Airport, and 10 European cities served through London Gatwick International Airport. (AAL) also adds two new (IBE) services from both Barcelona’s El Prat International Airport and Madrid Barajas Airport. (BAB), meanwhile, will add its ‘BA’ code to 42 additional (AAL) flights to 18 markets through Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, New York John F Kennedy International Airport, and Miami International Airport, and 56 (IBE) flights to eight markets, mostly through Madrid.

(IBE)’s IB code is also added to 72 (AAL) flights in 23 markets and 86 (AB) flights to 24 markets. “Today’s announcement continues to demonstrate how our stronger relationship with our Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners delivers value to our customers,” says (AAL)’s Chief Commercial Officer, Virasb Vahidi. “Expanded code sharing makes it easier and more convenient for our respective customers to travel on the global networks of all three airlines and delivers on our promise of more choices, easier connections and a better overall travel experience.”

Manuel Lopez Aguilar, (IBE) General Director, Commercial & Clients, adds, “The expanded code sharing that will be in place before the end of the year is another benefit for our customers; this has to be added to the new routes that we will be launching from next spring, which in the case of (IBE) are Madrid - Los Angeles and Barcelona - Miami. We could not operate these new routes without the joint business.”

(AAL) has suspended ticket sales on its proposed route between Los Angeles International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport until its can obtain a better landing slot from Chinese authorities. (AAL) had planned to launch the service in April, but in a move reminiscent of (AAL)’s entry into the Chicago - Beijing market earlier this year, (AAL) has deferred the inaugural flight until it can shift a late-night slot to a more practicable landing time. The Chicago - Beijing launch was pushed from late April to early July.

American Airlines (AAL) announced that it is sending recall notices to 250 pilots (FC). The first group of 25 pilots (FC) were recalled in mid-November, and (AAL) will continue to recall at a rate of approximately 30 per month. (AAL) has 1,963 pilots (FC) on furlough.

INCDT: An American Airlines (AAL) 757 jet went past the end of a snowy runway while landing at Wyoming's Jackson Hole Airport, but no one was injured and the plane was not damaged, officials said. Airline spokesman, Ed Martelle said Flight 2253 from Chicago "had a long roll-out" when it landed at 11:37 am on December 29. The 757 came to rest on a hard surface and did not go off into grass or brush, he said.

There were 175 passengers, two pilots (FC) and four flight attendants (CA) on board the 757, Martelle said. "There was snow everywhere outside the windows. We couldn't see anything. But there was no big impact," Kevin Huelsmann, a local newspaper reporter who was on the flight, told "The Associated Press." "It happened so quickly, most people didn't react until it was over."

He said the pilot (FC) told passengers after the plane had come to a stop that the brakes had failed. Ray Bishop, Director of the Jackson Hole Airport, said that there were no injuries and no damage to the airplane, which he said went into deep snow 658 feet past the end of the runway. That distance included a 300-foot paved safety apron and 358 feet of dirt beyond that.

Light snow was falling when the plane landed, with visibility at about 1.5 miles, Bishop said. The runway had some snowy patches, but its surface afforded good braking friction, he said. Martelle said airline officials were trying to determine why the plane went off the runway. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced it has opened an investigation into the incident.

Speaking in a conference call that began at about 1:30 pm, Bishop said it might take an additional hour to reopen the airport and flights were being diverted elsewhere. "As you know, this is a very busy time of year for us," Bishop said. "The snow's fantastic at the ski resort." The National Weather Service said Jackson Hole had received about 7 inches of snow since midnight.

Airport officials plowed around the plane and brought stairs to the airplane so passengers could exit. "It was not much different than other times I had gotten off the plane. We were just a little farther out," Huelsmann said. Crews used bulldozers to pull the airliner back onto the runway.

The airport's only runway is 6,400 feet long, which Bishop said is a little shorter than normal for airports handling commercial flights. Another airplane went off the end of the runway last month, and such events happen periodically there, he said. Located in the southern tip of Grand Teton National Park about 10 miles north of Jackson, Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial airport permitted to operate inside a national park. The National Park Service announced recently that it was granting the airport a 20-year lease extension.

737-823 (29554, N865NN; 31111, N864NN; 30903, N863NN; 40584, N866AN), deliveries. 2 MD-82s (49288, N258AA; 49563, N458AA), WFU to Roswell for storage.

January 2011: SEE ATTACHED "AAL-2011-01-2010 WORLD TOP TRAFFIC."

American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation reported a 2010 net loss of -$471 million, narrowed from a net deficit of -$1.47 billion in 2009, and also announced an order for two 777-300ERs for delivery in late 2012. (CFO), Bella Goren said that the airplanes represent "the next step in our fleet strategy," noting, "We expect to be the first USA airline to fly the 777-300ER." President, Tom Horton added that the airplanes, valued at around $550 million at list prices, will "bolster" growth opportunities, particularly from the (AAL) - Japan Airlines transpacific joint venture slated to launch April 1. SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2011-01-777-300ER."

Regarding the financial results, which included a -$97 million fourth-quarter net loss ((AAL)'s third loss-making quarter out of four in 2010), Goren insisted that "our improvement versus last year is clearly a step in the right direction." The fourth-quarter deficit was narrowed -71.7% from a -$344 million loss in the 2009 December quarter. "It's fair to say there's a lot for us to be optimistic about in regards to the foundational work we did last year" related to the (AAL) - (JAL) joint venture (JV) and the (AAL) - British Airways (BAB) - Iberia (IBE) transatlantic (JV), she said. "It lays the groundwork for us to be strong in the future." She also emphasized (AAL)'s commitment to cost control. Its fourth-quarter (CASM) ex-fuel lowered -3% year-over-year and Goren predicted "flat unit costs ex-fuel in 2011," denoting an "intense focus on managing and controlling costs."

Full-year 2010 revenue increased +11.3% to $22.17 billion, while expenses heightened +4.5% to $21.86 billion, producing an operating profit of +$308 million, reversed from a -$1 billion operating loss in 2009. Mainline traffic rose +2.5% to 125.5 billion (RPM)s on a +1% upping of capacity to 153.24 billion (ASM)s, leading to a load factor of 81.9% LF, up +1.2 points. Passenger yield grew +8.7% to 13.36 cents as (PRASM) increased +10.4% to 10.94 cents and (CASM) rose +3.2% to 12.62 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel lifted +1.3% to 8.83 cents.

(AAL) and Japan Airlines (JAL) said their transpacific (JV) will commence on April 1 with cooperation on 10 routes initially. The (JV) is made possible by antitrust immunity (ATI) approved by both countries' governments last year following agreement on a USA/Japan "open skies" air services accord. Initial flights included in the (JV) to be jointly operated are (JAL) service from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to New York (JFK), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and Vancouver, and from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to San Francisco (SFO). (AAL) flights included are (NRT) to (JFK), (ORD), (LAX) and Dallas/Fort Worth; (HND) - (JFK); Beijing - (ORD); and Shanghai to (ORD) and (LAX).

Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners Qantas (QAN) and (AAL) are to strengthen their longstanding relationship with the first step being the introduction by (QAN) of four times weekly, 747-400 service from Sydney (SYD) to Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) from May 16. At the same time, (QAN) has decided to scrap its daily (SYD) - San Francisco (SFO) flights from May 14.

(AAL) took another step in its effort to assert control over how its inventory is distributed, selecting (ITA) Software's availability engine to manage its fare availability across all its channels. (ITA)'s (QPX) fare shopping engine already powers fare shopping on (AAL)'s website and many other airline and fare comparison sites. (AAL) said the (ITA) engine "will provide inventory, pricing and shopping visibility, and will manage the various product and service choices customers want to consider in order to customize their travel experience."

Last July, Cambridge-based (ITA) agreed to be acquired by Google for $700 million but the deal is strongly opposed by Microsoft, Expedia and Sabre Holding's Travelocity, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to okay the sale. "Bloomberg" and "The Wall Street Journal" reported that the (DOJ) is preparing to challenge it.

(AAL) was granted a temporary restraining order to prevent Sabre from biasing (AAL)'s displays in the Sabre Global Distribution System (GDS). Sabre took the action in response to (AAL)'s direct connect strategy, which entails direct (XML) connections between (AAL) and all its distribution outlets.

February 2011: American Airlines (AAL) will launch daily, 777 New York (JFK) - Tokyo Haneda (HND) service on February 18, in code share with Japan Airlines (JAL). It will be the only airline to fly between (JFK) and (HND) “in more than >30 years,” (AAL) said.

It looks like airlines are charging more to fly. (AAL) added fuel surcharges of as much as $5 each way on most routes. And United Continental Holdings (UCH) has its own $3 each-way surcharge. Rick Seaney, the (CEO) of http://www.FareCompare.com, said it's the fifth increase since December. He said US Airways Group (AMW)/(USA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have matched the increases on some routes. The big question is whether Southwest Airlines (SWA) will match the increases. Seaney said airlines haven't used fuel surcharges since 2008, when oil prices spiked.

JP Morgan analyst, Jamie Baker said airlines would need to raise prices further, or cut capacity, to make up for the recent increases in jet fuel prices.

Executives from United Airlines (UAL) and (AAL) will meet with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to discuss possible "triggers" for moving ahead with a controversial expansion at O'Hare International Airport (ORD).

(AAL) announced that it is sending recall notices to 250 pilots (FC). (AAL) plans to recall at a rate of approximately 47 per month. (AAL) has 1,884 pilots (FC) on furlough.

March 2011: American Airlines (AAL) will temporarily suspend one of its two daily Dallas/Fort Worth - Tokyo Narita flights and its daily New York (JFK) - Tokyo Haneda service through at least April 26.

WestJet (WJI) continued its strategy of transborder/international expansion via code share agreements, inking a comprehensive pact with (AAL). (AAL) and (WJI) said that, subject to regulatory approval, (AAL)'s code will be placed on WestJet (WJI) flights "to up to 20 Canadian cities not currently served by (AAL) or American Eagle." (WJI) will initially place its code on (AAL) or American Eagle flights from Canada to Chicago O'Hare and Boston, "with expanded service throughout the (AAL) network expected in the near future," the carriers said.

(WJI), which last year saw its pact with Southwest Airlines (SWA) collapse, announced a code share accord with Delta Air Lines (DAL) last month. Internationally, it has reached such agreements with Air France (AFA)/(KLM) and Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT).

(AAL) and (WJI) said members of each airline's loyalty programs will be able to earn miles or rewards on the code share flights. "The two airlines are exploring other ways to augment their cooperation in the future," they stated. "Our code share with WestJet (WJI) will further expand our North American network and provide our customers seamless connections to and from cities throughout Canada," said (AAL) (CCO), Virasb Vahidi.

(WJI) Executive VP Strategy & Planning, Hugh Dunleavy added, "WestJet (WJI) is executing our strategic plan to evolve our interline and code share capabilities, and in particular these initial routes should immediately enhance our reach and value proposition to business and corporate travelers in central Canada in particular."

(AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) agreed to drop their lawsuit against the City of Chicago after reaching agreement with Mayor Richard Daley to allow a portion of the planned second phase of Chicago O'Hare (ORD) expansion to move forward. The airlines filed suit in Illinois in January after the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced it was proceeding with $3.4 billion in modernization projects at (ORD) even though (AAL) and (UAL), by far the airport's largest tenants, didn't give their approval. Under terms of a deal that USA Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood helped to broker, the (CDA) will move forward with $1.17 billion in work, with a decision on the remaining $2.23 billion pushed off for two years. It will allow for work to begin on an additional runway and other airfield improvements.

The first phase of (ORD) expansion, which is still underway, includes two new runways, a runway extension and a new Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower. (ORD) is slated to have eight runways when all expansion is completed. "Unless we continue to modernize [ORD's] infrastructure and operations, we will lose our competitive edge in the global economy," Daley stated. He noted that in the agreement the airlines will allow construction to "proceed immediately."

With the price of jet fuel up +50% compared to last year, (AAL) has replaced 19,000 drink carts and removed seat-back phones in an effort to to lighten planes and save fuel. Lighter seats and TV monitors are being installed throughout (AAL)'s fleet, and (AAL) is investing in more tugs to tow planes on the ground, reducing the need to power jet engines. (AAL) says its ongoing "Fuel Smart" program will save more than >-$370 million this year.

April 2011: American Airlines (AAL) applied to the USA Department of Transportation for the right to fly 10 additional weekly frequencies from Miami (MIA) to destinations in Brazil starting as early as December. If it gains regulatory approval, (AAL) said it would use three frequencies to increase (MIA) - Brasilia service from four weekly flights to daily using a 757-200 from December 15; three frequencies to increase (MIA) - Belo Horizonte flights from four-times-weekly to daily using a 767-300ER from December 15; and four frequencies to launch 737-800 (MIA) - Manaus service beginning June 14, 2012.

From (MIA), (AAL) operates 380 weekly flights to more than >30 destinations in Latin America and Mexico. It operates 65 total weekly flights to Brazil from (MIA), New York (JFK) and Dallas/Fort Worth. "Our proposed new service will give our customers even more travel options to Brazil, Latin America's largest economy," said VP Government Affairs, Will Ris.

This month marks the formal launch of the joint venture (JV) between (AAL) and Japan Airlines (JAL), allowing them to coordinate schedules, fares and marketing efforts on trans-Pacific routes. The airlines, which already have a code sharing arrangement, account for about 28% of airline seats between North America and Tokyo's main international airport. Experts say the (JV) could result in more flexible schedules and lower fares, helping to win more business customers. Still, the launch comes at a difficult time, with all carriers trimming capacity following Japan's natural disasters and subsequent nuclear crisis.

(AAL) and Expedia Inc said they signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) that will allow the companies to resume doing business together. Details were sparse and raised more questions than they answered.
The companies said that, effective immediately, access to (AAL)'s fares and schedule information is restored to Expedia and Hotwire sites worldwide. The information will "initially" be provided to Expedia via the Global Distribution System (GDS) technology that was used prior to their breakup.

Expedia plans to access (AAL)'s fares, schedules and customized travel products and services via (AAL)'s direct connect link by using "aggregation technology provided by a (GDS)." (AAL)'s fares and schedules were removed from Expedia at the end of 2010 when their contract expired. The sticking point was (AAL)'s direct-connect strategy: It wants to connect directly via (XML) with travel management companies and online travel agencies in order to distribute its "customized travel products."

(AAL)'s goal is to create ancillary services dynamically based on a customer's history, status and preferences, using proprietary customer data. But with few exceptions - notably Rearden Commerce and Priceline - (TMC)s and (OTA)s have balked at investing in new technology and changing their work flows.

Toward the end of 2011, (AAL) pulled its ticketing authority from Orbitz over the direct-connect issue. In a show of solidarity - or perhaps as a warning shot over (AAL)'s bow - Expedia made (AAL)'s fares more difficult to find on its site, and the two companies failed to reach a new agreement.

The (AAL)-Expedia statement did not specify which (GDS) would provide the aggregation technology. All three (GDS) companies have aggregation technology, and all three have or are rolling out multi-source agency platforms. Sabre is Expedia's primary (GDS) in the USA. The online agency also works with Amadeus in Europe.

The announcement also could signify that neither Expedia nor (AAL) benefited from their standoff, and both realized there was little point in prolonging the dispute. (AAL) and Sabre, which also had been sparring and suing over the direct-connect issue, called a truce in January, putting aside their differences and their legal maneuvers until June 1.

(AAL)'s contracts for participation in Sabre and the other (GDS)s expire this summer, and some observers suggest that the direct-connect strategy is a ploy to obtain better terms. In any event, there is no real urgency regarding the delivery of (AAL)'s customized travel products.

In January, (AAL) Senior VP & (CIO), Monte Ford announced a contract with (ITA) Software for the development of the "availability engine" that would achieve the customization. He said the technology did not yet exist anywhere in the marketplace.

(AAL) named Dori Robau Alvarez, Senior Representative Corporate Communications for its Mexico, Caribbean & Latin America division. She will be based in Miami.

May 2011: "Certainly unsatisfactory." That's how American Airlines (AAL)'s (CFO), Bella Goren described (AAL)'s financial performance for 2010, even though the loss of -$389 million dollars represented a billion dollar improvement over the airline's 2009 financial results.

Goren blamed the poor financial results in 2010 on increased costs, highlighted by a fuel bill that was +$850 million higher than 2009. During the first quarter of 2011, Goren said (AAL)'s fuel costs were +24% higher than the previous year.

On the positive side, it is somewhat fortunate that of 30 National Basketball Association (NBA) arenas, (AAL) has the naming rights of two - - those in Dallas and Miami, which have the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat competing in the (NBA) finals with superstars Dirk Nowitski (Dallas) and Lebron James (Miami) to no doubt attract a particularly large TV audience worldwide.

(AAL) launched seasonal daily, 767-300 Chicago O'Hare - Helsinki service, which it will operate until October 29.

(AAL) and Qantas (QAN) said they are seeking approval for a joint business agreement (JBA) "on their services between Australia/New Zealand and the USA, within these regions and beyond to third countries." Approval of the agreement by the respective national regulators would permit them to cooperate on planning, marketing, scheduling and pricing, and share revenues on the routes.

The airlines said that (QAN) has filed for approval of the (JBA) with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and will also seek permission from the New Zealand Minister of Transport. The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) must also review and approve the application. "This agreement has the potential to make traveling between Australia and the United States — and beyond — considerably more attractive for our customers, with better fares, improved connections and increased frequent flyer benefits," said (QAN) Group Executive Commercial, Rob Gurney.

Earlier this month, the (DOT) tentatively approved antitrust immunity (ATI) for Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Australia (VOZ)/(VAZ)/(PBI) to coordinate services between the USA and Australia. The deal was approved by the (ACCC) last December.

(AAL) received its first Next-Generation 737-800 featuring the all-new Boeing Sky Interior (BSI). The new airplane marks a major milestone in (AAL)’s commitment to improving and modernizing the customer experience through the execution of its fleet renewal plan.

The Boeing Sky Interior is designed to increase customer comfort onboard and is an important part of (AAL)’s ongoing initiative to modernize the look-and-feel of its 737 fleet interiors. The 737-800 (BSI) airplanes are a strategic part of (AAL)’s commitment to invest in products and services that make the travel experience more contemporary and innovative for customers.

Between 2007 and 2011, (AAL) invested more than >$5.5 billion in new airplanes and onboard and facility enhancement projects to improve the customer experience.

The new 737-800 (BSI) interior offers several unique features, including larger overhead bins – modeled after the 787 Dreamliner’s pivoting bins – that pivot down and out. The innovative design allows the bins to hold 48 more bags than standard overhead bins and four more than current non-(BSI) airplanes with larger bins. Sculpted sidewalls provide customers with a contemporary feeling of spaciousness and updated window reveals make the windows appear larger. Brighter and longer-lasting Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting can be programmed to create different effects during the flight such as a soft blue sky overhead. Intuitive placement of switches and call buttons and improved sound quality are innovative features that will enhance the customer experience. Additionally, the new 737s offer 16F First Class seats and 144Y in Economy Class for a total of 160 seats on each airplane.

As part of its fleet renewal plan, (AAL) began taking delivery of new 737-800s without (BSI) in April 2009. (AAL) received 31 737-800s in 2009, 45 in 2010 and plans to receive 15 in 2011, 28 in 2012 and 11 in 2013.

To provide consistency within the travel experience and further elevate customer comfort on board, (AAL) is updating its existing fleet of 737s to match the new deliveries without the (BSI) feature. The interior renovations include the installation of new customized First (F) and Economy Class (Y) seats, new cabin interiors, updated in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and bigger overhead bins to provide more storage throughout the airplanes. (AAL) is also updating the interior of its 757 fleet, which will include a new look-and-feel throughout the cabin. Both projects are being handled in-house by (AAL) employees at (AAL)’s Maintenance & Engineering base located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Watch a video of American Airlines effort to upgrade the interiors of their Next-Generation 737 fleet at: http://www.boeing.com/Features/2010/06/bca_american_airlines_06_28_10.html

In addition to the enhancements to its 737 planes, (AAL) has several fleet renewal efforts already under way. These initiatives highlight the multiple steps (AAL) has taken the past several years to continue investing in its future while it sharpens its focus on modernizing and improving the customer experience through various efforts – including, notably, execution of its fleet renewal plan. They include:

MD-80 Retirement: The 737 deliveries are designed to replace the MD-80 fleet with more passenger-friendly, fuel-efficient airplanes – lessening the impact on the environment. (AAL) intends to retire at least 25 MD-80s in 2011, as part of (AAL)’s plan to continue renewing its fleet, while addressing the current fuel environment. In fact, a 737-800 will burn 35% less fuel than an MD-80 on a seat-mile basis.

757 Domestic Retrofit: In August 2010, (AAL) began enhancing its domestic fleet of 106 757-200s with the installation of customized First (F) and Economy Class (Y) seats, bigger overhead storage bins and updated in-flight entertainment throughout the airplane. Two additional First Class (F) seats are being added to each 757 airplane, for a total of 24F seats in the First Class cabin.

Japan AirLines (JAL) intends its first 787 route to be Tokyo Narita - Boston. The new four times weekly (JAL) flights will begin in April 2012, increasing to daily on June 1, 2012, and become part of the joint venture (JV) it operates with American Airlines (AAL), which will also provide some Boston feeder flights.

June 2011: Boeing (TBC) and American Airlines (AAL) have announced a partnership to bring an "evolutionary eco-Demonstrator Program" to reality next year. An (AAL) 737-800 will be used to flight test and accelerate the market readiness of emerging technologies, the companies said.

The 737-800, and a twin-aisle airplane to be identified later this year, will serve as the flight test component for the (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy Emissions Noise (CLEEN) program – along with other technologies developed by Boeing (TBC) and other industry partners.

With an (AAL) Engineering team, Boeing (TBC) is finalizing plans for installing the initial technology applications aboard the first plane. Some of the technologies that will be flown in 2012 include adaptable trailing edge technology that reduces noise and emissions during all phases of flight including take-off, cruise and landing, and a variable area fan nozzle that reduces community noise and enables advanced engine efficiency technologies. Boeing (TBC) will also include regenerative fuel cells for on-board power.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) granted interim approval for the proposed joint business agreement (JBA) between Qantas (QAN) and (AAL) "on their services between Australia/New Zealand and the USA, within these regions and beyond to third countries."

(QAN) (CEO), Alan Joyce hailed the (ACCC)’s conditional approval and said the proposed (JBA) would result in significant benefits for Australian and USA consumers. "This agreement has the potential to deliver better fares, improved connections and more frequent flyer benefits," Joyce said, noting it will "build on (QAN)’s new service to Dallas/Fort Worth, a key (AAL) hub. We code share with (AAL) to 52 destinations beyond Dallas/Fort Worth and both airlines are committed to further strengthening this relationship."

The agreement does not include revenue sharing, although the (JBA) does create a shared financial objective. It still requires approval from the New Zealand Minister of Transport and the USA Department of Transportation.

July 2011: American Airlines (AAL) and Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) expanded their code share agreement to include daily (CAT) Hong Kong service to Chicago O'Hare and Ho Chi Minh City.

AerCap Holdings (DEA) entered into a purchase-leaseback transaction with American Airlines (AAL) to finance up to 35 737-800s, including 29 firm deliveries (26 of which were previously ordered) plus three new orders. The deal also covers six optional 737-800s, which, if exercised by (AAL), would be delivered in 2013 to 2014.

(AAL)'s updated delivery schedule will now see 15 737-800s delivered this year, 28 in 2012 and 14 in 2013.

Later, (AAL) made one of the largest airplane order announcements in commercial aviation history, signing up for 130 A320 family airplanes, 130 re-engined A320neos, 100 (CFM56-7B)-powered 737NGs and also committing to order 100 of a new variant 737 with (CFM) (Leap-X) engines. Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) will help finance the airplanes, (AAL) said.


(AAL) did not announce an engine selection between the (Leap-X) and Pratt & Whitney (P&W)'s (PW1100G) for the A320neos it ordered. In addition to the firm order for 100 current version 737NGs, (AAL) took 40 options. Boeing (TBC) and (AAL) said that they will "work to finalize" the order for 100 of the apparently re-engined 737. "Pending final configuration of the new 737 variant and board of directors' approval, (TBC) will take another giant step forward in improving the operating economics of this already market-leading airplane," (TBC) stated. (TBC) noted that in addition to 100 airplanes to be ordered, (AAL) will take 60 options on the new variant.

(AAL) said it will begin taking delivery of the newly ordered airplanes in 2013, with the last of the 460 total airplanes committed to arriving in 2022. In a letter to employees, (AAL) Chairman & CEO, Gerard Arpey said the orders "are supported by approximately $13 billion of committed financing (loans) from the manufacturers through lease transactions on the first 230 airplanes that will help maximize our balance sheet flexibility and reduce risk."

Separately, (AAL) said it intends "to move forward with the divestiture of American Eagle," its regional affiliate. Arpey stated, "We believe this will enable us, over time, to ensure that we maintain market rates for the feed traffic to (AAL) through Eagle or other regional airlines, while also providing Eagle with an opportunity to compete for new business and grow."

Finally, (AAL) disclosed that it incurred a net loss of -$286 million in the second quarter, widened from a -$11 million deficit in the year-ago period.

(AAL)'s blockbuster split order appeared to be (AAL)'s answer to critics who say that its current fleet and business strategy are not sufficient for it to emerge from a long string of un-profitability.

But the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) noted that analysts "weren't buying it, with one suggesting it was designed to distract from yet another quarter of losses — this time down from the first quarter but up from the near breakeven results in 2nd Quarter 2010. During the first-quarter, analysts pleaded with (AAL) Chairman & CEO, Gerard Arpey to tell them there is more than just its current business strategy and achieving labor parity with peers, which they have discounted as something that would never happen, or at least not soon enough, to help the ailing company." Unlike several of its USA rivals, (AAL) did not go through a bankruptcy restructuring in the last decade that allowed it to shed labor costs.

(AAL) was the only USA major to incur a loss in 2010 and it has posted losses in each of the first two quarters this year.

(CAPA) was surprised analysts weren't more content with the huge order, which features "operating leases with no risk to the balance sheet." The order agreements with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) come "with $13 billion in financing in place for the first 230 [airplanes], which begin delivery in 2013." It added that the order "addresses one of [AAL's] most critical problems — rising fuel costs and the oldest fleet in the USA."

(AAL) President, Tom Horton said the order "is all about improving the [company's] outlook and the economics. This allows us to accelerate our efforts to improve the competitive and financial position of the company without putting the balance sheet at risk."

Arpey is bullish on the order, noting that the current generation of airplanes burn 35% less fuel than MD-80s and the re-engined airplanes could better that by a further 15%. "If you look at the pure replacement economics, this was a no brainer, an economic home run from day one," he said. He also noted savings would come from lower maintenance costs on the re-engined airplanes.

Why the split order? "As we evaluated the proposals, they got better and better as we went along," Horton explained. "Each deal was so compelling we wanted to do both."

(CAPA) noted that "with financing in place through 2017, (AAL)'s exposure to fluctuations in the financing market has also been reduced."

August 2011: The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has issued draft approval for the Joint Business Agreement (JBA) between Qantas (QAN) and American Airlines (AAL) for Pacific routes between the USA and Australia/New Zealand and the networks that support those routes. Australia’s competition regulator said it did not believe the (JBA) would be anti-competitive and would lead to consumer benefits. It said the applicants propose “to coordinate all business operations, including flying operations, pricing and revenue management, scheduling, cargo, passenger sales and marketing, airport services and frequent flyer programs.”

The (ACCC) said it “considers that the (JBA) is likely to result in new and improved products and services (including improved schedules and connectivity, a greater choice of connection and stop-over options, and the possibility of new and improved routes) and enhanced value-added services (including reciprocal lounge access, equivalent frequent flyer privileges and improved check-in procedures).”

According to the (ACCC), “the (JBA) will provide the applicants with an incentive to offer new fare products, which may result in lower fares on many transpacific routes.”

The (ACCC) will seek further submission before issuing a final determination. The (JBA) still requires approval from the New Zealand Minister of Transport and the USA Department of Transportation (DOT).

(AAL) will launch daily, Fort Lauderdale - Los Angeles service on November 17. (AAL) will launch four-times-weekly, New York (JFK) - Antigua 737 service on November 17.

(AAL) launched the "initial phase" of a Gogo-powered in-flight streaming video product, Entertainment On Demand. The option will be available to passengers on board its fleet of 15 767-200s, allowing them to wirelessly stream more than >100 movies and TV shows from an in-flight library to "select types" of Wi-Fi-enabled laptops. Movies and TV shows remain accessible for viewing on the passenger's own device after landing (for 24 hours and 72 hours, respectively.

"In the coming months, Gogo intends to make tablets and other devices available for use with the product," said (AAL) VP Marketing, Rob Friedman.

The service charges an "introductory price" of 99 cents per TV show and $3.99 per movie, and will not require customers to purchase in-flight Wi-Fi to utilize the Entertainment On Demand feature. (AAL), which began testing the system in May, plans to equip its entire Wi-Fi enabled fleet beginning later this year.

(AAL) sold 10 MD-82/MD-83s to Jet Midwest (JMW).

September 2011: American Airlines (AAL) will launch 4X weekly, New York (JFK) - Antigua 737 service on November 17. (AAL) and Air Berlin (BER) have expanded their code share agreement to include (AAL) service from New York (JFK) to Montreal and Toronto. (AAL) will drop Chicago - Brussels service on November 7.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave final approval for the Joint Business Agreement (JBA) between Qantas (QAN) and (AAL). This follows last month’s draft approval for the two carriers to coordinate operations on Pacific routes between the USA and Australia/New Zealand and the networks that support those routes.

“The (ACCC) does not consider that the (JBA) will have any anti-competitive effects, as (QAN) and (AAL) do not currently provide any overlapping direct services on the transpacific routes,” the (ACCC) Chairman, Rod Sims said.

(QAN) welcomed the (ACCC) final approval.

“The launch of (QAN)’s services to American’s Dallas/Fort Worth hub earlier this year has opened up unprecedented access to North America for (QAN) customers through code shares with (AAL),” said (QAN) Group Executive Commercial, Rob Gurney.

October 2011: American Airlines (AAL) and Air Pacific (APC) have signed a code share agreement under which (AAL) will place its code on (APC) flights to and from Nadi to Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Suva. (APC) will place its code on approximately 20 (AAL) destinations from Los Angeles.

(AAL) has notified its Transport Workers Union (TWU) in Tulsa that (AAL) will outsource heavy maintenance on four 757 airplanes by November 1. The 757 work will be performed by TIMCO Aviation Services (ASC), an independent airplane maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider in Greensboro, North Carolina.

It should be noted that this is work on only four of 124 (AAL) 757s, which means (TWU) employees will still handle nearly 97% of (AAL) airplane maintenance.

The 757 heavy maintenance, or "C checks," normally are performed at (AAL)'s Maintenance & Engineering (M&E) Center at Tulsa International Airport, and the work takes from three to four weeks to complete. The situation is being watched closely by local civic leaders because (AAL) employs more than 7,000 (MT) people in Tulsa. The (M&E) center positions, especially, are considered high-wage jobs with good benefits.

The 757 "C" checks, which involve stripping flooring, seats, panels, overhead bins, communications and entertainment systems from the plane so every component can be inspected and tested, can be performed in (AAL) Tulsa in 22 to 30 days. (TIMCO) (ASC) is scheduled to do the 757 heavy maintenance in 35 days.

Later, (AAL) said it will relocate approximately 230 Maintenance Operations Center (MOC) employees from Tulsa (TUL), Oklahoma to Dallas/Fort Worth Systems Operations Control (SOC) Center.

(AAL) said the move, aimed at streamlining operations, will take place within the year. It will continue to operate its (TUL) base with close to 7,000 employees. “We believe locating the (MOC) with the (SOC) will help make (AAL) a stronger, more efficient airline,” (AAL) spokesperson Andrea Huguely said “This move should increase (AAL)’s productivity, reliability as well as enhance customer service by focusing on our on-time performance.”

The 260-acre Tulsa (MOC) was opened in June 1946 and occupies approximately 3.3 million sq ft at (TUL). (AAL) said it has hired 500 people at the base since the beginning of the year, and that its commitment to (TUL) remains “as strong as ever.”

(AAL) will expand deployment of Gogo Vision to approximately 400 airplanes by the end of 2012. The streaming video service, first launched in August, is available on 15 of its 767-200 airplanes.

Gogo Vision offers a "growing list" of approximately 200 movies and TV shows, available for purchase onboard the airplane. The content remains accessible for viewing after the customer has landed (movies for 24 hours and TV shows for 72 hours) on a passenger's personal device. Gogo (CMO) Ash ElDifrawi called the video product a “game-changer for the industry.”

AerCap Holdings (DEA) said it has signed a $400 million, 10-year credit facility to finance the purchase and leaseback of 12 737-800s to American Airlines (AAL).

The airplanes are part of (DEA)'s previously announced sale/leaseback deal with (AAL) covering 35 737-800s.

November 2011: Citing an "untenable" cost disadvantage compared to its primary competitors, American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court and announced the resignation of Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey. President, Tom Horton assumed the roles of Chairman & (CEO) and began making the case that better times are ahead for (AAL).

"The last decade has been extraordinarily hard for the USA airline industry," Horton said. He explained that (AAL) had done all it could to restructure outside of bankruptcy but couldn't get its cost base, particularly labor expenses, low enough. "All of our competitors have taken this path, some more than once," he said. "It's a well worn path."

Horton said (AAL) has "great assets" that will enable profitability if it can lower its cost structure. Among these, he said, are hubs in key USA markets and a range of international partnerships, most prominently its membership in the Oneworld (ONW) alliance and antitrust-immunized (ATI) joint ventures (JV) with British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) on transatlantic flights and with Japan Airlines (JAL) on transpacific flying.

Most important, he said, is the massive order announced in the summer for 130 A320 family airplanes (to be split between A319s and A321s), 130 re-engined A320neos, 100 737NGs and 100 re-engined 737 Max airplanes. "That deal gives us enormous flexibility to grow the company as we get our costs and capital in line," Horton said.

Since Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) have agreed to help finance the airplanes, the split order is not believed to be in jeopardy. In a recent report, Bernstein Research said the order is a "valuable asset" for a restructuring company, representing "a huge number of delivery slots from both (EDS) and (TBC) at a time when both manufacturers [are] sold out of narrow body airplanes into 2016."

The (AMR)'s Board of Directors said in a statement that filing for Chapter 11 was necessary "to achieve a cost and debt structure that is industry competitive and thereby assure [(AAL)'s] long-term viability."

The company said that (AAL) and regional affiliate American Eagle would "continue conducting normal business operations."

(AAL) was the sole USA major international airline to avoid filing for bankruptcy in the turbulent 2001 - 2005 period that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks. (AAL) has incurred losses in four straight quarters even as other USA airlines have returned to the black.

(AMR) said it has approximately $4.1 billion in unrestricted cash and short-term investments available, which should enable it to pay its bills during the Chapter 11 process. Deutsche Bank Senior Analyst, Michael Linenberg said in a research note that the "bankruptcy filing is specific to (AMR)" and should not dampen continuing profitability for the rest of the USA industry.

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) entered into a sale-leaseback arrangement with (AAL) to finance 15 previously ordered 737-800 NextGen airplanes. Two airplanes have been delivered; the rest are scheduled for delivery in 2012.

(AAL) said that the 130 A320 family airplanes included in its huge narrow body order announced over the summer will be comprised of A319s and A321s, though it didn't specify how many of each it will take.

It chose (CFM) International's (CFM56-5B) engines to power the A319s and International Aero Engines' (V2500-A5) powerplants for the A321s. Also part of the mega-order were 130 re-engined A320neos, 100 (CFM56-7B)-powered 737NGs and 100 737 Max airplane re-engined with a variant of (CFM)'s (Leap-X). (AAL) still has not made an engine selection between the (Leap-X) and Pratt & Whitney's (PW1100G) for the A320neos it has on order.

December 2011: American Airlines (AAL) and Hainan Airlines (HNA) have reached a code share agreement under which (AAL) will place its code on (HNA) Beijing - Seattle service and (HNA) will place its code on (AAL) Shanghai service from Chicago and Los Angeles.

(AAL), which last month operated its first commercial biofuel flight, has signed a purchase agreement for renewable diesel and a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with two suppliers for alternative jet fuels.

(AAL) Managing Director Corporate Environmental, Jim Walsh said that (AAL)’s approach is for “collaborative, industry-wide plans,” which spreads the financial risk for both airlines and potential suppliers, and identifies various sources while remaining feedstock neutral.

(AAL)’s first biofuel flight, which took place November 7, flew from Houston to Chicago on a blend of 40% Solazyme algae biofuel and 60% traditional jet fuel.

Since 2011, (AAL) has improved its fuel efficiency by +25%, eliminating 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Much of its fuel savings comes from reduced usage of the airplane auxiliary power unit (APU), which consumes nearly one gallon of jet fuel per minute, said Walsh.

Since launching Fuel Smart in 2005, (AAL) has saved more than >500 million gallons of fuel and reduced CO2 emissions by 4.7 million metric tons.

“Airlines need alternative fuel and alternative fuels need the airlines,” he said. “The change is coming, and it will be a win for everyone.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that pilots (FC) on (AAL) flights would be allowed to use iPads instead of paper flight manuals in the cockpit, as reported by ZDNet, even during takeoff and landing. But passengers are still required to shut down anything with the slightest electronic pulse from the moment a plane leaves the gate until it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet.

The rule barring passengers from using a Kindle, an iPad or even a calculator were originally made to protect the electronics of an airplane from interference. Yet pilots (FC) with iPads will be enclosed in the cockpit just a few inches from critical aviation equipment.

There is some thought that the rule forbidding devices during takeoff and landing was made to ensure that passengers paid attention. The (FAA) has never claimed this.

The (FAA)’s stance regarding devices on planes has been revised several times. It appears as though the rules requiring passengers to turn off devices, like Kindles and iPads, seem outdated. The (FAA), who said the reason for the ban was that the agency would rather err on the side of caution when it came to allowing digital devices on planes.

The (FAA) said that it had conducted ”rigorous testing of any electronic device proposed for use in the cockpit as an electronic flight bag (EFB), in lieu of paper navigation charts and manuals.”

The (FAA) did not say why the testing that had been used for pilots (FC) could not also be used to test the area where passengers sit so they could use iPads and Kindles, too.

The (FAA) did say it had limited the number of approved devices in the cockpit to two, one for each pilot (FC). “This involves a significantly different scenario for potential interference than unlimited passenger use, which could involve dozens or even hundreds of devices at the same time,” the (FAA) said.

Captain David Clark, Manager Connected Aircraft Programs for (AAL) said that (AAL) has spent extensive months testing the iPad in the cockpit to ensure that it would not interfere with an airplane’s avionics. “We conducted some very extensive testing with the Apple iPad; the device’s 3G, WiFi, and Bluetooth have all been turned off, and with that, we didn’t have any interference issues,” he said.

When asked if the same testing could be done for passengers in the cabin, Captain Clark said the decision to allow passengers to use iPads, or other electronic reading devices on planes, would have to be decided by the (FAA).

Recently, (AAL) caused a kerfuffle when it ejected Alec Baldwin, a co-star on the NBC TV show “30 Rock” from a flight for playing a game of "Words with Friends" on his iPhone, while the airplane was parked at the gate.

January 2012: American Airlines (AAL) in 2011 employed 66,522 employees, (2nd highest in the world!).

(AAL) released its first full month operating in Chapter 11, which saw system traffic (RPM)s dip -0.9% compared to December 2010 to 10.23 billion on a -1.2% drop in capacity to 12.66 billion (ASM)s. Load factor for the month was up +0.2 point to 80.8% LF.

(AAL)'s December domestic USA capacity was down -4.2% year-over-year, while international capacity was up +3.7% including a +4.8% lift on transatlantic flying and a +8.7% increase on transpacific (ASM)s.

(AAL) parent the AMR Corporation was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 5, an expected consequence of the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last November.

"The (NYSE) advised (AMR) that it is taking these steps because the average closing price of (AMR)'s common stock fell below the (NYSE)'s continued listing minimum share price standard of $1 over a consecutive 30-trading-day period," (AAL) said in a statement. (AMR) stock, which performed poorly and erratically last year, was trading at just 31 cents per share.

"Due to the company's Chapter 11 filing, (AMR) is not able to affirm an intent to cure the aforementioned share price deficiency and, accordingly, does not oppose the suspension and delisting of its securities," (AAL) said.

It added that it "cannot predict what the ultimate value of any of its securities may be and it remains too early to determine whether holders of any such securities will receive any distribution in the Chapter 11 reorganization. In particular, in most Chapter 11 cases, holders of equity securities receive little or no recovery of value from their investment."

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and American Airlines (AAL) have confirmed they have added a $3 surcharge each way ($6 for a round-trip) onto tickets purchased in the USA for flights to and from Europe, in the wake of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which took effect January 1.

These surcharges follow the announcement by Delta Air Lines (DAL) of its $3 surcharge. According to "Reuters," United Continental (UAL)/(CAL) has also matched the charge as USA airlines seek to offset the cost of the controversial (ETS).

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) is America’s busiest airport, having welcomed 89 million passengers in 2010 (final 2011 figures aren’t yet in). But New York is America’s busiest airline market, with 47 million passengers at New York Kennedy International Airport (JFK), 33 million at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and 24 million at LaGuardia Airport (LGA), for an annual 2010 total of 104 million. Well Delta (DAL), already dominant in (ATL), wants a bigger bite of the Big Apple, where the competitive landscape is far more fragmented. In a bid to consolidate loyalty among New York’s many corporate travelers, (DAL) unveiled its beefed-up schedule from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), where it acquired a large number of US Airways (AMW)/(USA) slots in exchange for slots at Washington’s Reagan Airport. The expansion involves almost 30 new routes, many to rival hubs, including Dallas (DFW), Charlotte, Denver, Cleveland, Washington (IAD), Houston (IAH), Miami, and Montreal. A large number of medium-sized cities like Kansas City, Albany, and Norfolk are included in the expansion as well. (DAL) will soon operate nearly half of all flights at LaGuardia, pushing American (AAL) to a distant second in terms of market share. More generally and even more significantly, when it comes to securing valuable corporate contracts, (AAL) will now be a distant third in the overall New York market, while (DAL) will vie with United (UAL) for the top spot. (DAL) is also upgrading its LaGuardia terminals and hopes to make the airport a domestic transfer hub for the first time (currently, 96% of its LaGuardia passengers are local). (DAL) says the New York airline market is worth approximately $14 billion ($8 billion domestic and $6 billion international).

(AAL) and LAN Ecuador (LNE) received approval from the USA Department of Transportation and Ecuadorean authorities to begin code sharing on flights from Miami and New York (JFK) to Ecuador and on LAN Ecuador (LNE) domestic services.

(AAL) made its first concrete job cuts since filing for Chapter 11 when it announced two route closures. (AAl) will stop flying between Chicago O'Hare and New Delhi on March 1 and between Dallas/Ft Worth and Burbank, California on February 9. (AAL) told employees this will mean closing its offices in New Delhi and Burbank, leading to about -150 positions cut.

The US Airways Group (AMW)/(USA) and private equity firm, (TPG) Capital are among several parties interested in potential bids for the (AMR) Corporation, the bankrupt parent of (AAL), people familiar with the matter told "Reuters." These parties have been following (AMR)’s bankruptcy proceedings closely to evaluate a prospect for a merger or tie-up with (AAL), the sources said.

(AAL) has filed notice with a bankruptcy court that it plans to retain 85 Boeing airplanes, including 40 737-800s.

Under bankruptcy court rules, (AAL) has the right to reject or retain leases on airplanes and related equipment. It must notify the court and lessors of those it wants to keep and what payments are owed to creditors.

In addition to the 737-800s, (AAL) plans to keep 20 757-200s, 22 777-200s and three 767-300s, according to documents filed in the USA Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. (AAL) previously filed to keep 19 other planes and to reject leases on some airplanes it had grounded before it sought court protection on November 29.

(AAL) has 1,670 pilots flight crew (FC) still on furlough status including previous deferrals. There remain just over >652 furloughed pilots (FC) who have yet to be offered recall and 1,018 have deferred recall. See FltOps.com and FAPA.aero.

February 2012: American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last November, incurred a -$2 billion full-year net loss in 2011, according to a USA Securities & Exchange Commission filing. But even with that steep deficit, which included $886 million in non cash reorganization charges, USA major airlines were in the black in aggregate in 2011 for the second consecutive year. The seven largest USA airline companies earned +$295 million in net income in 2011, down -87.6% from a +$2.39 billion net profit in 2010. But excluding (AMR), the remaining six majors earned a healthy +$2.27 billion net profit.

(AMR)'s full-year 2011 revenue rose +8.2% over 2010 to $23.98 billion, outpaced by a +14.5% increase in expenses to $25.03 billion. (AAL) is trying through Chapter 11 to reduce labor costs by -$1.25 billion annually. Its operating loss was -$1.05 billion, reversed from a 2010 operating profit of +$308 million.

Overall, the seven major USA airline companies' full-year 2011 revenue grew +10.1% compared to 2010 to $134.68 billion. That followed a +14.8% revenue rise in 2010 over 2009. Expenses in 2011 increased by +13% year-over-year to $130.08 billion and operating profit was +$4.6 billion, down -35.8% from operating income of +$7.17 billion in 2010.

The (AMR) Corporation, the parent of American Airlines (AAL) wants to eliminate about -13,000 jobs (-15% of its workforce) as USA's third-biggest airline remakes itself under bankruptcy protection.

(AMR) aims to cut labor costs by -20% under bankruptcy protection, and will soon begin negotiations with its three major unions. Some management jobs would also be cut. (AMR) also proposes to end its traditional pension plans. The move has been strongly opposed by (AAL)'s unions and the US pension-insurance agency.

(AMR) Corporation (CEO), Thomas Horton said that the company hopes to return to profitability by cutting spending by more than >-$2 billion per year and raising revenue by +$1 billion per year.

(AMR) lost -$884 million in the first nine months of 2011, and last month, it disclosed a -$904 million loss for December alone. It has lost more than >-$11 billion since 2001.

"We are going to use the restructuring process to make the necessary changes to meet our challenges head-on and capitalize fully on the solid foundation we've put in place," Horton said in a letter to employees.

Employees have braced for bad news for weeks. Horton said in December that the company would emerge from bankruptcy with fewer workers.

"I expect dismay and outrage from our membership as details of the proposal are made public," said Laura Glading, President of the flight attendants (CA)'s union.

Horton said cost-cutting moves will include restructuring debt and airplane leases, grounding older planes, and changing labor contracts. Horton and other top executives outlined the job cuts and other proposals during a closed-door meeting with employees near the company's Fort Worth headquarters.

The company has about 88,000 workers. Most are represented by a union.

The biggest cuts would come from the ranks of maintenance (MT) workers (about 4,600) and baggage handlers (about 4,200) according to company spokesman, Bruce Hicks. About 2,300 flight attendants (CA), 1,400 management employees and 400 pilots (FC) would lose their jobs under the plan, he said.

If (AAL) and its three unions can't agree on labor cuts, the company could ask a bankruptcy judge in New York to impose changes on workers. But federal law requires the company to make a good-faith effort to first negotiate agreements with its workers.

Ray Neidl, an analyst with Maxim Group LLC, said for (AAL) to win support for its plan, it would have to offer employees a goal (a carrot) and not just a stick. "It's hard to see a carrot right now," he said, "but you have to convince them that this is part of a plan to return to profits and secure jobs."

The company also wants union approval to drop its traditional pension plans, which cover 130,000 employees and retirees. It would replace them with 401(k)-type plans under which the company contributes to workers' retirement accounts. The pension plans were once standard in the airline industry. (AMR)'s are underfunded by billions of dollars and the company said on a new website that it could no longer afford them. The USA Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) slapped liens on $91 million in (AMR) property after the company paid only $6.5 million of a required $100 million contribution to the plans.

(PBGC) Director, Joshua Gotbaum said that before (AAL) "takes such a drastic action as killing the pension plans of 130,000 employees and retirees, it needs to show there is no better alternative." He said the company had failed to provide even basic financial details.

Company officials were scheduled to meet separately with the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union.

Later, The Allied Pilots Association (APA) representing 10,000 American Airlines (AAL) pilots (FC) has asked a USA bankruptcy court to require airline management to continue negotiations toward a new labor agreement. The union expects (AAL) to utilize the Chapter 11 process to reject existing work rules and impose new conditions. (AAL) has said it needs to cut about -13,000 jobs through bankruptcy reorganization.

But (APA) said in a court filing that the provisions in USA bankruptcy law that allow for rejecting work agreements shouldn't apply in this case because the accord between (AAL) and its pilots (FC) expired in 2008. The union is seeking a judgment from the court requiring (AAL) management to continue negotiating toward an accord with pilots (FC) under a federal mediation process.

"Our objective is to enhance the prospects of a consensual agreement," (APA) President, Dave Bates said. "The Railway Labor Act provides specialized procedures for peaceful resolution of labor contracts in the airline industry. The Railway Labor Act represents the more promising path to a consensual agreement."

Besides spending cuts, Horton said (AMR) plans to ground older planes and go ahead with orders to buy hundreds of new airplanes. That would cut fuel use — high fuel costs have been a major drag on (AAL) and other airlines. The bankruptcy judge hasn't approved those new orders, but he has allowed the company to take delivery of some new jets.

To increase revenue, (AAL) plans to increase flights in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Miami by +20% over the next five years, Horton said.

American Airlines (AAL) has USA Department of Transportation approval for a reciprocal code share agreement with Hainan Airlines (HNA). (HNA) will now use the (AA) code on its USA - China service (currently Seattle - Beijing) and on service within China. (AAL) can now display the (HU) code on its flights between the USA and China (currently Chicago - Beijing, Chicago - Shanghai and Los Angeles - Shanghai) and on flights within the USA beyond Seattle.

(AAL) has unveiled what the interior of their new 777-300ER will look like when delivered. (AAL) has placed an order for 10 of the airplanes and will be the first USA airline to operate them.

"(AAL) continues to remain focused on providing a differentiated customer experience through various efforts, including the execution of our fleet renewal plan," said Virasb Vahidi, (AAL)'s (CCO). "The addition of 777-300ER airplanes will further modernize our fleet through the integration of unique customer comforts, which are designed to create more inviting interiors and enhance the travel experience."

The 777-300ER, which will be configured in a three class layout, will become (AAL)'s largest airplane that they operate. Both First Class (F) and Business (C) will offer lie-flat seating - - SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2012-02-777-300ER INTERIOR."

American has also announced that they will use their new 777-300ER on the Dallas/Forth Worth (DFW) to Sao Paulo (GRU) starting in December of this year. (AAL) is expecting to receive two of their 777-300ERs in 2012 and the remaining eight in 2013.

With its 1,000th 777 coming down the line for Emirates (EAD), Boeing's 777 continues to evolve from its earliest incarnations. The latest interior catalog offerings, now selected by American Airlines (AAL), include a 787 and 737-style Sky Interior (LED)-lit entryway for its 777-300ERs, which enter the fleet in December. Long-time Boeing interior design firm, Teague is believed to have been working on this feature for a while now.

Arranged in a three-class cabin configuration, the new 777-300ER will provide the airline with more passenger and cargo capacity than any other aircraft in its fleet today. Customers will be welcomed into the 777 by unique mood lighting. (AAL) will be the first carrier to use this dramatic archway and ceiling treatment on the 777-300 to create a feeling of spaciousness.

SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2012-02-777-300ER INTERIOR-A."

737-823s (31137, N883NN; 33222, N884NN), deliveries.

March 2012: Operating under Chapter 11 status has not stopped the steady flow of red ink at American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation.

The bankrupt company, which incurred a -$2 billion net loss in 2011, reported a -$234 million net loss for the month of January, according to a USA Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

Revenue generated during the month totaled $2.03 billion, while costs were $2.04 billion, producing a -$5 million operating loss. Net profit was affected by $170 million in reorganization charges and more than >$60 million in interest expenses incurred in January.

Airplane fuel was the airline's highest monthly expense at $704 million, followed by labor at $601 million. (AAL) is attempting to cut -$1.25 billion in annual labor expenses.

American Airlines (AAL) and British Airways (BAB) have Indian government approval to place the (AA) code on (BAB) flights from London Heathrow to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai beginning March 29.

Gogo said its air-to-ground in-flight connectivity system achieved a program milestone, the installation of its 1,500th commercial airplane. For the year to date, the company has installed Gogo on more than >140 airplanes.

"This is a big milestone for Gogo and it's obviously big for passengers who want to stay connected at 30,000 feet," said Michael Small, Gogo's President & (CEO). "Since 2008, we've worked to get Gogo up and running on nine of our airline partners, which represent approximately 87% of Internet-enabled North American commercial airplanes."

Gogo can now be found on nine major airlines including on all domestic AirTran (CQT), Virgin America (VUS) and nearly all Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Alaska Airlines (ASA_ flights. Gogo is also currently installed on more than >300 American Airlines (AAL) airplanes and on select US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Frontier Airlines (FRO), Air Canada (ACN) and United Airlines (UAL) flights. US Airways (AMW)/(USA) recently announced plans to expand Gogo service across the A320 (A319, A320 and A321) family and Embraer EMB 190 fleet. With this expansion, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will have 90% of its mainline domestic fleet equipped with Wi-Fi Internet access, Gogo said.

April 2012: American Airlines (AA) parent, the (AMR) Corporation, which is restructuring via the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, incurred a -$1.66 billion net loss in the first quarter, according to a filing with the USA Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

The loss was widened from a -$436 million net deficit in the 2011 March quarter. The results include $1.4 billion in reorganization items. First-quarter revenue increased +9.1% year-over-year to $6.04 billion, while expenses rose +6.3% to $6.13 billion. (AAL)’s airplane fuel costs heightened +17.5% to $2.17 billion.

Operating loss was -$89 million, narrowed from a -$232 million operating deficit in the prior-year quarter.

First-quarter consolidated passenger yield increased +7.4% year-over-year with mainline yield rising +7.3%, according to (AAL).

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and American Airlines’ (AAL)'s three largest unions reached an agreement that supports a US Airways - American Airlines merger, a major development that threatens to upend (AAL)’s plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring as an independent carrier.

In a letter to (AMW)/(USA) employees, Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said, “First of all, today’s news does not mean we have agreed to merge with American Airlines (AAL). It only means we have reached agreements with these three unions on what their collective bargaining agreements would look like after a merger, and that they would like to work with us to make a merger a reality.”

He said (AAL) parent, (AMR) Corporation’s creditors, management and board of directors would need to support a merger for one to happen, but the agreement with the unions “is obviously an important first step along that path and we are hopeful we can all work together to make this happen.” Parker said (AMW)/(USA) management has “concluded that a merger with (AAL), while they are undergoing their bankruptcy restructuring, represents a unique opportunity that we should not ignore. These beliefs are shared by the three American labor unions.”

(AAL) filed a motion with a USA bankruptcy court last month seeking to have its contracts with the three unions rejected.

In a joint statement, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union, which collectively represent 55,000 of (AAL)’s approximate 80,000 employees, said, “We are pleased to confirm our support of a possible merger between our airline (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA). We have reached agreements on terms sheets for collective bargaining agreements [with (AMW)/(USA)]. As envisioned, a merger of (AMW)/(USA) and (AAL) provides the best path for all constituencies. The contemplated merger would be based on growth, preserve at least 6,200 (AAL) jobs that would be furloughed under the company’s standalone strategy, and provide employees of both (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) with competitive, industry-standard compensation and benefits.”

Parker said that “combining American Airlines and US Airways would create a pre-eminent airline with the enhanced scale and breadth required to compete more effectively and profitably. Our intention would be to put our two complementary networks together, maintaining both airlines’ existing hubs and airplanes, and create an airline that could compete successfully with United (UAL)/(CAL), Delta (DAL) and other carriers within our industry.” He cautioned that the deal with the (AAL) unions “is one step in what will be a much longer process. For now, it remains business as usual.”

American Airlines (AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton pushed back against US Airways’ (AMW)/(USA) efforts to bring about a merger of the two carriers, telling employees in a letter that “we must be mindful of other parties who don’t have our best interests at heart.” Horton emphasized that an agreement reached last week between (AMW)/USA) and (AAL)’s three largest unions to pursue a merger “in no way alter[s] our course” in terms of restructuring via the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. “Nothing changes as a result of these announcements and we will proceed on our path toward a successful restructuring of (AAL),” he told (AAL) workers.

Addressing the (AMW)/(USA) - (AAL) unions deal specifically, he said, “It’s easy to understand US Airways’ (AMW)/(USA) sense of urgency to find a way to address the challenges it has faced for a long time. That story is well known.”

He added that “what’s best for our company, our people and our financial stakeholders will be determined by the facts in a disciplined manner and process. And this includes whether (AAL) will choose to pursue any combination down the road. This is the charge of the board of directors.”

Horton cautioned (AAL) employees to be wary of quick fixes, noting that “there is no easy path back to renewal and growth and industry leadership. It will require difficult choices.” He said (AAL) needs to be mindful of third parties “working their own agendas at our expense.”

He argued that (AAL) is “making significant progress” in the Chapter 11 process, and noted that the court has granted (AAL) the “exclusive right to pursue our plan of reorganization at least through the end of September and this may be extended further. We will continue to follow the prescribed court supervised restructuring process.”

Hearings got underway in a USA bankruptcy court in New York to determine whether (AAL) will be able to terminate its labor contracts as part of the Chapter 11 restructuring process. (AAL) has told the court that its "greatest single challenge" to successfully emerging from bankruptcy is labor agreements that are unfavorable compared with those of its competitors. The hearings are expected to last throughout the week as (AAL) management makes its case; a decision is not expected from the court until June.

(AAL) is arguing that it has offered reasonable terms to its workers, insisting that slashing about -13,000 jobs and adopting new work rules are the only way to save the remaining 65,000-plus jobs at (AAL) and enable (AAL) to profitably compete against rivals.

(AAL)’s three largest unions, however, are arguing that workers are not responsible for the airline’s poor finances, which union leaders say have primarily resulted from (AAL) management mistakes. In an uncommon step, the unions last week struck a deal with US Airways (AMW)(USA)) to support an (AAL) - (USA) merger, even negotiating the parameters of labor terms should the combination happen.

(AAL) said that “prolonged delay and distractions are not only counterproductive, but risk jobs and livelihoods of thousands of employees.” It argued that Chapter 11 “is the tried and proven, court-supervised process that is specifically designed to guide fair and equitable changes to the collective bargaining agreements that are necessary for a successful reorganization.”

The court process also does not preclude a negotiated settlement, (AAL) noted, saying it is “ready to meet at any time to consider proposals from the unions that achieve the necessary labor savings and help (AAL) successfully emerge from Chapter 11 stronger and more competitive.”

(AAL) has meanwhile announced plans to increase its target of job cuts under bankruptcy protection from -13,000 to -14,200 positions.

In the week following the release of the iPad, Gogo Director Airline Operations, Tim Lemaster said the Wi-Fi provider identified over >10,000 separate usages of iPads being used on board airplanes. The tablets continue to outpace cell phones and laptops 10 to one on airplanes, he said.

“The traditional In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)s are going to be squeezed down to a more long-haul market,” Lemaster said. He pointed out that Wi-Fi-enabled short-haul flights that take advantage of passengers’ own personal electronic devices (PEDs) could help the industry avoid buying and installing seatback systems. However, on a 3-hour flight, Gogo has seen the average passenger pushing 61 megabytes by themselves — - a challenging amount of data to support on multiple (PED)s. “It is a big challenge in the industry,” of “how to push more through the pipe, because the pipe is limited,” he said.

American Airlines (AAL) provides passengers with Samsung tablets on select routes, Manager (IFE), Erik Miller said. “Customers love them,” but he cautioned “there are pros and cons” to eliminating the seatback system altogether.

“Airlines used to take a year to 18 months looking at new airplanes, looking at new systems,” Lemaster said. “Is the right decision today to go away from a traditional (IFE)? It probably makes sense on a short-haul flight (people are already bringing on their own personal devices). I would say in the next three to five years, we will see that decision more and more, move away from the traditional (IFE).”

May 2012: American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation, which is restructuring via the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, announced it will eliminate five manager positions as part of the third phase of restructuring. (AMR) said the cuts, combined with the previous organizational changes, represents a -20% reduction in the company’s most senior leadership positions.

(AMR) Chairman & (CEO), Tom Horton said the organization redesign “purposefully began at the top, and today's changes will further advance the company's restructuring objectives and bring us one step closer to ensuring American has the leanest, most capable and effective leadership team in the industry."

(AMR) said it will consolidate or modify positions, which “illustrate elements of the company’s transformation,” such as combining the positions of VP-New York & International from previously separate positions “to bring a distinct focus on American's New York franchise, its trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific businesses, and Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners.”

Senior VP Human Resources (HR), Jeff Brundage has been replaced by Denise Lynn, who will become Senior VP People. (AMR) did not give details of the other positions affected by the restructuring.

(AAL) has slightly softened its anti-merger stance in order to reach a joint protocol agreement with its official committee of unsecured creditors. “The actions contemplated by the agreement include developing potential consolidation scenarios, but the agreement is not an indication that the company intends to pursue a transaction of any kind,” (AAL) said.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) last month expressed its interest in merging with (AAL) during the bankruptcy process, and has already gained the support of (AAL)’s largest labor unions. It is now focused on persuading (AAL)’s unsecured creditors. (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker has said, “We are eager to show the creditors that our plan would create more value than a standalone plan.”

(AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said that rival American Airlines (AAL) is saddled with “a structural weakness that bankruptcy can’t fix,” and again called for (AAL) to consider a merger with (AMW)/(USA).

Parker pointed out that (AAL) “sat out consolidation” in the USA airline industry in recent years, and “now in a smaller industry, they’re further down the chain” in terms of market share and operational efficiency. Emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a standalone carrier, which is (AAL) management’s preferred option, will leave (AAL) with a weak competitive network compared to Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL), both of which are beneficiaries of recent mergers, Parker said.

But, he added, “if you put these two networks together [(AMW)/(USA) and (AAL)], they’re highly complementary and [would create an airline that] could compete with anyone.” He acknowledged that “bankruptcy is a complicated process” with “its own rhythm and pace,” and said (AMW)/(USA) will “respect the process” and the time it takes.

“We do see a potentially large value creation opportunity” through a (AMW)/(USA)-(AAL) merger, Parker contended, noting that (AAL)’s three largest unions and the stock market have shown support for the combination.

As long as (AMW)/(USA) is allowed to present its plan to (AAL)’s unsecured creditors and management, it is “highly confident” of demonstrating a merger would be “far superior” to any other alternative for (AAL), Parker said.

(AAL) Chief Restructuring Officer & Treasurer, Beverly Goulet said, “To be clear, (AAL) has committed to work in collaboration with the [unsecured creditors] to develop only potential consolidation scenarios and this agreement does not in any way suggest that a transaction of any kind or with any particular party will be pursued.”

While most of (AAL) workers are pledged to supporting a merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA), a number of the company’s smaller workgroups have ratified new collective bargaining agreements. The accords will preserve about 1,300 jobs, said (AAL). The groups include fleet service workers, dispatch personnel, maintenance control technicians, simulator technicians and ground school and simulator pilot instructors. All of the groups are represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU). (AAL)’s aircraft mechanics (MT), also represented by the (TWA), declined to accept a consensual agreement.

“Today’s ratification announcement demonstrates (AAL)’s willingness to address the (TWU)’s interests and the union's willingness to negotiate new contracts that achieve the cost savings needed for our successful restructuring,” (AAL) said.

(AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton marked (AAL)’s six-month point of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring by telling employees that (AAL) has “made big strides in all aspects” but warning more must be done “immediately,” particularly regarding labor costs.

In a letter sent to the company’s 80,000-strong workforce, Horton reiterated the strengths he has touted since (AAL) declared bankruptcy last November. “We have hubs in the most important markets, the best international alliance partners around the world, a host of new products and services, including plans for the most modern and growing fleet in the USA industry,” he wrote. “Our revenue performance has been consistently outpacing the industry this year. The key message for all of us is that, after a decade of survival and shrinking, we are poised to grow our flying by +20% over the next five years. Nearly 70% of this new capacity will be flown by our American mainline jets, with the vast majority of that growth being international flying. Clearly, this will open up a lot of new opportunities for career progression among our people.”

However, he said those bright prospects are tied to “our ability to earn sufficient and consistent profits after emerging from our reorganization,” adding that “we must do [more] immediately” to address the company’s cost structure.

Horton said the inability of (AAL) to reach accords on new labor contracts with its three largest unions “has created uncertainty all around.” (AAL) management will enter “mediated sessions” with the work groups and a judge appointed by the bankruptcy court to help the sides overcome their differences, he noted. “Once we achieve new contracts and finalize our plan, (AAL) will be on a clear path to completing a very successful restructuring,” Horton told (AAL) employees.

(AAL) has announced that it will use the first of ten 777-300(ER)s (31543, N717AN) on the Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) - São Paulo Internacional Guarulhos (GRU) route from December 13. It then plans to deploy additional airplanes on flights from Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) and New York John F Kennedy International (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR) from February 2013.

June 2012: US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has filed for USA government approval of a potential merger with American Airlines (AAL) according to a report published by "Reuters." (AMW)/(USA) hopes that getting antitrust immunity (ATI) prior to a potential transaction would help it to get more support from American Airlines (AAL) shareholders.

As (AAL) pilots (FC) consider whether to accept (AAL)’s latest labor contract proposal, unions representing (AAL)’s flight attendants (CA) and mechanics (MT) are also showing a new willingness to negotiate concessionary pacts with airline management.

A USA bankruptcy court has been poised to rule on whether (AAL)’s labor contracts with its three largest unions can be voided and new work rules imposed. But the ruling was postponed when signs of life developed in talks between (AAL) and the Allied Pilots Association (APA) representing the airline’s flight deck crew (FC).

Another postponement of the ruling now appears possible as both the Transport Workers Union (TWU), representing (AAL)’s mechanics (MT), and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), representing its cabin crew (CA), have asked to resume talks with (AAL) management.

“Plans to restart negotiations have been communicated to (AAL) parent, (AMR),” (TWU) said on its website. Other smaller work groups represented by (TWU) have already come to terms with (AAL) management.

(APFA) said that “bargaining will take place through Thursday, July 3, 4 and 5.” It added that it “is willing to work toward achieving an agreement” if (AAL) lowers the amount of annual savings it is seeking to gain from the flight attendants (CA), currently about $230 million. (AAL) is seeking -$1.25 billion in overall yearly labor cost cuts.

(APA) leadership is expected to vote on whether to accept (AAL)’s latest contract proposal to the pilots (FC).

The workers covered by the new rounds of negotiations total about 55,000 of (AMR)’s more than >80,000 employees. (AAL), in Chapter 11 protection since last November, has repeatedly stated its preference for negotiated labor accords rather than direct imposition of new work rules by the bankruptcy court.

Later, The board of directors of the (APA) voted 9-7 on June 26 to accept management’s latest labor contract proposal as a tentative agreement, pushing the potential pact to (AAL)’s 10,000 flight deck crew for a ratification vote.

The tentative accord, which would give (AAL) pilots (FC) a 13.5% equity stake (AAL), comes as a USA bankruptcy court is preparing to rule on whether to void (AAL)’s largest labor contracts and impose new work rules. But that ruling, which has already been postponed, may be pushed back again in light of the tentative agreement with the pilots (FC) and apparent movement in talks with mechanics (MT) and flight attendants (CA) on new collective bargaining agreements.

“A 13.5% equity stake should make (APA) the largest equity holder in the company,” (APA) said to members posted on its website. “As a result, we would be able to influence key decisions from our seat on the unsecured creditors’ committee that will take place for the balance of restructuring, such as the makeup of the reorganized (AAL)’s board of directors and other key strategic considerations.”

The deal would still be beneficial if a merger between US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and (AAL), which (APA) has previously backed, eventually occurs, the union leadership said, noting it would increase the worth of the equity stake “since the overall enterprise value would go up through the combination of the two airlines.”

The tentative agreement between the pilots (FC) and (AAL) management also includes “enhanced pay increases” and “some furlough protections,” as well as “indexing to Delta (DAL), United (UAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) pay rates at year three” of the accord, (APA) said. It explained the risk of voting down (AAL) management’s proposal: “Our advisers told the (APA) board of directors about the substantial downside risk associated with rejecting management’s final offer, including the legal ‘gray area’ that we would enter into if the court were to grant management’s request to abrogate our contract.”

The union emphasized, “Despite any suggestions to the contrary that you may have heard, a ratified agreement with current [(AAL) parent] (AMR) management does not preclude us from pursuing a merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).”

Japan Airlines (JAL) has adjusted its international route and flight frequencies for this financial year. (JAL) confirmed it will launch 4X-weekly, Tokyo Narita (NRT) - San Diego, California on December 2, which will be jointly served with Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner, American Airlines (AAL).

(AAL) asked its bankruptcy court to approve a deal between (AAL) and (HP) Enterprise Services to dissolve their contract to build a next-generation passenger services system (PSS). A hearing on the matter was scheduled for June 28, but since both parties have agreed to the terms, the deal is not likely to meet with opposition.

In papers filed with the court, (AAL) said it had worked with (HP) over the past two years to develop the new (PSS), dubbed "Jetstream," but was “unable to reach agreement on a number of key issues affecting the project’s direction.” An orderly termination of the agreement was “in the best interests of both parties,” (AAL) said.

Maya Leibman, (AAL)’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), told the "Dallas Morning News" that (AAL) was looking at existing systems and that she hoped to select a new (PSS) vendor by the end of the year.

Reports that the relationship between (AAL) and (HP) was not progressing as planned, surfaced in February. (AAL) maintained that it was committed to the Jetstream project but added that “we are currently evaluating the vendors best-suited to ensure the successful delivery of such a transformational initiative.”

Some observers believe the split came about because of (ITA) Software’s role in the development of the new system. In January 2011, (AAL) announced a deal with (ITA) for an “availability engine” that would marry (AAL)’s proprietary customer data with ancillary products to create highly customized offers to clients based on their status, history and other criteria. The availability engine would be designed to integrate with Jetstream.

Monte Ford, then (AAL)’s (CIO), said (HP) had been aware from the start that (AAL) would seek another vendor for that piece of the system. But over time, some observers say, it became clear to (HP) that it would be developing a relative small piece of the (PSS), which it had planned to market to other carriers under the name "Agilaire." It is not clear whether (HP) plans to continue development of Agilaire.

July 2012: Following six consecutive loss-making quarters, American Airlines’ (AAL) parent, the AMR Corporation has posted a 2012 second quarter net profit of +$95 million excluding special costs related to its restructuring.

(AMR), which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since November, reported revenues of $6.5 billion, its highest quarterly revenue in company history.

Including $336 million in special costs related to reorganization items and employee severances, the net loss was -$241 million compared with a -$286 million loss for the same period a year ago and a -$1.66 billion net loss for the 2012 first quarter.

“The results we announced show that the new American (AAL) is gaining altitude,” (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Tom Horton said in a letter to employees. “This performance, including our industry-leading revenue gains, reflects the strength of our network and alliance strategy as positive as this improvement is, we have much more work ahead to build on our momentum.”

Second-quarter revenue increased +5.5% year-over-year, while expenses rose +1.9% to $6.3 billion.

Consolidated passenger yield for the quarter jumped +7.1% and mainline yield saw an increase of +6.8%. Load factor lifted +1.5 points year-over year to 85.1% LF.

“Over the last few weeks, we have reached several key milestones, including our tentative agreements with the (APA) and our mechanics (MT) and stores groups in the (TWU),” Horton said. “We’ve also made our comprehensive and final offer to the (APFA) to reach an agreement, and the union said in a communication to our flight attendants (CA) that it is evaluating next steps. I believe these agreements will prove to be an important turning point.”

American Airlines (AAL) will increase daily, New York (JFK) - Sao Paulo service to 2X-daily on October 1, will convert daily, Miami (MIA) - Salvador (SSA) - Recife (REC) one-stop service to nonstop 5X-weekly service between (MIA) and both (REC) and (SSA) November 15 and will increase daily, (MIA) - Rio de Janiero service to 2X-daily on December 15.

(AAL) has announced plans to use the first of 119 A321-200s it will start taking delivery of from November 2013 in a four class configuration on its key domestic transcontinental routes from New York John F Kennedy International (JFK) to Los Angeles International (LAX) and San Francisco International (SFO). (AAL) currently has 15 specially configured 767-200ERs operating on these routes offering eight daily round-trips between (JFK) and Los Angeles, and five daily flights between (JFK) and San Francisco.

July 2012: 2 737-823 (31149, N895NN; 33224, N896NN), sold to Wilmington Trust and Wells Fargo Bank Northwest and leased back.

August 2012: American Airlines (AAL) earned a net profit of +$135 million in July, the second straight month it has been in the black, according to a filing with the USA Securities & Exchange Commission.

(AAL) has also turned things around on the operational side. (AAL) generated $2.33 billion in July revenue against $2.09 billion in monthly expenses, producing an operating profit of +$240 million.

(AAL) entered Chapter 11 protection in November, and continued to bleed red ink throughout the first several months of this year. It posted a -$234 million net loss for January.

(AAL) is waiting for a USA bankruptcy court to impose work rules on its pilots (FC) that (AAL) believes are necessary for sustained profitability, but there is evidence the Chapter 11 process has already improved (AAL)’s balance sheet.

British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) parent, the International Airlines Group has officially confirmed that it is reviewing the option of potentially placing a bid for a minority stake in Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner American Airlines (AAL) currently operating under Chapter 11 bankrupty protection. According to United States legislation, the maximum level of foreign airline ownership is, however, restricted to 25%, so (IAG) would need additional USA partners to be able to place a bid.

(AAL)'s pilots (FC) have voted to reject management’s latest labor contract proposal, pushing the contentious debate over work rules and benefits back to a USA bankruptcy court. The leadership of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing (AAL)’s 10,000 flight deck crew (FC), in late June reluctantly agreed to tentatively accept (AAL)’s proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement and put it to a vote of rank-and-file pilots (FC). (APA) leadership did so largely to avoid having the bankruptcy court impose new work rules on the pilots (FC); (AAL) has been in Chapter 11 protection since November.

But by a 61% - 39% margin, the pilots (FC) rejected the deal. “The judge has stated that on August 14, without a consensual agreement, he will abrogate our labor contract” and impose new work rules. New negotiations with (AAL) management on a revised labor contract proposal are a “possibility, but it better happen very quick.”

(AAL) said it was “disappointed” by the vote and will now turn to the court to impose work rule changes that will enable (AAL) to emerge from bankruptcy. Hoban said (APA) would “like to fix the issues in this tentative agreement [that caused it to be voted down] and get it ratified.” A First Officer (FC) with (AAL), he explained that pilots (FC) are frustrated with (AAL) management and expressed their dissatisfaction through voting down (AAL)’s latest offer, which would have given flight deck crew (FC) a 13.5% equity stake in the company.

“There’s a sense that the pilots (FC) don’t want to give anymore,” Hoban said, citing concessions already made since 2003. “There’s just a lot of anger over what’s happened over the last decade.”

The creditors’ committee of American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation issued a stark warning to (AAL) pilots (FC) and other unionized employees of (AAL) to “promptly” reach consensual agreements with management on new labor contracts. The creditors’ committee, in a lengthy statement issued after its labor subcommittee met, said (AAL) workers “should not misinterpret” the decision by a USA bankruptcy judge to deny (AAL)’s request to terminate its labor contract with its pilots (FC).

“Contrary to initial press reports, the court upheld [AAL’s] motion in its entirety, except for two specific contract proposals relating to code sharing and pilot (FC) furloughs,” the committee stated. “These proposals have already been modified by (AAL) in the recent [tentative] agreement voted on by (AAL)’s pilots (FC) [rejected 61% - 39%] and the committee believes that the court will promptly sustain (AAL)’s position when the court considers (AAL)’s revised motion [expected to contain language similar to the tentative agreement] in early September.”

The committee emphasized it has “concluded that there is no additional economic value beyond the current company offers that can be provided to (AAL)’s labor organizations without endangering (AMR)’s reorganization and the rights and economic interests of nonunion creditors and parties in interest. Accordingly, the committee will oppose any new efforts to transfer additional economic value from general unsecured creditors to (AAL)’s unionized employees.”

It noted the pilots (FC) and other work groups are being offered equity stakes in (AAL), but warned that continuing to reject management’s offers will likely result in no equity for the workers. “The committee will not support equity stakes or claims for any labor organization that does not ratify a collective bargaining agreement nor will the committee support any further economic value to labor organizations beyond the current proposals,” it said.

Early next month, the court is expected to consider and rule on (AAL)’s revised request to abrogate the labor contract for its 10,000 pilots (FC) if no consensual accord has been reached.

(AAL) flight attendants (CA) voted by a 59.5% - 40.5% margin to accept what the union representing them considered management’s “last, best and final offer” for a new collective bargaining agreement. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) said 93% of (AAL)’s 13,544 flights attendants (CA) participated in the vote, which came after the creditors’ committee of (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation strongly encouraged the airline’s unionized workers to agree to consensual labor contracts. The vote leaves (AAL)’s 10,000 pilots (FC) as the remaining holdout among (AAL)’s major work groups in terms of reaching a consensual agreement.

A USA bankruptcy court is expected in early September to reconsider (AAL)’s request to void the pilots (FC)’s contract. The court has temporarily blocked that request, but (AAL) said the rejection was on narrow grounds that it can revise.

The flight attendants (CA) decided not to leave their fate in the hands of the court, which has been overseeing (AAL)’s Chapter 11 restructuring since November. “In light of last week’s announcement from the creditors’ committee, our bankruptcy team firmly believes we have achieved everything possible,” the (APFA) said in a statement.

However, the union reiterated that it has “zero confidence in this management team” and again pushed for a merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA). “We firmly believe that the only way for (AAL) to grow and compete and perhaps even to survive is through a merger that puts [(AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO)] Doug Parker and his team in charge.”

(AAL) said that “ratification of the flight attendant (CA) agreement is an important step forward in our restructuring. We know this was not an easy decision for our flight attendants (CA) and we are very pleased with the choice they made.”

A federal judge granted (AAL)’s motion to dismiss Travelport’s antitrust claims against (AAL), saying that whatever harm may have been committed by (AAL) was done to travel agents and passengers.

Travelport had filed its complaints as a counterclaim to (AAL)’s antitrust lawsuit filed in April 2011 against Travelport and Sabre.

In his decision, Judge Terry Means of the USA District Court, Northern District of Texas, also said that because the court rejected Travelport’s legal theories concerning antitrust injury, granting permission to amend the counterclaim would “prove futile.” He dismissed with prejudice Travelport’s counterclaims for monopolization and conspiracy-to-monopolize.

Travelport had charged that (AAL) “is withholding or threatening to withhold content from efficient, multi-airline Global Distribution Systems (GDS)s, and leveraging the value of its content as one of the world’s largest airlines, to force travel agencies to switch to [(AAL)’s] inferior, single airline (AAL) Direct Connect.”

Travelport also said (AAL) “is refusing to deal with travel agencies unless they agree to abandon Travelport and other (GDS)s” in favor of (AAL) Direct Connect. It said (AAL) is “conditioning travel agencies’ access to its full array of fare and flight information on their willingness to use (AAL) Direct Connect.”

Since (AAL) Direct Connect “does not have the ability to perform many of the functions that (GDS)s perform for travel agencies,” (AAL) plans to have travel agents use the (GDS)s for those tasks, essentially giving (AAL) a “free ride” in the systems, according to Travelport.

The (GDS) company’s counterclaim said that (AAL) has monopoly or near-monopoly power in certain city-pairs, such as Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) - New York, and (DFW) - Tokyo.

But Means said, “The competitors in these markets are airlines, and the consumers are travel agents and passengers. Travelport is neither.” He also said that (AAL)’s alleged “fragmenting” of flight and fare information through (AAL) Direct Connect is “a harm suffered primarily by travel agents and passengers.” He said that “Travelport has not suffered antitrust injury and therefore lacks standing.”

Eric Bock, Executive VP, Chief Legal Officer & Chief Administrative Officer for Travelport, said the court dismissed the claims on legal standing grounds rather than on its merits.

“Essentially the court held that Travelport was not the appropriate party to defend consumers and travel agents against the alleged harm caused by (AAL)’s monopolistic conduct,” Bock said. “We are still analyzing the opinion and our options.”

(AAL) said Travelport’s claims were “meritless” and were “intended to take the focus off of the anticompetitive conduct of Travelport and Sabre.” (AAL) said, “We remain open to amicably resolving our claims against the defendants, which remain pending, but absent an agreement that ends the anticompetitive practices and accounts for the harm done to (AAL), we will continue to pursue our legal rights.”

(AAL) exercised options for two 777-300ERs and upgraded a 777-200ER it had on order to a 777-300ER.

(AAL) said that, including the exercised options and upgrade, it has commitments for 18 777s, comprising 13 777-300ERs and five 777-200s.

(AAL) is the only USA carrier to have ordered the 777-300ER. Its first is slated to be delivered later this year.

September 2012: A federal judge has ruled that American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) must face allegations in a civil court over the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers in New York in the "9/11" terrorist attacks. The action is being brought by World Trade Center Properties (WTCP) and affiliated companies, which purchased 99-year leases for four (WTC) buildings from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in July 2001, three months before the attacks.

Following the "9/11" hijackings, (WTCP) sued (UAL) and (AAL), claiming that “but for the aviation defendants' negligence, the terrorists could not have boarded and hijacked the airplanes and flown them into the Twin Towers.” (WTCP) recovered $4 billion from insurance, but is seeking $2.8 billion from (AAL) and (UAL).

Both airlines argued that the insurance collected by (WTCP) “more than compensated” for potential tort recovery. The judge denied this motion and said, “The overlap between (WTCP)'s insurance recovery and its potential tort recovery presents issues of fact requiring trial.
“In order to make such a finding, I would have to find, to a ‘reasonable certainty,’ that the categories of insurance payments received by (WTCP) ‘correspond’ to the categories of potential damages WTCP could recover in its lawsuit against the aviation defendants. On this record, before trial, I am not able to make such findings.”

(UAL) and (AAL) representatives refused to comment on the litigation.

(AAL) said it will notify about 11,000 employees they are in danger of being furloughed within 60 to 90 days, but added it expects just 4,000 workers receiving the notices to actually be laid off.

(AAL) had targeted about -14,000 job cuts as part of its bankruptcy restructuring. It now expects 10,000 of that total to be achieved through “early-out” programs and new labor agreements reached with unions.

The large number of notices is required by federal law, (AAL) noted. It expects “the ultimate impact on jobs will be far less than the number of those notified,” it said in an emailed statement.

(AAL) issued a statement blasting its pilots (FC) for causing hundreds of flight cancellations and delays. The long-running dispute between (AAL) and its pilots (FC), who saw their labor contract abrogated by a USA bankruptcy court this month, perhaps has reached its ugliest stage with both sides hurling accusations at the other. Allied Pilots Association (APA) President, Keith Wilson, in a message this week to AA’s 10,000 flight crew (FC), criticized the “destructive nature” of management’s Chapter 11 reorganization strategy and called for “a major course change.”

(AAL), which this week sent out layoff warning notices to 11,000 employees, said in the statement that flight disruptions this week “are primarily due to the significant increase in maintenance write-ups by our pilots (FC), many right at the time of departure. Additionally, continued higher-than-normal sick usage by pilots (FC) (which has been up more than >20% year-over-year and has been elevated for months) impacts the availability of reserve pilots (FC), which can ultimately lead to cancellations. Our pilot (FC) staffing (without the recent actions regarding maintenance write-ups and the continued increase in sick time) is adequate to meet our scheduling needs and recalling pilots (FC) from furlough would not be needed.”

The (APA) denied it is directing any disruptive actions by pilots (FC), saying, “There is no job action of any sort that is organized, supported or sanctioned.”

(AAL) and Iberia Express ((IATA) Code: I2) have USA Department of Transportation (DOT) approval for a code share. (AAL) will place its code on Iberia Express service between Madrid and 14 destinations in Europe beginning September 10.

(AAL) will launch weekly, Miami - Roatan, Honduras 737 service on November 17.

(AAL) and Air Tahiti Nui (NUI) have USA Department of Transportation (DOT) approval for a bilateral code share agreement. From September 10, (AAL) placed its code on (NUI) service between Los Angeles International (LAX) and Faa'a International airport (PPT) in Tahiti. (NUI) will place its code on (AAL) service from (LAX) to more than >15 USA cities including New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, and Washington DC.

(AAL) will move forward with previously announced plans to close its Fort Worth Maintenance & Engineering base at Alliance Airport by April 2013. An (AAL) spokesperson said in an email, “Judge Lane approved our contracts with the (TWU) (M&R) and Stores work groups, and we will begin to move forward with plans we announced earlier this year. As we work to streamline all areas of our business and dramatically reduce our costs, it’s simply not efficient to have three maintenance bases performing work.”

The company will also this month begin using third-party providers for some of its maintenance, it said. Work performed by its joint venture with Rolls-Royce (RRC) at the Fort Worth location (Texas Aero Engine Services (TAESL)) will not be affected by the April closure date. “Fortunately, we are able to offer many of our people voluntary early out options and alternative positions at other (AAL) maintenance locations. While it is necessary to restructure our maintenance system to best serve the needs of today’s operation and fleet, it does not make these decisions any easier.”

(AAL) in February outlined a plan to reduce annual labor costs by $1.25 billion.

The (FAA) has approved American Airlines (AAL)'s expansion of its iPad Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) program, making it the first commercial carrier to receive (FAA) approval to use the iPad in the cockpit during all phases of flight.

(AAL) pilots (FC) will use the (FAA)-approved Jeppesen iPad application to replace the 35-pound standard bag from each (AAL) airplane, which will save (AAL) an estimated $1.2 million of fuel annually.

"This is a very exciting and important milestone for all of us at (AAL) as we work to modernize our processes and best meet the needs of our people," said Captain John Hale, American's VP Flight. "With this approval from the (FAA), we will be able to use iPad to fully realize the benefits of our (EFB) program, including improving the work environment for our pilots (FC), reducing our dependency on paper products and increasing fuel efficiency on our airplanes. We are equipping our people with the best resources and this will allow our pilots (FC) to fly more efficiently."

(AAL) said its pilots (FC) will begin using iPads immediately on its 777 fleet, and expects to have (FAA) approval for use on all of its airplane types by the end of the year.

Flight attendants (CA) on (AAL) flights have already begun using iPads on flights to give them better information about passengers and their travel needs.

"Jeppesen mobile solutions will deliver our industry-leading flight information through the thousands of iPads that will be integrated by (AAL) in its operations," said Thomas Wede, Senior VP & General Manager of aviation at Jeppesen. "We fully support (AAL) in this process and our mobile data software solution will work to increase operational efficiency, enhance situational awareness and reduce airline costs."

October 2012: A USA Federal Judge in New York has reserved judgment on whether United Continental Holdings (UCH) (UAL)/(CAL) bears responsibility for damages caused by the hijacked American Airlines (AAL) 767 that crashed into the World Trade Center’s north tower on "9/11."

According to a "Reuters" report, (UCH) urged the court to deny World Trade Center Properties’ (WTCP) claim for damages relating to (AAL) Flight 11. The hearing in New York was connected to the pending trial in which (WTCP) will seek $2.8 billion in damages from (UCH) and (AAL).

In the hearing, (UCH) argued it cannot be held liable for damages attributed to the (AAL) airplane. According to "Reuters," (WTCP) argued that the hijackers who commandeered (AAL) Flight 11 initially entered the air transport system on "9/11" via a flight from the Portland (Maine) Jetport (PWM), where United Airlines (UAL) had primary responsibility for security in 2001. (UAL) was “asleep at the switch” at (PWM), a (WTCP) attorney charged.

A (UAL) 767 crashed into the World Trade Center’s south tower on "9/11," but damage caused by that airplane was not a focus of the hearing. It is unclear when the judge will rule in the matter.

American Airlines (AAL) said next year it will launch several new international services, including daily, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) - Seoul Incheon 777-200 flights starting May 9. It will also initiate daily, (DFW) - Lima 757 flights from April 2; daily Chicago O’Hare - Dusseldorf 767-300 service from April 11; and daily New York (JFK) - Dublin 757-200 flights from June 12.

(AAL) domestically to operate (DFW) service to Beaumont/Port Arthur (53X-weekly), Texas, Columbia, Missouri (COU) (26X-weekly), and Fargo, North Dakota (daily), and daily (ORD) - (COU) service on February 14.

“These routes are further evidence of progress and momentum” in (AAL)’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said. “We will connect our largest hub, (DFW), to Seoul, a top global premium market. This service, which will be part of our transpacific joint business with Japan Airlines (JAL), will allow customers traveling from South Korea to access more than >200 destinations in the USA and Latin America.”

The new routes are subject to government approval.

American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Tom Horton said (AAL) will “immediately resume negotiations” with its pilots (FC). (AAL)’s 10,000 pilots (FC), represented by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), are the lone major labor group that has not agreed to a concessionary contract with (AAL), which is navigating through Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring. A USA bankruptcy court has allowed (AAL) to impose new work rules on the flight deck crew (FC), but the pilots (FC) have been accused by (AAL) management of causing considerable disruptions to operations through calling in sick or delaying flights for minor maintenance issues. (APA) has denied any coordinated effort to disrupt (AAL) flights.

In a letter to (AAL) employees, Horton conceded it has “been a very challenging couple of weeks for our company and our operations have experienced significant disruption.” Though he did not reference it directly, (AAL) has also come under scrutiny by the USA media in recent days for incidents in which rows of passenger seats on 757s came loose during two flights. (AAL) said the problem, which has further highlighted (AAL)’s recent troubles in Chapter 11 to the traveling public, has been resolved.

Horton said negotiating teams from (AA) management and (APA) “are scheduled to meet in forthcoming intensive bargaining sessions. I remain optimistic that we can work collaboratively toward reaching our goal of a consensual and constructive agreement. It is time to put this chapter behind us and move (AAL) forward. We need to get back on track quickly.”

(AAL) plans to hire more than >1,500 new flight attendants (CA) over the next year. (AAL) will begin the recruiting and hiring process in November, with the first new-hire class beginning training in January 2013.

“For the first time in over a decade, (AAL) is seeking to add more than >1,500 new flight attendants (CA) who we believe will bring new perspectives to (AAL)," (AAL) VP In-flight Service, Lauri Curtis said.

(AAL) believes a mechanical issue, not improper maintenance, caused rows of seats on two of its 757s to repeatedly come loose during flights. (AAL) has completed inspections of 48 of its 102 757s that use a particular clamp to secure its economy (Y) seats to the floor.

“We have worked very closely with the (FAA) on a corrective action plan and all necessary repairs have been made on the 757s that were inspected. All 48 airplanes are back in service.”

"Over the next few weeks we will continue to work with the (FAA) and all manufacturers involved to review the corrective action taken. We believe a contributing factor is with the seat tracking and locking mechanism, not with where the work was performed. While (AAL)’s employees and third-party contractors have worked on the 757s involved, we have the utmost confidence in our highly skilled Maintenance & Engineering teams as well our contract maintenance providers,” (AAL) said.

(AAL) explained that the same rows of seats in two 757s repeatedly became loose despite them being tightened and checked by maintenance crews. “On September 27, while in Miami, row 12 seats D, E and F [on a 757] were found to be loose and the row was tightened before the 757 was returned to service. On Saturday, September 29, a flight from Boston to Miami was interrupted when the same row of seats became loose on the same plane. The securing mounts on the row were replaced entirely.

(AAL) and its parent company, (AMR) filed a motion with the USA Bankruptcy Court seeking up to $1.5 billion in post petition financing for the purchase of new airplanes. The bankrupt carrier is seeking the new financing for purchases of up to 41 737-823s, 14 757-223s, one 767-323ER and 19 777-223ERs as part of a new enhanced equipment trust certificate.

(AAL)’s request to obtain new financing will be considered during an October 30 hearing.

American Airlines (AAL) announced plans to hire 2,500 pilots flight crew (FC) during the next five years. (AAL) has 1,658 pilots (FC) on furlough, but it's unknown how many will return when recalled. See FAPA.aero website for comprehensive breakdown.

See FAPA.aero: Pilot Career Conferences & Job Fairs

...For Future & Active Pilots (FC).

November 2012: United Airlines (UA) was not responsible for alleged airport security lapses in the lead up to the "9/11" hijacking of an American Airlines (AAL) airplane that was deliberately crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, "Reuters" and other news agencies reported. According to "Reuters," USA District Judge, Alvin Hellerstein granted a request by (UAL) and parent, United Continental Holdings (UCH) to dismiss negligence claims brought by Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the World Trade Center Property (WTCP). "It was not within (UAL)'s range of apprehension that terrorists would slip through the (Portland, Maine) security screening checkpoint, fly to [Boston] Logan, proceed through another air carrier's security screening and board that air carrier's flight, hijack the flight and crash it into 1 World Trade Center, let alone that 1 World Trade Center would therefore collapse and cause Tower 7 to collapse," "Reuters" reported that the judge wrote.

The action was brought as part of a wider suit against (UAL) and (AAL) by the (WTCP) and affiliated companies, which purchased 99-year leases for four World Trade Center buildings from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in July 2001, three months before the attacks.

American Airlines (AAL) returned on the route from Miami to Asunción airport (ASU) in Paraguay on 15 November, following a six-year absence. FourX weekly flights are now offered on the 6,200 km route, which will be operated using 757s. In addition, on 17 November, (AAL) added services on its third (after San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa) route from Miami to Honduras in Central America. Flights to Roatán (RTB), the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea, are now offered with weekly frequencies using 737-800s. Nelly Jerez, Minister of Tourism in Honduras, commented: “Roatán is an important tourism destination and this flight will further showcase Honduras as a world-class destination for diving, ecotourism and adventure.”

(AAL) has asked a USA bankruptcy court to extend the period during which it has the exclusive right to file a plan for emerging from Chapter 11 reorganization. The request came as (AAL) passed the one-year mark of its filing for bankruptcy protection. (AAL) wants its period of exclusivity extended to March 11. Without an extension, the exclusivity window would expire January 28, at which point rival restructuring plans could be submitted.

(AAL) told the court that the filing of multiple plans could be disruptive to its effort to emerge from Chapter 11. The court is expected to rule on the extension in December. It has approved (AAL)’s previous requests for extensions of the exclusivity window.

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) (ILF) delivered the 15th and final 737-800 to American Airlines (AAL) as part of an airplane sale and leaseback program.

“(ILFC) views this transaction as an important achievement in the execution of our strategy to increase (ILFC)’s market share in the Americas,” (ILFC) (CEO), Henri Courpron said.

The program began in November 2011; at that time, (AAL) had taken delivery of two of the previously-ordered airplanes. "This transaction is an effective means for diversifying our funding sources,” (AMR) (CFO), Bella Goren said at the time of the agreement.

According to figures on the Boeing (TBC) orders and deliveries site, (AAL) has ordered a total of 307 737-800s and taken delivery of 190.

December 2012: American Airlines (AAL) plans to operate Dallas Fort Worth – Bogota service beginning in late 2013, as well as Miami service to Curitiba and Porto Alegre in late 2013.

Hainan Airlines (HNA) is planning to compete with United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL) on the Beijing - Chicago route.

American Airlines (AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said parent company, the (AMR) Corporation will “soon” make a decision on whether to emerge from bankruptcy protection as a standalone entity or as part of a merged carrier with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

In a message to workers, Horton noted (AAL)’s pilots (FC), represented by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), approved a new collective bargaining agreement, ending a contentious process of negotiating new labor deals with unionized employees. That allows (AAL) to prepare to emerge from Chapter 11, which it entered in November 2011. “As we bring our restructuring to a close, we are also completing our review of strategic alternatives,” Horton told (AMR) employees. “As you know, we have been evaluating the merits of a combination under a non-disclosure agreement with (AMW)/(USA). While we are confident the new (AAL) will be very strong, we are evaluating whether such a combination could create value for our owners and a positive outcome for our people and our customers. We expect to have a conclusion on this soon.”

The "Wall Street Journal" reported that (AMW)/(USA)’s merger proposal, confidentially sent to (AMR) and its creditors last month, would give (AMR) creditors 70% of the merged carrier, while (AMW)/(USA)’s shareholders would hold 30%. Also, the newspaper reported that (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker would head the merged carrier under the proposal.

The (APA) said, “The (APA) leadership continues to support a merger with (AMW)/(USA) as the best path to a stronger, more competitive (AAL) that will in turn enhance our pilots (FC)’s long-term career prospects.”

A USA bankruptcy judge has approved (AAL)’s parent, the (AMR) Corporation’s new labor contract with (AAL)’s 10,000 flight deck crew (FC).

The ruling formally ends the contentious process in which (AMR) management negotiated concessionary work agreements with its unionized employees as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.

The judge also granted (AMR)’s request to extend the period during which it has the exclusive right to file a plan for emerging from Chapter 11 to March 11, 2013. Company executives have said they are considering multiple options for exiting bankruptcy protection, including a merger with (AMW)/(USA).

The "Dallas Morning News" reported that the lead attorney for (AMR)’s unsecured creditors committee will meet with (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker and other officials from (AMW)/(USA) regarding a potential merger.

The (APA), which represents American’s pilots, said in a statement it is involved in “ongoing four-party discussions” with (AMR) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) management and the US Airline Pilots Association representing US Airways pilots (FC). The talks “are aimed at crafting a memorandum of understanding that would serve as an interim agreement while a merger is undertaken,” the union said.

American Airlines (AAL) has taken delivery of its first 777-323ER (31543, N717AN) as part of (AAL)'s fleet modernization effort and global network strategy. The delivery makes (AAL) the first USA airline to add the 777-323ER to its fleet. The 777-323ER will enter service in early 2013 on the Dallas Fort Worth - Sao Paulo route. (AAL) (CFO), Bella Goren said the delivery is “another tangible example of our progress in building the new American (AAL).”

January 2013: American Airlines (AAL) incurred a net loss of -$1.88 billion in 2012, a +5.2% improvement over a net deficit of -$1.98 billion in 2011, but posted record annual revenue and a full-year operating profit.

It earned a +$262 million net profit for the fourth quarter, reversed from a -$1.1 billion net loss in the 2011 December period, and touted major cost structure changes realized in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (AAL) said it achieved 17% in labor cost savings in 2012, including management and unionized workers. “Our momentum is growing toward emerging [from Chapter 11] as a strong, healthy and vibrant competitor,” (AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said. “In fact, with what we have accomplished, we expect to show strong results beginning in the first quarter of 2013.”

He reiterated (AAL) is still deciding whether to emerge from bankruptcy protection as a standalone carrier or as part of a merged entity with US Airways (AMW)/(USA). Either way, Horton said, (AAL) has built a “stronger financial foundation” and will be a formidable competitor.

(AAL)’s 2012 revenue rose +3.7% year-over-year to $24.86 billion, its highest revenue result ever in a single year. Operating expenses decreased -1.1% to $24.75 billion and operating income was +$107 million, reversed from a -$1.05 billion operating loss in 2011.

(AAL)’s 2012 mainline traffic dipped -0.1% to 126.4 billion (RPM)s on a -1.1% reduction in capacity to 152.6 billion (ASM)s. Load factor of 82.8% LF was up +0.9 point. Passenger yield rose +4.5% to 14.83 cents.

(AAL) will code hare with Japan Airlines (JAL) beginning January 27. (JAL) will place its code on (AAL)-operated service from Dallas Fort Worth to Sao Paulo (daily) and Rio de Janeiro (3X-weekly) and from New York (JFK) to Rio de Janeiro (daily) and Sao Paulo (daily).

(AAL) plans to operate Dallas Fort Worth - Bogota service beginning in late 2013 as well as Miami service to Curitiba and Porto Alegre in late 2013.

(AAL) has sealed a deal with Qatar Airways (QTA) to code share on each other's flights. (AAL) officials say it will allow the two airlines to improve flight schedules and connection times. "Our extensive code share relationship with (QTA) will provide our customers with easy, premium access when traveling to and from the Middle East and beyond," Kurt Stache, (AAL)'s VP Strategic Alliances, said. "This new code share relationship with (QTA) is another example of how (AAL) is focused on building its global network through closer coordination with its Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners around the world."

The agreement will involve code sharing on nonstop flights between the USA and Doha, flights connecting at the carriers' European gateways, such as Paris and London, and flights to cities in the USA and beyond Doha.

(AAL) has requested bankruptcy court approval for a deal to lease 15 slots at Newark Liberty International airport to Virgin America (VUS), as part of a larger plan to reduce its costs at the airfield.
(AAL) would reject its existing agreements to lease four slots to Porter Airlines and 10 slots to United Airlines (UAL) through October 2019 in order to provide the slots to (VUS), according to a filing with the USA Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on 2 January. It is seeking to end the leases on 30 March.

Virgin America (VUS) would pay (AAL) $10,000 per month for each slot, which is comparable to what Porter and United (UAL) pay, according to the filing. The new lease would be effective 1 April and run through October 2022.

(VUS) plans to begin service to Newark on 3 April with three daily flights from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. "We have contingencies in place to continue operating the full schedule into and out of Newark pending the bankruptcy proceedings," says Toronto-based Porter. Porter operates up to 13 flights per day between Newark and Toronto City Center airport as well as one flight per week to Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

The loss of ten slots would likely have a minimal impact on (UAL)'s large hub at Newark, where it has hundreds of slots.

(AAL) is also seeking approval of a new gate lease at Newark with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), according to the filing. It would return three of its six gates in terminal A to the airport operator for a savings of -$25.4 million through the end of its contract on 31 December 2018.

Virgin America (VUS) would subsequently lease one of the returned gates from the (PANYNJ).

(AAL) is likely to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2013, but in what form? US Airways (AMW)/(USA) is pushing for a merger, but (AAL)'s management has long stated its preference to emerge as a standalone carrier, focused on high-value business routes from its hubs in Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, and New York. A merger with (AMW)/(USA) would create an airline with a strong presence on the USA East Coast and Midwest, Europe, and Latin America. (AAL)'s three unions have thrown their support behind the deal, saying (AAL) will not be able to compete with rivals Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) without merging with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

(AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said a decision on whether to merge with (AMW)/(USA) is expected “within a matter of weeks.” In a letter to employees, Horton said he has been “personally involved in all deliberations” regarding whether (AAL) should emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a stand-alone entity or as part of a merged company with (AMW)/(USA). He noted this included working on the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a merger framework approved by Allied Pilots Association (APA) leadership representing (AAL)’s 10,000 flight deck crew (FC).

Horton said he “focused on creating a framework with the unions that keeps (AAL) competitive.” He added, “The proposed (MOU) will be reviewed alongside other factors under evaluation as part of making an informed decision about whether a merger should be pursued.”
Horton assured employees that (AAL) management is “conducting a collaborative, fact-based analysis to determine the best path forward.” Regardless of which direction it takes, progress made under the Chapter 11 process has created “a strong foundation for the future,” putting (AAL) “on course to become a premier global airline,” the (CEO) stated.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) pilots (FC)’s union leadership has backed the merger framework proposal already supported by (AAL)’s pilots (FC).

(AAL), in the latter stages of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, in late December helped craft a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its pilots (FC) that would serve as a framework for employment for the flight deck crew (FC) of a merged American (AAL)/US Airways (AMW)/(USA). The board of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents (AAL)’s 10,000 pilots (FC), backed the plan. The US Airline Pilots Association board, representing US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s 5,000 cockpit crew (FC), said it backed the plan.

(AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) issued a joint statement saying they are “pleased that they have completed discussions with the [two unions] intended to develop a framework for the terms of employment for pilots (FC), as well as a process for pilot (FC) integration, in the event of a merger.” The airlines added, “This memorandum of understanding will assist all of the stakeholders, including the boards of [American] and US Airways, in making an informed decision as to whether a merger should ultimately be pursued.”

Virgin Atlantic (VAA) has named American Airlines (AAL) Executive (Senior VP Operations Planning & Performance), Craig Kreeger as its (CEO), effective February 1. Kreeger replaces Steve Ridgeway, who will retire after 23 years with (VAA). Kreeger will oversee (VAA)’s transatlantic joint venture with Delta Air Lines (DAL) and its foray into the short-haul market.

(VAA) announced Ridgway’s plans to retire in September. Ridgway became (CEO) of (VAA) in 2001. “[Kreeger] will be taking over at a time when (VAA) enters a new phase (with the Delta (DAL) deal to implement, the commencement of short-haul competition for British Airways on UK domestic routes) as well as the arrival of an ultra-efficient [Boeing] 787 fleet in 2014,” Ridgway said.

(AAL) VP Operations Planning & Performance, Joe Snook will replace Kreeger as Senior VP Operations Planning & Performance.

(AAL) continues to evaluate changes to its iconic polished aluminum livery. (AAL) is preparing to take delivery of composite airplanes such as the A320neo and 787. “We’ve known since we placed those orders that those airplanes cannot be polished as we do today. With that in mind, and with our focus on building a new American (AAL), we are evaluating how the exteriors of our airplanes will need to be modernized in lockstep with our plans for the interior customer experience . . . At this point in time, all we can say is stay tuned.”

On January 17th, (AAL) revealed its new livery - - SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2013-07 - NEW LIVERY" - the first time in more than >40 years.

The new design retains its red, white and blue scheme in a striped, flag-like design on the tail. The word “American” is on the forward part of the fuselage in dark grey type. Though the fuselage is painted, rather than the usual polished aluminum associated with (AAL), (AAL) chose silver mica paint to retain its iconic silver look. (AAL) is preparing to take delivery of composite airplanes which must be painted.

“Since the polished metal look was no longer an option, the importance of the paint selection became critical . . . Silver mica paint was chosen as a way to maintain the silver heritage.”

“Our new logo and livery are designed to reflect the passion for progress and the soaring spirit, which is uniquely American,” said Virasb Vahidi, (AAL)’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). “Our core colors (red, white and blue) have been updated to reflect a more vibrant and welcoming spirit. The new tail, with stripes flying proudly, is a bold reflection of (AAL)’s origin and name. And our new flight symbol, an updated eagle, incorporates the many icons that people have come to associate with (AAL), including the ‘A’ and the star.”

“We know there are still big decisions that need to be made about our future, but today marks the next step in our journey to modernize as we prepare for the first two 777-300 airplanes to enter service in just a matter of weeks,” (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Tom Horton said in a company video.

"Since placing our landmark airplane order in July of 2011, we've been building anticipation toward a moment in time when the outside of our airplanes reflects the progress we've made to modernize (AAL) on the inside. While we complete the evaluation of whether a merger can build on (AAL)'s strengths, we remain steadfast in each step we take to renew our airline.”

"Leading Edge" in Victorville, California painted the 737-800 that will be used for the official unveiling.

Gogo will install satellite and ground-based connectivity on new (AAL) A320 family and 737s. Installations are set to begin in 2013 as (AAL) takes delivery of the new airplanes. The dual systems—Ku-band satellite and Gogo’s air-to-ground solution (ATG-4) will allow the airplane to offer in-flight Internet on domestic and international service.

“Installing the two systems helps ensure these airplanes will stay connected wherever they fly, whether they’re flying domestically or headed to an international destination,” Gogo President & (CEO), Michael Small said. “Gogo’s ability to deploy multiple connectivity solutions gives us the flexibility to install the right technology for each individual airplane regardless of its mission.”

Gogo was previously selected to outfit existing domestic airplanes for (AAL): MD-80s and 737, 757 and 767 airplanes. Gogo service is available on more than >400 (AAL) airplanes.

(AAL) said in a bankruptcy court filing that Airbus (EDS) has improved the terms of the major A320 order placed in July 2011 before entering Chapter 11, according to the "Dallas Morning News." (AAL) in 2011 ordered 260 A320 family airplanes, including 130 re-engined A320neos, as part of a blockbuster split order for narrow bodies placed with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC). The terms of the deal were already quite favorable, with Airbus (EDS) agreeing to help finance the A320s.

But the newspaper reported that (AAL) has negotiated revised terms with Airbus (EDS) that give it the option to buy more A320s and also enables (AAL) to save money compared to the original terms. (AAL) said the deal with (EDS) has been “enhanced by the recent amendments” negotiated through the Chapter 11 process, according to "The Dallas Morning News."


February 2013: The (AMR) Corporation and the US Airways Group on February 14th unveiled an $11 billion merger deal after months of negotiations, creating the world’s biggest airline with 6,700 flights a day.

Now comes the hard part. Before they can welcome their first passenger on board, they have to get regulators to sign off on a deal and then integrate a web of intricate systems – a process that has complicated other marriages in the airline industry.

American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) aim to complete their merger in the 2013 third quarter and see no regulatory hurdles to finalizing the deal. The two airlines entered into a definitive merger agreement on February 14th.

(AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation will emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the merger is finalized in the third quarter, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker and (AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton told analysts and reporters in a conference call. The new merged airline will retain the "American Airlines" brand, be a member of the Oneworld (ONW) alliance and be led by current US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (CEO), Doug Parker with American Airlines (AAL) (CEO), Tom Horton becoming Chairman of the merged airline. (AAL) parent, (AMR) debtors will own 72% of the airlines with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) shareholders receiving the remaining 28% of the stock.

Of 900 combined routes, the two carriers operate, “there are only 12 direct overlaps,” Horton said. Consequently, “We think this should clear regulatory approval without any carve-outs,” he said. Parker added, “We don’t expect any issues with regulatory authorities.”

The main authorities that will have to clear the deal are the USA Department of Justice and the USA bankruptcy court overseeing (AMR)’s Chapter 11 process.

The two carriers have more than >600 airplanes on order through the rest of this decade and don’t plan to change their order books. “The existing airplane orders we have in place for the two companies we like with deliveries remaining in place,” Parker said.

There are more than >1,500 airplanes in the two carriers’ combined fleet (including regional airplanes), which would make the new "American" (AAL) the world’s largest carrier by fleet size. Horton noted that many of these are older airplanest that can be retired as new airplanes are delivered. “We have tremendous flexibility in the new fleet to dial up or down capacity,” Horton said.

The new American plans to keep operating all of the hubs (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) now operate, with (AAL) main hub, Dallas/Fort Worth and (AMW)/(USA) main hub, Phoenix playing key roles. “We’re not at a point where we can start looking at network rationalization,” Horton said. “The plan is to keep both hubs operated by both companies. There will be some changes, but it’s going to be based on the notion that we are going to maintain our own hubs.”

Executives from both airlines said labor deals already agreed to by work groups from both companies will facilitate the merger transition. “The fact that we have labor on board means we have 100,000 people working on the integration and it should go much smoother than [airline merger integrations have] historically,” US Airways (AMW)/(USA) President, Scott Kirby said.

In terms of systems integration, Parker said he has learned from mistakes made following the 2005 America West Airlines (AMW)-US Airways (USA) merger in which America West (AMW) (which had been led by Parker) attempted to impose its systems on the larger US Airways (USA). That caused a raft of operational problems.

“It’s much easier to put the larger airline's systems in place,” Parker said he now believes. “The ingoing premise is you’ll see most of the American Airlines (AAL) systems put in place at US Airways (AMW)/(USA).”

It looks like there’s no stopping the merger of bankrupt (AAL) with (AMW)/(USA). The deal would employ 94,000 people, fly 950 planes, operate 6,500 daily flights in nine major hubs, and generate total sales of about $39 billion.

The combined companies (according to "Reuters," the all-stock merger would value them at $10.5 billion to $11 billion giving (AAL)’s creditors 72%) would lead in some markets and lag in others. According to the "New York Times," the new airline, to be called American Airlines, would be a “market leader on the East Coast, the Southwest and South America. But it would remain a smaller player in the Pacific and Europe, where United (UAL) and Delta (DAL) are stronger.”

Unfortunately, the pro-merger chest-pounding can’t hide the fact that combining two losing companies does not make a winner. That’s because the merger makes things worse for three key stakeholders of these airlines.

The history of such mergers is that consumers end up paying the bill. One way they will pay, is in the form of (AAL)’s delayed and cancelled flights — such as the ones last fall. By combining (AAL) with (AMW)/(USA), which has had its share of delays and cancellations, it is hard to see how the combination will deliver better service.

Since 2008, the USA has lost two of its six legacy carriers and if this merger goes through, only three will remain. Americans are now at the mercy of USA regulators, who are the last bulwark between American consumers and higher airfares that inevitably result from a decline in competition.

Without mergers, it would be far more difficult for airlines to push through fare increases. And that’s just what the four surviving legacy carriers did in 2012 — pushing through six such increases. And Rick Seaney, co-founder of FareCompare.com, expects 2013 fares to rise between +3% and +6% due to reduced competition, more crowded flights, and higher oil prices.

Combining (AAL) with (AMW)/(USA) will take more money out of your pockets and, absent a miracle; you’ll get worse service if you chose the carrier that survives the combination.

While (AAL) has been losing money over the last several years, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has improved its financial situation recently. But the combination of the two does not promise to generate tremendous improvements in their combined operating positions.

(AAL) (with its major hubs in Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York) has established a track record of losing market share and money. For example, the "Times" reports that its cumulative losses over the last decade total -$12 billion.

Meanwhile, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (with hubs in Phoenix, Philadelphia and Charlotte) has lost a total of -$1.3 billion since 2008. But the good news is that while it has thin profit margin of 4.6%, its 2012 profit of +$637 million was an improvement over 2011&#8242;s +$71 million profit and 2010&#8242;s +$502 million net.

This is not to say that the merger will have no benefits at all. "Reuters" reports that the airlines expect “$1 billion in revenue and cost benefits.” Not only that, but (AMW)/(USA) shareholders may received a 25% premium for their shares ("Reuters" estimates that the deal would value US Airways (AMW)/(USA) - its current market capitalization is $2.4 billion) at $3 billion.

While (AMW)/(USA) (CEO), Doug Parker has gained the edge over (AAL)’s employees, he has in the past failed to win over pilots (FC). For example, in April 2012, Parker “won the public support of (AAL)’s three main labor groups. More recently, pilots (FC) from both airlines agreed on how they would work together if the merger succeeded.”

But these discussions have not been concluded and according to the "Times," in 2005, Parker merged America West (AMW), with the bigger US Airways (USA). But in the last eight years, the pilots (FC) from America West (AMW) and US Airways (USA) still lack a common contract and seniority rules, so they can’t fly together.

Labor difficulties will not go away if (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) merge. While in bankruptcy, (AAL) “cut thousands of jobs, reduced benefits, froze pensions, and sought higher productivity rules from its employees,” reports the "Times."

(AMW)/(USA) President, Scott Kirby and (AAL) Chief Restructuring Officer, Beverly Goulet will jointly direct transition planning for the US Airways (AMW)/(USA)-(AAL) merger.

In a letter to US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and (AAL) employees, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker and (AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said Kirby and Goulet will develop “joint plans between now and closing our merger so that we are prepared to begin integration immediately upon closing. We expect to close our merger in the third quarter of this year.”

The (CEO)s said Kirby and Goulet “will be part of a transition committee chaired by the two of us and together we will establish transition planning teams led by senior leaders from both airlines. The effort will be supported by an outside merger project management firm.” They added that more details on the merger transition will be announced soon.

Executives from American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) told Congress that the carriers’ planned merger will benefit both consumers and employees, and will leave the USA with a highly competitive airline industry. Testifying in Washington DC before the House of Representatives subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) Executive VP Corporate & Government Affairs, Stephen Johnson said, “We help our customers by this merger. Second, we help our employees.” He explained that US Airways (AMW)/(USA) pays its workers less than Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) because it lacks the scale of those competitors. “By merging, we can pay our employees like (DAL) and (UAL),” he said.

(AAL) Senior VP & General Counsel, Gary Kennedy told the panel that the merger will “bring substantial benefits to the traveling public. The combined airline will offer new routings for our passengers in thousands of additional markets.”

Johnson rejected the notion, expressed by some lawmakers, that the merger (expected to close in the third quarter) would restrict competition. “After this merger, this will be a very, very competitive industry,” he said. “There will be four airlines [the new (AAL), (UAL), (DAL) and (SWA)] with less than <25% market share each with a national network.” He noted competition will also be provided by Alaska Airlines (ASA), JetBlue Airways (JBL) and “fast-growing” low-cost carriers (LCC)s Spirit Airlines (SPR), Allegiant Air (WJE), and Virgin America (VUS).

While some members of the subcommittee raised concerns about the merger, criticism from lawmakers was relatively muted. Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus (Repubican-Alabama) said, “I can’t recall a merger of airlines that had fewer [overlapping routes] than this. I’ve never seen more favorable support from employees, from unions” for a major airline merger.

With the Delta (DAL) - Northwest Airlines (NWA) and United (UAL) - Continental Airlines (CAL) mergers approved by the USA Department of Justice in recent years, it is hard to justify opposing US Airways (AMW)/(USA)-American (AAL), he said. “You could have stopped the mergers before (UAL) - (CAL) and (DAL) - (NWA),” Bachus explained. “But you didn’t, and so you’d have carriers with distinct advantages if you don’t let this one go through.”


American Airlines (AAL) and Alaska Airlines (ASA) expanded their code share agreement; (ASA) will place its code on 19 (AAL) routes and (AAL) will place its code on an additional 22 (ASA) routes.

(AAL) and El Al (ELA) plan to resume code sharing on flights to Tel Aviv from 31 March. (AAL) will place its code on (ELA)'s flights between Tel Aviv and Barcelona, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, New York John F Kennedy, Newark, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome, and Zurich, according to a regulatory filing released on 30 January.

The carriers had sought a blanket unlimited code share in December 2011 but were only allowed a limited code share due to Israel having a Category 2 safety rating from the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The country was upgraded to Category 1 on 1 November 2012.

(AAL) and (ELA) were granted code sharing authority in March 2008.

Paraguay media are reporting the government will soon announce the creation of a new state-owned carrier, according to President, Federico Franco. Paraguay has not had its own flag carrier since Sol Del Paraguay Airlines was grounded in August 2012. The only major local carrier is TAM Airlines (LAP), which is part of Brazil’s (TAM) (TPR) and under control of the Brazilian capital.

Separately, American Airlines (AAL) is considering establishing a hub operation in the capital city of Asunción, taking advantage of geographical location and potential market in Paraguay, and the Northern Argentina plus Southern Brazil regions, a carrier spokesperson told local media. (AAL) operates 4X-weekly, Asunción - Miami services with plans to increase to daily in the near future.

(LAN) Airlines ((IATA) Code LA, based at Santiago de Chile Arturo Merino Benítez International (SCL)) (LAN) and sister carrier, (TAM) Linhas Aéreas ((IATA) Code: JJ, based at São Paulo Congonhas International (CGH)) (TPR) have been banned effective February 15 from operating to Bolivia according to statements made by the Bolivian Transportation Ministry, without giving reasons for the announcement. LAN Perú ((IATA) Code: LP, based at Lima Jorge Chávez International (LIM)) (LPU) currently offers two daily triangle flights from Lima Jorge Chávez International (LIM) to both La Paz El Alto (LPB) and Santa Cruz Viru Viru International (VVI) with A319-100s. (LAN) Airlines operates from Santiago de Chile Arturo Merino Benítez International (SCL) to La Paz, four times weekly and to Santa Cruz three times weekly, both via Iquique Diego Aracena International (IQQ) using A320-200s. In addition, (TAM) Airlines ((IATA) Code: PZ, based at Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi International (ASU)) (LAP) offers four weekly flights between Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi International (ASU) and Santa Cruz, providing the only link between Paraguay and Bolivia. Despite the announcements, (LAN) and (TAM) (TPR) flights to Bolivia currently still seem to be operating as normal.

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Tom Horton announced on-board the 777-300ER inaugural flight from Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) to São Paulo Internacional Guarulhos (GRU) on January 31 that (AAL) would plan to order five additional 777-300ER airplanes from Boeing (TBC). (AAL) currently already has three of the 777-300ERs and has another ten 777-300ERs on order. It also holds two options. Once the order is finalized, (AAL) would at least plan to have a fleet of 18 of its largest long-haul airplanes.

March 2013: American Airlines (AAL) has asked a USA bankruptcy court to extend to May 29 its deadline for submitting a plan to emerge from Chapter 11 protection. (AAL)’s current deadline (which has already been extended previously) is April 15. But (AAL) said it needs more time to incorporate its planned merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) into the reorganization plan. “The additional time will allow us to complete the final steps of our successful reorganization — the formulation, proposal and confirmation of a plan of reorganization that implements the proposed merger with (AMW)/(USA).

May 29 will be exactly 18 months after (AAL) entered Chapter 11 protection.

(AAL) will fly daily, Chicago O’Hare - Dusseldorf 767-300ER service from April 12.

(AAL) plans to launch daily, Miami - San Diego flights and start serving two new destinations in Mexico from Dallas/Fort Worth. The flights will start June 12. The Miami - San Diego service will be operated with 737-800s configured with 150Y seats. (AAL) will launch Dallas/Fort Worth, Embraer ERJ-140 service to Hermosillo (daily) and Zacatecas (3X-weekly) 737-800 service ON June 12.

USA airline consolidation is complete. Just in case you have been living in a cave recently, there will now be only three USA network airlines by this fall (regulatory clearance is expected in the third quarter (Q3) 2013): (AAL), which will marginally become the world’s largest airline, United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL). In terms of capacity, these three, plus Southwest Airlines (SWA) will dominate 90% of the USA domestic seats.

Outside of the combined carrier’s 10 recognized hubs and focus airports (in order of size — Dallas/Fort Worth, Charlotte, Miami, Chicago O’Hare, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington National, Los Angeles, New York La Guardia and New York (JFK)), which will represent nearly 60% of the new airline’s weekly seat capacity, a host of second tier airports will be jostling to maintain their based airplanes and gate space with the new (AAL). At the largest of these airports, Boston Logan, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) is the #3 operator ((AAL) is fifth) behind JetBlue Airways (JBL) and Delta (DAL), but the new united carrier will jump to second place with 23% of all seats, and will be more than double the size of (UAL) in fourth spot, and four times larger than (SWA).

The standing for the conjoined airline will improve even more markedly at San Francisco, where pre-merger (AAL) is in fifth spot ((AMW)/(USA) is 6th), lagging the (UAL) hub, (DAL), Virgin America (VUS) and (SWA). After the merger is finalized, (AAL) will barge its way into second place, still only one-fifth the size of (UAL), but commanding 10% of all seats from the Californian airport. Looking at low-cost dominated Fort Lauderdale, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) held the lowly position of sixth ((AAL) was seventh). However, the merged entity will become the largest network carrier at the Florida airport, but will still trail JetBlue (JBL), Spirit Airlines (SPR) and (SWA).

Network overlap is very limited, since the two airlines only compete on 12 of their 900 amalgamated routes, which is one reason that many industry observers feel the merger will be viewed far more favorably than when US Airways (AMW)/(USA) tried to tie the knot with (DAL) in 2006. As (AMW)/(USA) is expected to leave the Star (SAL) Alliance, and the combined carrier will join the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance, the fact that Heathrow will become (AAL)’s number one international port-of-call, is significant. In the process, the new (AAL) will become the largest USA network airline at the London airport, boasting an additional +3,800 weekly seats than its nearest rival (UAL). The tie-up is also anticipated to see Oneworld (ONW) Alliance’s global market share rise from 26% to 34%.

With one exception, of all the remaining top 12 routes, either (AAL) or (AMW)/(USA) was already the leading network airline across all the above destinations, so the fused company will further consolidate its dominance in these markets. It is as at Cancun, where it will leapfrog (UAL) to become top dog, and at the same time hold a 40% advantage over its rival in terms of seats, and become more than four times bigger than (DAL).

The new company will offer flights to 336 destinations (218 domestic, 118 international) in 56 countries. However, the merger will see (AAL) return to Belgium (it last cancelled its New York (JFK) flights on 6 November 2012) and see new operations at both Tel Aviv and Amsterdam, neither of which it currently serves, but (AMW)/(USA) does fly both daily from Philadelphia.

The biggest country market beneficiaries of the deal are Germany, Brazil and Jamaica. While for pre-merger (AAL), Germany is only its 27th largest country market in its portfolio, it is US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s #2, which has pushed the nation up to sixth place when both airlines come together. Roles are reversed when it comes to Brazil, which is only the 16th biggest country market for (AMW)/(USA), but for its merger partner (AAL) was rated as third most significant, resulting in Brazil taking the third spot overall. Two country markets now inside the top 12 (namely Venezuela and Japan) were previously not even served by (AMW)/(USA). Only time will tell whether the regulators will have a significant impact on these markets when they make their recommendations later in the year.

The expanded network offered by the pending (AAL)/US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger will drive most of the efficiencies and synergies generated by the combination, the two carriers told Congress.
Testifying before the USA Senate Judiciary Committee, (AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton and (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said the combined network will enable the new American to compete against Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) more effectively than either can on a standalone basis.

Merger synergies will come “primarily” from “revenue generated by allowing customers access to more markets than either airline could serve independently,” Parker said. Tapped to be (CEO) of the new American, Parker assured Senators that the combined airline has no intention of reducing service. “This merger is about putting together two networks that are highly complementary and not reducing service,” he said. “The value in this merger is in flying everywhere [both airlines] fly today.”

Horton noted that American now serves 240 destinations but post-merger will reach 340 destinations. “Those are just more points we can serve and will create more traffic flow,” he said. “This is creating enhanced competition in the USA. Today, you have two large global carriers in United (UAL) and Delta (DAL), and the new American provides a counterbalance to that.” He noted that American and (AMW)/(USA) only compete directly on 12 routes.

Horton said his company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring has been fruitful: “(AAL) has embarked on a very successful restructuring here to reduce our costs and debt. Independent of a merger, it would have been strong and vibrant, but [merged with (AMW)/(USA)] it will just be that much stronger and more vibrant.”

In written testimony submitted to the Senate, Parker and Horton jointly stated that American’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, while enabling (AAL) to pare down its cost structure, “did not address the fundamental network issue that was enabling competitors to win away important business. In particular, (AMW)/(USA) will fill American’s and the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance’s critical network gaps in the northeastern and southeastern United States. Likewise, (AAL) will fill (AMW)/(USA)’s network gaps in the central United States. Expanding our network is the motivation for bringing these airlines together.”

(AAL) will equip its A320 fleet with Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS). This onboard technology gives pilots (FC) increased awareness during landing and reduces the chances for runway excursions. (AAL) has 130 A320neos on order.

The Airbus (ROPS) technology was approved by (EASA) on the A380 in October 2009 and is now in service on about 70% of the A380 fleet. (ROPS) is also part of the Airbus A350 XWB basic configuration and is being applied to other Airbus (EDS) types, beginning with the A320 family, for certification later this year. Airbus (EDS) is working to make (ROPS) commercially available on airplanes from other manufacturers, as well.

(AAL) has a new purchase and leaseback agreement with (AIG) subsidiary, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) for 15 737-800s and one 777-300ER. The 777-300ER will be delivered later this month, and delivery of the new 737-800s will be completed by December 2014. The leasing agreement comes following the recently announced merger between (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

April 2013: American Airlines (AAL) parent company, the AMR Corporation, reported its first profitable first quarter in six years, though the company's +$8 million net profit did not include costs associated with bankruptcy restructuring or expenses related to its pending merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

(AMR) reported total revenue of $6.1 billion for the first three months of 2013, the highest first quarter revenue in company history. Reorganization and other special expenses totaled $349 million. (AMR) Chairman, Tom Horton said the company's four consecutive quarterly operating profit is proof that (AAL) is on the right track to restoring its brand. "For the first time in six years, we produced a first quarter profit, excluding reorganization items and special charges, and our fourth consecutive quarterly operating profit," said Horton. "We have raised revenues and built a competitive cost structure and sound foundation for the future. We're investing in hundreds of new airplanes and industry-leading products and have renewed our iconic "American" brand. Looking forward, our pending merger with our partners at US Airways (AMW)/(USA) positions (AAL) to be the world's leading airline."

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has posted a record net profit for the 2013 first quarter and said its planned merger with (AAL) is on track to be completed in the third quarter. The new company will generate more than >$1 billion of revenue and cost synergies by 2015.

(AAL) took delivery of 12 new airplanes in the first quarter, becoming the first USA airline to launch commercial service on the 777-300ER in January. Over the past year, (AAL) has taken delivery of a combined 36 new 737-800s and 777-300ERs.

(AMR) filed its plan of reorganization earlier this month, and is awaiting a bankruptcy court hearing to consider approval of its plan in June. (AAL)'s anticipated merger with (AMW)/(USA) took another step forward this month as well, with (AMR) filing its registration statement for the merger with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

The merged American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will create an airline with the best domestic feed of the USA’s three mega-carriers and will make Oneworld (ONW) the strongest of the global alliances, (AMW)/(USA) President, Scott Kirby said.

(AAL) began daily, Dallas/Fort Worth - Lima 757 service. (AAL) further expanded its global route network from its Chicago O’Hare (ORD) hub and commencing on 11 April it now flies to Germany’s international trade and business city, Düsseldorf (DUS). On the launch day, (AAL)’s VP Chicago, Franco Tedeschi said: “This new route augments our existing European services from Chicago and the route launched recently by our Oneworld (ONW) Alliance and code share partner, airberlin (BER), from O’Hare to Berlin. Having two new fights to Germany is a win-win for Chicago business and leisure travellers.” The newly launched daily service became (AAL)’s 19th international destination from its Chicago hub and will compete with existing four-weekly flights operated by Lufthansa (DLH) on the same route.

(AAL) plans to launch its proposed flight between Chicago O'Hare and Sao Paulo Guarulhos on 20 November 2014, if it receives USA - Brazil frequencies from the government that become available next year. (AAL) detailed its plans for its proposed flights between Sao Paulo and both Chicago and Los Angeles in a filing with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) on 24 April.

(AAL) is seeking seven of 14 unrestricted frequencies to Brazil that are available from this October, and seven of 14 that become available in October 2014 for the flights. The once daily, Los Angeles flight would be operated on a 247-seat 777-200 from 21 November if it receives the frequencies, according to the filing. The once-daily, Chicago flight would also be flown on a 777-200.

(AAL) says that it would accept just seven frequencies for either the Chicago or Los Angeles flights from the (DOT) but would not operate either route with less than daily service.

(AAL) plans to add new nonstop flights to five cities around the USA from Los Angeles International airport (LAX) from 27 August. (AAL) will link its southern California hub to Bentonville (Arkansas), Columbus (Ohio), Hartford, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh once daily. Columbus, Hartford, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh service will be flown on a 737-800, and Bentonville service on a Bombardier CRJ700 operated by American Eagle Airlines. "Our Los Angeles hub plays a vital role in our domestic and international network strategy," says Virasb Vahidi, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at (AAL). "Together with our Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners, we offer customers seamless access to the most important business and leisure travel destinations across the globe from (LAX)."

The new routes strike directly at (AAL)'s competitors Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and, to a lesser extent, Southwest Airlines (SWA). (DAL) is the sole carrier between (LAX) and Columbus and Indianapolis, and (UAL) between (LAX) and Pittsburgh. (SWA) operates one-stop flights to Columbus, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.

(DAL) has announced new flights from (LAX) to seven cities this year, and unveiled a $229 million renovation to its facilities in terminal five at the airport earlier this month. (AAL) serves one of the routes, (LAX) to Nashville, that (DAL) launched on 8 April.

No airlines fly nonstop between (LAX) and Bentonville or Hartford.

(AAL) will also begin new service between (LAX) and both Eugene and Redmond, Oregon, from 12 June. It has requested USA government approval to begin a new daily nonstop between (LAX) and Sao Paulo Guarulhos from 21 November, as well.

(AAL) is the second largest at (LAX) with an 18.7% share of enplaned passengers in 2012, according to USA Department of Transportation data. (UAL) is the largest carrier at the airport, (SWA) the third and (DAL) the fourth.

6th 777-300ER (N722AN) delivery - - see photo "AAL-777-300ER - 2013-04.jpg."

May 2013: American Airlines (AAL) began daily, New York (JFK) - Houston 737-800 service.

(AAL) began 777-200, 247-seat flights on the 11,000 km route from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Seoul Incheon (ICN), linking the South Korean capital with (AAL)'s main base. With the large number of South Koreans who live in Dallas-Fort Worth, which has one of America's most dynamic and fast growing economies, plus a population of 6,700,991, this would appear to be a good idea, but the downside is that Korean Air (KAL) as a Skyteam (STM) Alliance member also flies this route. (AAL) will fly in cooperation with fellow Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, Japan Airlines (JAL).

(AAL) and three subsidiaries have agreed to pay $24.9 million to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to settle more than >$162 million in claims that the (FAA) had lodged against the company.

The $24 million claim against (AAL) alone is the largest (FAA) penalty against a single carrier. The agreement covers alleged violations of (FAA) regulations by (AAL), American Eagle Airlines, Executive Airlines and Eagle Aviation Services. All the alleged violations occurred before the November 29, 2011, bankruptcy filing by parent (AMR), (AAL) and their various subsidiaries.

“This settlement recognizes the many changes, including enhancements to our Maintenance and Engineering processes, increased training, inspections, and audits that have taken place at (AAL) over the past several years that address past (FAA) concerns.

The largest part of the settlement covers the March - April 2008 debacle in which (AAL) was forced to ground its MD-80 fleet. Inspections found that (AAL)’s mechanics (MT) had not performed modifications as required by a 2006 airworthiness directive (AD).

(AAL) and other airlines operating MD-80s faced an early March 2008 deadline to modify some wiring harnesses. In inspections done later in March, the (FAA) found that almost all of (AAL)’s MD-80s that it inspected did not have the work done properly. In some cases, airplanes that were modified a second time still did not meet the requirements of the 2006 (AD).

In August 2010, the (FAA) proposed a $24.2 million fine against (AAL) because of the MD-80 issues. However, (AAL) appealed the proposed penalty.

An (FAA) spokesman confirmed that the proposed settlement covers that situation and fine. The settlement still must be approved by USA Bankruptcy Judge, Sean Lane, since the penalties will become claims in bankruptcy court, along with those filed by other creditors and claimholders.

(AAL)’s proposed plan of reorganization, filed in April, would give those stakeholders a full recovery of their claims.

On July 12, 2012, the (FAA) filed bankruptcy claims totaling $162.4 million based on potential penalties for alleged safety violations.
That included 36 actions against (AAL), with potential fines of $156.6 million; 49 cases against American Eagle, $5.3 million; four cases against Executive Airlines, $629,500; and one against Eagle Aviation, $17,875.

The settlement provides that the (FAA) will hold $24 million in claims against (AAL), $800,000 against American Eagle Airlines, $95,000 against Executive Airlines and $5,000 against Eagle Aviation. American Eagle Airlines and Executive Airlines both provide connecting service to (AAL) under the American Eagle brand.

The agreement also provides that $4.7 million owed (AAL) by the US Postal Service and the US Department of Defense will be credited against the $24 million, leaving $19.3 million in (FAA) claims against (AAL).

In a motion, (AAL) and the other subsidiaries filed with the bankruptcy court seeking approval of the settlement, the companies called it “a reasonable resolution of approximately $162 million of claims asserted by the (FAA).”

In the settlement, (AAL) and the other companies said they “do not admit any wrongdoing,” but have agreed to the compromise to avoid the costs and uncertainties of litigation that the (FAA) might have instituted against them.

The agreement recognizes many steps (AAL) has taken to improve its maintenance training, procedures, oversight and cooperation with the (FAA), and the deal commits (AAL) to take further steps to advance the quality of its maintenance operations. (AAL) “has incurred substantial costs in initiating and/or accelerating the safety and regulatory compliance initiatives that [AAL] and the (FAA) both agree demonstrate an improved compliance culture and improved processes for maintenance oversight,” the settlement states.

The (FAA) estimated that the safety improvements made by (AAL) are valued at more than >$50 million.

(AAL) plans to lease 65 A319s and 65 A321s that it has on order, continuing its preference for lease financing. The engine supplier is International Aero Engines (IAE). Deliveries begin in July and will continue through 2017.

June 2013: American Airlines (AAL) will offer daily, Miami - Milan service on November 21.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker, slated to be the (CEO) of the new American Airlines (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA) following the US Airways (AMW)/(USA) - American (AAL) merger, has named the executive team of the merged airline.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) President, Scott Kirby and (CFO), Derek Kerr will assume the same positions with the new American (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA). American (AAL) is planning to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and merge with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) in the third quarter.

(AAL) Chief Restructuring Officer, Beverly Goulet will be the combined airline’s Chief Integration Officer. (AAL) Senior VP Government Affairs, Will Ris will continue in his position following the merger.

Other senior executives will include Elise Eberwein, (AMW)/(USA)’s Executive VP People, Communications & Public Affairs, who will have the same role with the new American (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA); Robert Isom, (AMW)/(USA)’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), who will hold the same position with the merged airline; Steve Johnson, US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s Executive VP Corporate & Government Affairs, who will be the new American (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA)’s Executive VP Corporate Affairs; and Maya Leibman, American (AAL)’s Technology & Chief Information Officer (CIO), who will be (CIO) of the combined carrier (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA).

Parker also announced that American Eagle President & (CEO), Dan Garton will leave his position later this year. A successor has not yet been named. American (AAL) (CFO), Bella Goren will also depart.

“I could not be happier about this team,” Parker said in a message to employees from American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA). “They are an intelligent, results-oriented and energetic group who enjoy working collaboratively. They are experienced airline executives who understand and love our business. It is time to move forward and this announcement is a key step on the path. The merger is progressing well and we continue to expect it will close in the third quarter of this year.”

4 737-823s (31171, N927NN; 31172, N928NN; 33322, N929NN; 33487, N930NN), 1 757-223 (32398, N178AA; 1 777-323ER (31548, N724NN) and 2 MD-83s (53597, N9627R; 53625, N975TW), deliveries.

July 2013: American Airlines (AAL) parent. the (AMR) Corporation reported a second-quarter net profit of +$220 million, reversed from a net loss of -$241 million in the prior-year quarter.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) shareholders have approved the pending merger with American Airlines (AAL), a step that moves it closer to becoming the largest carrier in the world. (AMW)/(USA) (CEO), Doug Parker announced the approval at the airline's annual meeting of stockholders on Friday July 12th. "The landscape has changed as other mergers have taken place,'' said Parker, who will be the (CEO) of the newly merged carrier.

The union of Northwest (NWA) and Delta (DAL) in 2008, United (UAL) and Continental (CAL) in 2010, plus Southwest (SWA) and AirTran (CQT) in 2011 "created three airlines that are larger than US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and made it very difficult for airlines like (AMW)/(USA) and (AAL) to compete with our relatively smaller network. The merger of (AMW)/(USA) and (AAL) eliminates this competitive disadvantage.''

The merger is expected to close by the fall, and will mark the last significant merger among USA-based airlines. But before the deal is finalized, it must first clear a few more hurdles. Creditors for (AAL), which has been under bankruptcy protection since November 2011, are voting on (AAL)'s reorganization plan. Voting must conclude by July 29. If it gets the OK, the bankruptcy court is scheduled to hold a hearing to review the plan on August 15.

If the court signs off on the plan, the last step is for the Department of Justice to give its approval, if it determines that the newly combined carrier doesn't violate USA trust laws.

(AMW)/(USA) shareholders will own 28% of the new American, while American Airlines (AAL) creditors and shareholders will have the remaining 72%. Once the merger is closed, it will take another 18 to 24 months for the newly merged airline to gets its air operations certificate (AOC) from the Department of Transportation to operate as a single airline and for it to fully integrate its reservations systems, fleets and other components.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and American (AAL) currently have overlapping service on only 12 routes, but Parker acknowledged that some of their competitors have said that the two airlines should give up landing and departure slots at Reagan National Airport near Washington, DC, before their union is approved.

European antitrust (ATI) regulators will rule on the merger between American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) by August 6.

(AAL) has applied for seven USA - Brazil frequencies for new service between Miami and Curitiba and Porto Alegre, just a week after it received approval for a new Sao Paulo flight.

(AAL) plans to begin flights between Miami and Porto Alegre with a stop in Curitiba on December 19, pending approval from the USA Department of Transportation (DOT). It would operate the service on a 225-seat 767-300ER, according to its application on July 12.

(AAL) is expected to receive approval for the new flights as the (DOT) has more than seven restricted (they cannot be used for service to either Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo) USA - Brazil frequencies available.

(AAL) does not serve either city and no airlines fly between either Curitiba or Porto Alegre and Miami. (AAL) received (DOT) approval for a new daily flight between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo Guarulhos on July 8. The service will be operated by a 247-seat 777-200 from November 21.

The proposed Curitiba and Porto Alegre service comes as (AAL) has been steadily increasing capacity to Brazil. Available seat kilometers are up nearly a third to 738 million since July 2012 and 4.7% year-to-date. However, the new flights are understood to be taking a toll on unit revenues. Competitor (TAM) (TPR) cited new service between Brazil and the USA for declines in passenger yields on the routes in its first quarter earnings this year. (TAM) (TPR) plans to join the Oneworld (ONW) alliance during the second quarter of 2014.

(AAL) took delivery of a new A319 (SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-A319 - 2013-07), the first airplane of that type to feature the Sharklet wing tip devices. The A319 is the first of 260 single aisle airplanes that (AAL) has on order with Airbus (EDS).

August 2013: Antitrust officials filed a lawsuit Tuesday, August 13th blocking the proposed $11 billion merger between US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and American Airlines (AAL)’s parent company, the (AMR) Corporation, saying the deal would hurt consumers by leading to higher fare prices and fees.

The action puts the brakes on a merger that would have created the world’s largest commercial air carrier and would have put 86% of USA air travel in the hands of four big airlines. It was worry over the latter, and the potential for the new airline to dominate some markets, that spurred this lawsuit.

The civil suit was filed by the Department of Justice (DoJ), six State Attorneys General and the District of Columbia. “By challenging this merger, the (DoJ) is saying that the American people deserve better,” Attorney General, Eric Holder Jr said. “This transaction would result in consumers paying the price — in higher airfares, higher fees and fewer choices.”

(AMW)/(USA) and the parent company for (AAL), the (AMR) Corporation said they would fight the lawsuit in court rather than seek a compromise that might lead to a settlement. “Integrating the complementary networks of (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) to benefit passengers is the motivation for bringing these airlines together. Blocking this pro-competitive merger will deny customers access to a broader airline network that gives them more choices,” a joint statement from the two airlines said. “This complaint is long on theater, and it’s short on facts that connect the merger to all the harm that they’re worried about,” said a senior official for the airlines. “They never address that, and that’s the thing they have to prove in court. They need to prove that this merger is going to make things worse from a consumer-passenger perspective. Where is that? That’s not in there.”

The official said the lawsuit could be litigated quickly and that the merger, which had been planned in the third quarter, still could be achieved by year’s end. The federal government concluded that (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) compete directly on more than >1,000 routes, representing business worth tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. Officials determined that erasing this competition would raise airfares. “If this merger goes forward, even a small increase in the price of airline tickets, checked bags or flight change fees would result in hundreds of millions of dollars of harm to American consumers,” said Bill Baer, the Justice Department’s top antitrust official. Baer added that both airlines have said they would succeed on their own without the merger going ahead.

The states joining the lawsuit include Texas, where (AAL) is headquartered, and Arizona, home to US Airways (AMW)/(USA). A number of the other states involved (Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia) have airports that serve as major hubs for the airlines.

The Justice Department singled out the effect the merger would have on Washington area fliers. The merged airline would become the dominant carrier at Reagan National Airport, officials said, controlling 69% of the takeoff and landing slots.

(AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) have vowed to “fight” the USA Department of Justice’s (DOJ) effort to derail their planned mega-merger over antitrust concerns, saying the proposed combination of the two carriers is “pro-competitive” and good for consumers.

The carriers had not anticipated problems with (DOJ)’s antitrust review, particularly considering the department’s approval of other major USA airline mergers in recent years. “We believe that the (DOJ) is wrong in its assessment of our merger. Integrating the complementary networks of (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) to benefit passengers is the motivation for bringing these airlines together. Blocking this pro-competitive merger will deny customers access to a broader airline network that gives them more choices.”

The airlines added that the merger “provides the best outcome for [American’s] restructuring.” American (AAL) has been operating under Chapter 11 since November 2011 and had planned to emerge from bankruptcy protection and merge with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) simultaneously. In its lawsuit, the (DOJ) argued that American “is fully capable” of emerging from Chapter 11 “on its own” as a strong competitor in the US airline industry.

(AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) stated, “The widespread support from the employees and financial stakeholders of both airlines underscores the fact that this is the best path forward for both airlines and the customers and communities we serve. We will mount a vigorous defense and pursue all legal options in order to achieve this merger and deliver the benefits of the new American to our customers and communities as soon as possible.”

American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation said its creditors and shareholders have “overwhelmingly” accepted the company’s reorganization plan, which is “another important milestone toward our launch of the new American,” (AMR) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said.

According to (AMR), of the eight creditor classes entitled to vote, at least 88% of the ballots received and tabulated in each class, representing more than >97% of the claims value voting in each class, were voted in favor of the plan. Additionally, more than >99% of the shares tabulated for the class of (AMR) stockholders voted to accept the plan.

(AMR) said the final voting results for the plan “will be certified and filed with the USA Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in advance of the confirmation hearing on August 15, 2013. The effective date of the plan and American (AAL)’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection emergence are expected to occur simultaneously with the closing of the merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA). The merger is expected to close in the third quarter.”

(AAL) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2011. The two companies received court approval for the merger in March. In July, (AMW)/(USA)’s shareholders approved the merger.

The European Commission (EC) has approved the American Airlines (AAL)-US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger, the two airlines said. “This represents one of the final milestones on our path to becoming the new American Airlines,” (AMR) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said. “The new American will benefit customers in the United States, Europe and across the world by enhancing connectivity within the Oneworld (ONW) alliance and creating more options for travel both domestically and internationally,” said Doug Parker, Chairman & (CEO) of US Airways (AMW)/(USA), and incoming (CEO) of the combined company.

(AAL) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2011. The two companies received court approval for the merger in March. In July, US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s shareholders approved the merger.

Headquartered in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, the new American is expected to offer more than >6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. Together, American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) are expected to operate a mainline fleet of almost 950 airplanes and employ more than >100,000 workers worldwide.

The merger is subject to regulatory approvals, other customary closing conditions and confirmation of (AMR)’s plan of reorganization by the USA Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The merger is expected to close in the third quarter.

Later, A USA federal bankruptcy judge declined to rule on whether to approve (AAL)’s plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the lawsuit filed earlier in the week by the USA (DOJ) that seeks to prevent (AAL)’s planned merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

The merger is the central component of (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation’s plan to emerge from Chapter 11, which the company entered in November 2011. Before the (DOJ) unexpectedly moved this week to block the merger on antitrust grounds, a hearing Thursday in a federal bankruptcy court in New York was anticipated by (AAL) as perhaps the final step in its Chapter 11 restructuring.

But according to multiple media reports from the New York courtroom, bankruptcy judge Sean Lane said he has “lingering doubts” about (AMR)’s merger-centered reorganization plan, given the (DOJ)’s lawsuit. The judge asked (AAL)’s lawyers and other relevant parties to file briefs by August 23 explaining how Lane should move forward on the reorganization plan in light of the (DOJ) lawsuit. Lane scheduled a follow-up bankruptcy court hearing for August 29.

Later in the month, US Airways (AMW)/(UAS) and American Airlines (AAL) continued their efforts to push for a November trial to decide the USA Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against the proposed (AMW)/(USA)-(AAL) merger, while the (DOJ) is asking for the start of the trial to be put off until next year. “Based on the (DOJ) merger cases litigated to a decision since 2001, the average time from the (DOJ)’s complaint to trial is 70 days,” (AMW)/(USA) and (AAL) said. The (DOJ)’s lawsuit seeking to stop the merger was filed August 13.

“We are eager to show that the (DOJ)’s action would deny millions of customers access to a more competitive airline that will offer customers what they want, delivering significant benefits to consumers, communities and employees,” (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker, the designated (CEO) of the proposed combined (AMW)/(USA)/(AAL), said. “This merger is the foundation of American (AAL)’s plan to exit bankruptcy and is the cornerstone of (AAL)’s and (AMW)/(USA)’s plan to form a more competitive and cost-effective airline to take on the country's largest air carriers and a number of fast-growing low-cost carriers (LCC)s.”

The (DOJ) has proposed starting the trial February 10, 2014, which would be just four days short of a full year since (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) announced their planned mega-merger. However, the federal judge assigned to the (DOJ)-(AAL)/(AMW)/(USA) case, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, has notified the parties that she has a criminal trial slated to start January 14 that is expected to last as long as eight weeks, "The Dallas Morning News" reported.

(AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) said the (DOJ)’s proposed February 2014 start for the trial is “unreasonable,” particularly since (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation’s plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection hinges on the merger. (AMR) has been in Chapter 11 since November 2011 and, prior to the (DOJ)’s unexpected lawsuit, had hoped to simultaneously emerge from bankruptcy protection and merge with (AMW)/(USA) in the current quarter.

A trial date for the antitrust case could be set by the end of this week.

(AAL) is separately arguing that a (USA) bankruptcy court can move forward and approve the (AMR)’s merger-centered restructuring plan even before the (DOJ) antitrust matter is resolved. Bankruptcy judge Sean Lane has expressed reservations about approving the restructuring plan before the antitrust case is decided, but (AAL) said approval would allow the merger to happen without delay if and when it and (AMW)/(USA) win the lawsuit.

The following is from (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker's Blog:


A few quick takes on today’s shock announcement by the USA (DOJ) that it has filed a lawsuit to block the proposed merger of (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA).

Let’s start by saying it is preposterous!

FIRST point: Reading the (DOJ) announcement and comments made by Attorney General, Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Bill Baer, I note the reference to the “more than >$70 billion [spent] on airfare for travel throughout the United States” by USA consumers and that “the merger is likely to result in higher ancillary fees, such as fees charged for checked bags and flight changes. In recent years, the airlines have introduced fees for those services, which were previously included in the price of a ticket. These fees have become huge profit centers for the airlines.”

There is no mention, however, of the high and ever-increasing taxes, fees and security charges that the USA government loads on airlines and which it works to keep hidden from the consumer.

Huge profits centers? (IATA) expects the world’s airlines to make a total net profit of +$10.6 billion this year, which equates to a threadbare profit margin of 1.6%. North American airlines collectively are expected to account for most of that $3.6 billion profit, but again, the margin is razor thin. Without ancillary revenues, this would quickly reverse into losses and the USA consumer would have fewer airlines and less choice. (AAL) would hardly have gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection if it were fatly profitable.

SECOND point: The (DOJ) makes much of the merged airline dominating Washington Reagan National Airport controlling 69% of the take-off and landing slots at (DCA) and having a monopoly on 63% of the nonstop routes out of National. “By allowing one airline to control that many slots, the merger will prevent other airlines, including low-fare carriers (LCC)s like JetBlue (JBL) and Southwest (SWA) from competing at Reagan National,” the (DOJ) said.

So why not propose or mandate slot give-ups as a remedy? The (EC) did this as part of its approval of the (AAL)-(AMW)/(USA) merger, citing the need for tradeoffs such as Heathrow. This should be a negotiating position, not a block.

THIRD point: The (EC) has approved the merger. Despite the huge global network of the merged carrier, the (EC) said it did not raise competition concerns.

FOURTH point: Baer’s remark that “If this merger goes forward, even a small increase in the price of airline tickets, checked bags or flight change fees would result in hundreds of millions of dollars of harm to American consumers” is particularly troubling. What soundly-managed, successful business does harm to its customers or would make that a strategy? Only a company that has a very short-term goal to be out of business.

FIFTH point: And this, to me, is the most perplexing point and one which makes the lawsuit seem more political than soundly-based; why, if this merger is so bad for the consumer, did the (DOJ) give the go-ahead for the Delta (DAL)/Northwest (NWA), United (UAL)/Continental (CAL), and Southwest (SWA)/Air Tran (CQT) mergers?

Baer says that a US Airways (AMW)/(USA) executive described the merger as “the last major piece needed to fully rationalize the industry.”

Baer then gave his translation of this phrase, saying that “in the airline business the word ‘rationalize’ is a code word for less competition, higher costs for consumers and fewer choices."

I was at a US Airways (AMW)/(USA) briefing when the rationalized industry phrase was used; that may or may not be the same sentence that Baer was referring to, but I believe he has taken it out of context and twisted it for the (DOJ)’s purpose. It is a simple fact that the USA airline industry has, indeed, rationalized in recent years – through mergers sanctioned by the (DOJ)!

So the real issue here is where was the (DOJ)’s insight into that codeword when it approved the other mergers? And how can it get this far along the road and then say the only two remaining stand-alone airlines that could provide real competition against the other merged mega-carriers is bad for the consumer? The (DOJ)’s lawsuit contradicts its own policy.

SIXTH point: This is a preposterous move by the (DOJ)!!!

Later on August 30th, thankfully, the following transpired:
It was stated by The USA (DOJ) and lawyers for American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) that they ALL are now starting preparations for a November trial to determine whether the carriers’ planned merger should be rejected on antitrust grounds (a much earlier court date than the (DOJ) wanted).

USA Federal Judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Friday denied the (DOJ)’s request for a March 2014 trial, saying that date is “too far off.” Instead, the airlines and the (DOJ) will meet in court on November 25, when the (DOJ)’s lawsuit seeking to stop the mega-merger will be litigated. The (DOJ)’s effort to delay the trial’s start date was fiercely opposed by the airlines, which have pushed to get to court quickly to prove the merger would not be anti-competitive, and questioned by industry observers skeptical of the (DOJ)’s assertion that it needed half a year to prepare for the trial. “If you’re the (DOJ) and you have a slam dunk case, why would you delay it?” asked Transportation Consulting President, George Hamlin, a longtime industry analyst. “If it’s a great case, as the (DOJ) says it is, why wait?”

Hamlin and others have speculated that the (DOJ) was playing a waiting game, hoping American (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) would back away from the merger if the trial was delayed too long. The carriers originally announced their merger agreement February 14 and agreed to a December 13 termination date, if the deal isn’t closed by then. The carriers wanted to close the merger in the current quarter, a timeline that was made impossible by the (DOJ)’s surprise lawsuit.

(AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton and (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker “are a good distance from being frustrated and quitting,” Hamlin said, adding that the December 13 termination date “will almost undoubtedly be extended.”

The (DOJ) has emphasized in its lawsuit that it believes (AAL) can successfully emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a standalone carrier and (AMW)/(USA), which has been profitable in recent quarters, can continue as a viable independent operator. Former (AAL) (CEO), Robert Crandall said in a recent interview with "Bloomberg" Television that it is “not a matter of survival, it’s a matter of whether you’re going to compete effectively” with Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL), both the result of major mergers previously approved by the (DOJ).

If the merger is disallowed, (AAL) “will survive but will be a "bit player" in the industry,” Crandall said. He added that “champagne corks are popping in Chicago and Atlanta,” the headquarter cities of (UAL) and (DAL), respectively, over the (DOJ)’s attempt to block the (AMW)/(USA) - (AAL) combination.

Hamlin said (UAL) and (DAL) are beneficiaries as long as the merger is delayed, both because a third major international airline of similar size is kept out of the market and “confusion” over the status of the merger could hurt (AMW)/(USA) and (AAL)’s ticket sales.

(AAL) will launch four new routes to sun destinations in Florida and the Caribbean from November. Once-daily flights between Los Angeles and West Palm Beach, twice-daily seasonal flights between New York LaGuardia and West Palm Beach and five-times weekly flights between Miami and Cozumel, Mexico, will begin on November 21. Saturday-only flights between Dallas-Fort Worth and Roatan, Honduras, will begin on November 23. All of the flights will be operated on 148- to 156-seat 737-800 airplanes.

No airlines fly Los Angeles - West Palm Beach, Miami - Cozumel or Dallas-Fort Worth - Roatan. Delta Air Lines (DAL) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) fly LaGuardia - West Palm Beach.

(LAN) Colombia (AIR) has entered into a code share agreement with American Airlines (AAL), adding new service to cities in Colombia and strengthening (AAL)’s relationship with the (LATAM) Airlines Group.

(TAM) Airlines (TPR) and American Airlines (AAL) begin code sharing on flights between Brazil and the USA on August 22.

American Airlines (AAL) has moved to Ipad Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) across its entire mainline jet airplane fleet - - SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2013-08 - IPAD ELECTRONIC FLIGHT BAGS."

According to FAPA.aero, American Airlines (AAL) has been recalling 40 pilots (FC) per month beginning on January 9, 2013. Pilot (FC) recruitment has set up a hotline at telephone number (817) 967-5231.

September 2013: The following is the (ATW) magazine September 2013 editorial by Karen Walker, Editor:

- - - On February 14, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and American Airlines (AAL) announced their Valentine’s pact to merge. On August 13, two days before a bankruptcy court was expected to clear (AAL)’s Chapter 11 exit plan that includes the merger proposal, the USA (DOJ) made its move with all the drama of a preacher asking, “does anyone here present know of any legal impediment to this marriage?”

Attorney General, Eric Holder stood up and waved a 56-page antitrust lawsuit. Rich Parker, who will be the lead attorney representing the airlines in court, said the (DOJ) “got this one wrong; they got this one very wrong.” (ATW) concurs.

From what the (DOJ) has revealed so far about why it is seeking to block this merger, the lawsuit would seem to be based on a scattergun approach. But while many of the issues raised are crowd (and congressional) pleasers, they do not appear to be antitrust matters. Much is made of ancillary fees (which are generally unpopular and which have become much more prominent since the last three major USA airline merger deals were approved. But popularity is not an antitrust requirement. Ancillary fees are a business tool used by most airlines these days) necessary to stay out of the red and also providing the flexibility of pay-for options to customers. They would not be unique to a merged (AAL) - (AMW)/(USA), nor would their practice be stopped if this merger is blocked.

Another baffling red herring in the (DOJ) document is repeated quotes from (AMW)/(USA) executives that are neither dated nor put into context, but seek to paint management as horned predators focused on profit and whose motivation for the merger is “to harm American consumers.” Responsible executives work to ensure their company’s profitability, even if it amounts to a threadbare 1.6% profit margin that (IATA) expects the world’s airlines to make this year. Without financial health and good service to its customers, airlines, like any other business, disappear and the passenger ends up with less choice and less competition.

The (DOJ) makes much of the merged airline dominating Washington National Airport controlling 69% of the take-off and landing slots at (DCA) and having a monopoly on 63% of the nonstop routes out of National. This, however, is a negotiating position, not a block. The European Commission (EC) approved the merger, saying it did not raise competition concerns after agreement was reached on slot giveups at London Heathrow.

Most perplexing of all, however, is why the (DOJ) wants to slam on the brakes now, after sanctioning the mergers of Delta (DAL)/Northwest (NWA), United (UAL)/Continental (CAL), and Southwest (SWA)/Air Tran (CQT). The (DOJ)’s lawsuit contradicts its own policy. Worse, to do a U-turn, prevents the only two remaining stand-alone airlines from providing real competition against the other merged mega-carriers. This far down the road of USA airline rationalization, it’s anticompetitive not to permit the marketplace to take its natural course. (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) should not be penalized for being last to the altar.

The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the (DOJ)’s action is that it is having a mea culpa moment about industry rationalization. So if a federal court dismisses the lawsuit, Holder can again hold up his hands and say, “we tried; don’t blame us.”

The airlines’ lawyers say they are looking forward to their day in court and to demonstrating why their merger is pro-competitive and good for consumers. Even by past USA airline merger standards, this one is huge and would create the world’s largest carrier. Which is why, frustrating and costly as it is for American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) to have the merger transaction delayed, a court hearing is ultimately the best way forward. A public airing of the facts will permit them to refute the (DOJ)’s allegations and proceed with business on the basis of case made. - - -

Later, USA bankruptcy judge, Sean Lane approved American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation’s plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. However, the approval is contingent upon the resolution of the USA Department of Justice’s (DOJ) lawsuit seeking to block the American (AAL)-US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger.

(AMR)’s reorganization plan is centered around the merger, which is on hold pending a federal antitrust trial pitting the (DOJ) against the airlines. That trial is scheduled to start November 25.
According to multiple media reports from the New York court room, Lane, who had delayed his ruling, said he can only determine whether the plan to emerge from Chapter 11 is “feasible,” not whether the merger will happen. (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) had pushed Lane to clear the reorganization plan, arguing that it would allow the merger to be concluded quickly if and when the carriers prevail in court over the (DOJ) or reach a settlement with the (DOJ).

The USA Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the proposed merger of American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) is based on faulty reasoning, the head of (IATA) (ITA) told the Wings Club in New York on September 19th.

In his address, (IATA) Director General & (CEO), Tony Tyler said, “I am not an expert on USA antitrust policy, but I do know something about the airline industry and I have to agree with those in the investment community and elsewhere who have found the (DOJ)’s arguments to be unpersuasive. I can easily point to several examples of faulty reasoning.”

He said that the (DOJ) seems to believe a larger number of unhealthy airlines is better than a smaller number of healthy ones. He cited a (DOJ) statement that in 2005 there were nine major airlines and, if the merger were approved, there would be only four. Tyler commented, “Left unsaid is the fact that in 2005, four of those airlines either entered bankruptcy or were already undergoing a Chapter 11 reorganization.”

Answering reporter questions in a session that followed the address, Tyler said, “I think when all the issues are aired, when it comes to trial, clearly the airlines will put their views forward and I have no doubt that common sense will prevail and the merger will go ahead. It seems to me extraordinary that there could be any other outcome.”
A November 25 date has been set for the lawsuit trial, even though the (DOJ) sought to push the hearing to March 2014.

The (DOJ)’s August 13 announcement that it intended to challenge the merger proposal in court shocked the industry. The (DOJ) had previously approved the mega-mergers between Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NWA), United Airlines (UAL), and Continental Airlines (CAL), plus Southwest Airlines (SWA) and AirTran Airways (CQT). But the (DOJ) said it believed the (AMW)/(USA) - (AAL) combination would be harmful to consumers.

Tyler’s (DOJ) comments in his Wings Club address were part of a larger attack on government intervention and micro-management of how airlines do business. “Our biggest challenge comes from governments that are engaging in what I would broadly describe as regulatory backtracking,” he said. “The airline industry may be deregulated to the extent that carriers are permitted to set their fares according to demand. But regulators aim to design the details of competition in a manner that is wholly at odds with how other industries are treated and with the workings of the free market. “In particular, they appear determined to hold commercial aviation to a different business standard than they impose on any other form of transportation or consumer facing activities.”

American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMR)/(USA) have each agreed to extend the outside date at which either party may terminate the previously announced agreement and plan of merger, in light of the trial schedule surrounding litigation with the USA (DoJ).

In a joint statement, (AMR) Corporation Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton and (AMW)/(USA) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said, “The boards and management teams of (AMR) and (AMW)/(USA) remain committed to completing this combination to create the new American (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA), and the extension of this outside date is a reflection of this commitment. Our focus is on mounting a vigorous defense and winning our court case so the new (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA) can enhance competition, provide better service to our customers and create more opportunities for our employees.”

According to an (AMR) statement, the amended merger agreement “extends the date on which either (AMR) or US Airways (AMW)/(USA) may terminate the merger agreement from December 17, 2013 to the later date of January 18, 2014, or, if the court enters an order on or before January 17, 2014 in favor of (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA), on the 15th day following the entry of such order. In the event of an unfavorable ruling by the court, (AMR) or (AMW)/(USA) may terminate the merger agreement five days after the court enters a final, but appealable, order permanently enjoining the merger.”

American Airlines (AAL) has introduced five new non-stop routes from Los Angeles (LAX) to; Columbus (CMH), Fayetteville/NW Arkansas (XNA), Hartford (BDL), Indianapolis (IND), and Pittsburgh (PIT). The five new launches all took place on August 27 and bring (AAL)’s total number of non-stop destinations out of Los Angeles to 49. Four of the five new routes are flown using (AAL)’s 737-800s, with Fayetteville flights being operated by American Eagle’s CRJ700s. Each new route is being offered as a daily service, two compete with Delta Air Lines (DAL) and one (Pittsburgh) with United Airlines (UAL). (AAL) will also begin adding a daily service from its Los Angeles hub to Sao Paulo in December.

Airbus (EDS) said that American Airlines (AAL) will begin taking delivery of its new sharklet-equipped A321s with three-class interior with full lie-flat seats in both first (F) and business (C) class for use on USA coast-to-coast non-stop flights, between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles initially. This will be followed by non-stop flights between New York (JFK) and San Francisco.

American Airlines (AAL) plans to hire about 1,500 new pilots (FC) over the next five years. In a letter to American (AAL) employees included in a USA Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said the 1,500 new pilots (FC) will be in addition to the airline’s offer to recall “all of our furloughed pilots (FC).”

(AAL) said that it “currently anticipates the need to initially hire approximately 45 to 50 pilots (FC) per month through at least summer 2014, including pilots (FC) from [regional affiliate] American Eagle Airlines and the appropriate balance from external sources.”

Horton noted that (AAL) generated $2.34 billion in revenue in August, up +7% year-over-year and the most revenue ever generated by the company in the month of August. (AAL)’s strong financial performance, the large number of Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) narrow body airplanes it has on order and new (FAA) pilot (FC) rest and duty time rules set to start next year, all contributed to the decision to recruit and hire 1,500 new pilots (FC). The job posting for the new pilots (FC) will officially become public Tuesday, October 1st.

(AAL), which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since November 2011, aims to emerge from Chapter 11 and merge with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) as soon as it either prevails in an antitrust trial versus the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) or it and US Airways reach a settlement with the (DOJ). “We are making good progress on the merger front, as we continue to prepare a strong case for the trial in November and remain open to discussions with the Justice Department regarding a settlement on appropriate terms,” Horton told (AAL) workers.

FAPA . . . Future & Active Pilot Advisors.

Guiding pilots (FC) to their professional goals.

See FAPA.aero: Pilot (FC) Career Conferences & Job Fairs

Note: US Airways (AMW)/(USA) flight crew (FC) recruiting personnel will be at the next Pilot Job Fair which will be held in Chicago next month.

October 2013: American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation reported a net profit of +$530 million for the third quarter of 2013, the most profitable quarter in its company's history. The net profit was a +$420 million year-over-year improvement for the (AMR) Corporation, and also came with revenue of $6.8 billion, the highest quarterly revenue ever reported by the (AAL) parent. The report comes as (AAL) and the US Airways Group (AMW)/(USA) prepare to defend their proposed merger against a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice (DoJ).

"We are pleased to report our highest quarterly net profit in (AAL)'s history, excluding reorganization and special items," said Tom Horton, Chairman & (CEO) of the (AMR) Corporation. "Continued execution on our product, network and alliance strategy, combined with cost efficiencies from restructuring and fleet renewal, creates strong momentum towards our planned merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA). And we are especially pleased to set aside $59 million this quarter in expectation of making our first profit-sharing payout since 2001 to our people who have done so much to put (AAL) back on top."

(AAL) took delivery of ten A319s, eight 737-800s and one 777-300ER during the third quarter.

If (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) win the lawsuit against the (DoJ), they would create the world's largest airline.

Later, US Airways (AMW)/(USA), American Airlines (AAL) and the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) have agreed to meet with a mediator in an effort to settle the (DOJ)’s antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the carriers’ proposed merger. According to "The Dallas Morning News" and other media reports, a brief filing in a USA federal court in Washington DC stated, “The parties have agreed to a mediator suggested by the court.” There are no other details given at this time regarding the mediator.

The (DOJ)’s antitrust lawsuit, attempting to stop the merger is scheduled for a November 25 trial; the acceptance of a court-suggested mediator by the sides does not change that schedule. But the (DOJ) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA)/(AAL) lawyers have agreed to meet via a mediator to see if a settlement can possibly be worked out prior to the trial. The potential divestment of slots at Washington National Airport (DCA) is likely to be a key point of talks with the mediator.

The (DOJ) maintains (AAL) can emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection successfully as a standalone carrier. That view may have been boosted by (AAL)’s strong third-quarter net profit, but (AAL) has said the merger is needed to enable it to have the scale to compete with Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL), both of which are the result of major mergers previously approved by the (DOJ).

(AAL) will begin Dallas/Fort Worth - Bogotá service on November 22.

(AAL) plans to launch daily flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and between (DFW) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) in the 2014 summer.

The (DFW) - (HKG) service will be operated with a 777-300ER, while the (DFW) - (PVG) flights will be operated with a 777-200. Both routes are subject to regulatory approval.

(AAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said the new flights are part of a “stronger foundation [that will enable the airline] to succeed in our pending merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).” The routes will be part of the (AAL) - Japan Airlines (JAL) transpacific joint venture. (AAL) does not currently serve Hong Kong. It serves Shanghai from Los Angeles and Chicago O’Hare.

Southwest Airlines (SWA) has no official stance on the American Airlines (AAL) - US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger, but (SWA) wants to have a stronger presence at Washington National Airport (DCA) and wants (AAL) - (AMW)/(USA) to divest Washington National slots.

November 2013: The Justice Department (DOJ) has reached a settlement to drop its opposition to the merger of American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA), allowing the two carriers to create the world's largest airline.

"This is an important day for our customers, our people and our financial stakeholders. This agreement allows us to take the final steps in creating the new American Airlines (AAL)," said Tom Horton, Chairman & (CEO) of the (AMR) Corporation, parent company of (AAL).

American Airlines (AAL) parent, the (AMR) Corporation, which is still operating under bankruptcy protection, earned net income of +$289 million in the third quarter on a +6.2% year-over-year increase in revenue to $6.83 billion. The benefits of the Chapter 11 process can be seen in continuing cost cuts. For example, wages, salaries and benefits (the company’s second largest cost category after fuel) dropped -13.3% year-over-year in the third quarter.

Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton noted that (AMR)’s third-quarter net profit, excluding reorganization and special items, was +$530 million, which he characterized as the “highest quarterly net profit in (AAL)’s history.” These results provide ammunition, of course, for the USA Department of Justice, which is adamant that (AAL) can successfully emerge from Chapter 11 as a standalone carrier.

As far as the (DOJ) sees it, why does a company that earned more than half-a-billion dollars in a three-month period need to merge with another company? (AAL)’s answer is that the strong financials make it a much better merger partner (indeed, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) wouldn’t have wanted to merge with a pre-Chapter 11, cost-laden (AMR) and the combined size of US Airways (AMW)/(USA)/(AAL) will enable it to have the scope to more directly compete with (DAL) and (UAL). The merger is not a matter of survival, but a long-term necessity to remain fully competitive in the USA market.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s transition to the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance from the Star (SAL) Alliance is set to happen quickly after (AMW)/(USA)’s merger with American Airline (AAL) is approved.

American Airlines (AAL) parent company, the (AMR) Corporation and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will use the stock ticker symbol "AAL" after they merge into a single airline. (AAL) confirmed the new ticker, also saying that upon closing of the merger and (AMR)'s emergence from Chapter 11, the combined company will be renamed "American Airlines Group Inc." “The common stock of both US Airways Group, Inc. and the (AMR) Corporation will be cancelled and shareholders will receive equity interests in American Airlines Group Inc. per the terms of the Merger Agreement and Plan of Reorganization,” (AAL) said.

"Today we moved another step closer in our preparations to launch the new American Airlines. (NASDAQ) offers a most advanced trading platform driven by innovation and efficiency (qualities that complement the new American)," (AMR) Chairman, President & (CEO), Tom Horton said.

Later, it was reported that American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will close their proposed merger by December 9, after their revised plan was approved by the USA Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, November 27.

The revised merger plan includes concessions promised to the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) in exchange for antitrust approval. Concessions include divesting 52 slot pairs at Washington, DC's Ronald Reagan National Airport and 17 pairs at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Both airlines will also divest two gates and supported facilities at Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International Airport and Miami International Airport.

Despite the divestitures, American (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA) expects to generate more than >$1 billion in annual revenues beginning in 2015.
According to a statement from American, the merger is still subject to approval of the settlements by the USA Bankruptcy Court, however the carrier still expects to complete the merger by December 9th.
"We are pleased to have this lawsuit behind us and look forward to building the new American Airlines together," said Doug Parker, Chairman & (CEO) of US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

Under the new merger, which will keep the name American Airlines, Parker will serve as (CEO) and Tom Horton, (CEO) of American parent company (AMR), will serve as Chairman of the board for the combined airline.

(AAL) extended its network offering at the end of the month with the launch of eight new services. Six of the new city pairs are international routes, with the 7,936 km service from Miami (MIA) to Milan Malpensa (MXP) being the longest. On only one of these routes does the oneworld (ONW) alliance carrier face direct competition (namely on the domestic service between New York LaGuardia (LGA) and West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI), and in the form of JetBlue Airways (JBL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL)). The routes are as follows:
Miami (MIA) to Milan Malpensa (MXP) 7x weekly 767-300; (MIA) to Cozumel (CZM), 5x weekly 737-800; (mia) to Curitiba (CWB) 7x weekly 767-300; (MIA) to Porto Alegre (POA) via (CWB) 7x weekly 767-300; Los Angeles (LAX) to West Palm Beach (PBI), 7x weekly 737-800; New York LaGuardia (LGA) to (PBI) 14x weekly 737-800; Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Bogota (BOG) 7x weekly A319 and (DFW) to Roatan (RTB) weekly 737-800.

(AAL)'s new Brazilian service, which started on November 22nd, operates Miami - Curitiba - Porto Alegre - Miami, and means that Miami International Airport now serves nine destinations in Brazil, more than any other USA airport. Brazil is the airport’s top international market with more than >1.6 million annual passengers, and growth is expected to continue with a tenth Brazilian route, Belem, to be served by (TAM) (TPR), starting in early February.

(AAL) received its first A319 equipped with the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS), Airbus (EDS) said. (ROPS), an on board cockpit technology designed to increase situational awareness during landing, recently achieved certification from the (FAA) for the A320 family airplanes, including the A319, A320ceo (current engine option) and A321. The (ROPS) system computes minimum realistic in-flight landing and on-ground stopping distances and compares them to available landing distances in real time based on airplane weight and configuration.

The system has been flying on most of the worldwide A380 fleet since 2009, when it was first approved by the (EASA). In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) advised the (FAA) to begin pursuing airplane and avionics manufacturers developing technology that would reduce runway excursions, which is the leading cause of commercial aviation accidents.

Airlines are able to reduce their insurance premiums for airplanes that are equipped with (ROPS) technology, Airbus (EDS) said.

"Certification by the global authorities of commercial aviation is a testament to their belief in this system and the multi-tiered benefit it will bring to our airline as well as the industry,” said John Hale, VP Flight Operations at (AAL).

(AAL) took delivery of its first Airbus A321 Transcontinental (A321T), continuing its fleet renewal program launched earlier this year. The A321T is equipped with Gogo's recently upgraded (ATG)-4 WiFi service, and will be operated between New York's John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). (AAL) plans to enter the new A321T into service next year.
"As the only airline to offer a three-class transcontinental service, we're delivering on what our customers flying between New York and the West Coast value," said Virasb Vahidi, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at (AAL).

(AAL) plans to continue its fleet renewal program into next year, with more new airplane deliveries scheduled, including new 777-300ERs, 787s and more A321Ts.

December 2013: American Airlines (AAL) exited Chapter 11, merged with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and officially became the "new" American Airlines Group on Monday morning, December 9th, 2013.

The merger is expected to generate $1 billion in annual net synergies by 2015, according to the airlines.

American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) said it will take 18 - 24 months for the carriers to receive a single air operating certificate (AOC) from the (FAA). The combined carrier will operate about 6,700 daily flights to more than >330 destinations in over >50 countries. Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group Inc has more than >100,000 employees globally.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will exit the Star (SAL) Alliance on March 30, 2014, and enter the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance, of which (AAL) is a key member, on March 31, 2014.

The carriers said passengers “will begin to see enhancements to their experience in early January, including the ability to earn and redeem miles when traveling on either American Airlines (AAL) or US Airways (AMW)/(USA).” The airlines said their websites and reservations systems “will continue to operate separately until further in the integration process.”

The stock of American Airlines Group Inc will trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AAL.”

Tim Campbell, Senior VP Air Operations for the "new" American appointed Captain John Hale, VP Flight.

The American Airlines Group has signed a firm purchase agreement for 60 Embraer EMB-175 jets with options for another 90 EMB-175s, as well as a firm order for 30 Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets with options for 40 more airplanes.

The orders are the first new airplane orders since American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merged into a single company on December 9.

Embraer (EMB) said the EMB-175 firm orders are valued at $2.5 billion at list prices. (EMB) said (AAL) will configure the EMB-175s with 12F first-class, 12PY main cabin extra and 44Y economy seats. Deliveries will start in the first quarter of 2015.

Bombardier (BMB) said the CRJ900 firm order value is $1.42 billion at list prices, which could increase to $3.38 billion if the 40 options are converted into firm orders. The (AAL) CRJ900s will have a package of NextGen enhancements, which include upgraded avionics and engine improvements for further fuel-burn savings.

American Airlines (AAL) has opted for the 315-seat A350-900 over the 276-seater A350-800 Airbus (EDS) airplane it had previously chosen. The order, changed Friday, December 27, originally called for 18 A350-800 and only four A350-900 made by US Airways (AMW)/(USA); now all 22 airplanes will be A350-900s.

January 2014: SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2014-01-2013 TOP WORLD AIRLINES-A/B).

The American Airlines Group, the parent of merger partners American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA), reported a 2013 net profit of +$1.9 billion on an adjusted basis that excludes special charges and combines the full-year results of (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA).

The 2013 adjusted net profit represents a +$1.5 billion improvement over a combined 2012 non-(GAAP) net profit of +$407 million, excluding special charges. The carriers closed their merger on December 9, 2013. The adjusted net profit numbers cited for 2013 and 2012 are presented as if the airlines had been a single company for 2012 and 2013 and they exclude special charges. On that adjusted basis, the American Airlines Group earned a net profit of +$436 million for the 2013 fourth quarter, reversing a net loss of -$42 million in the 2012 December quarter.

“The early returns on our merger are very positive,” American Airlines Group (CEO), Doug Parker said. “Our teams are working well together and our customers are already beginning to see the benefits of our combined network. We have much work ahead, but these financial results are evidence of the strong foundation we have in place and we anticipate improving upon these results as we further integrate our operations in 2014.”

The combined revenue of (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) in 2013 was +$38.62 billion, up +4.7% over the combined revenue of the two airlines in 2012. The combined fourth-quarter mainline traffic of the two airlines in 2013 was 45.43 billion (RPM)s, up +3.2% year-over-year, on a +3.6% rise in capacity to 55.01 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 82.6% LF. The combined fourth-quarter 2013 mainline passenger yield of the two airlines was 14.35 cents, up +6.4% year-over-year.

American Airlines (AAL)’s red, white and blue flag-like tail design, revealed when the company unveiled a new livery last January, will remain, (CEO) Doug Parker said.

Parker, formerly the (CEO) of US Airways (AMW)/(USA), became the (CEO) of the "new" American Airlines last month, when the carriers closed their merger. One of his first acts was to put up for an employee vote whether the carrier, called “American Airlines,” would keep the new “flag” tails or revert to the iconic “AA” tails utilized for the last 40 years. Parker said in a message to employees that, based on the voting, the new tails will remain and be added to all US Airways airplanes during repainting and the many remaining American airplanes that have not yet been repainted.

About 60,000 of American’s 100,000 employees participated in the vote, with more than >31,000 voting for the new flag tails. Parker had told employees he was “indifferent” to the vote’s outcome but wanted the will of American’s workers represented.

“For those of you who really wanted to bring back the "AA," know that it will still be with us,” Parker wrote to American employees after the vote. “First, it will take us many months to paint the 580 US Airways airplanes and those airplanes will be the priority, which means the remaining classic Silverbirds [with American’s old livery] will still be flying for some time.”

Parker added that “even after all of the fleet has been painted,” American plans to retain “heritage airplanes in our fleet going forward, so the "AA" livery will remain in our system.”

Parker said deciding on the look of American’s airplanes “was a small but important step in bringing us together and beginning to move forward” on the integration of American and US Airways.

The American Airlines Group said it has started the first phase of code sharing between American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) as the carriers’ merger integration process gets underway in earnest. From January 13, passengers can book flights on each airline’s networks for travel starting January 23.

“Launched in a phased approach, the code share seeks to provide a smooth travel experience, while (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) continue to operate as separate airlines during the merger integration,” the American Airlines Group said.

The first phase of the code share will include select (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) flights. The (AMW)/(USA) code will be placed on most (AAL)-operated flights between (AAL) hubs Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York (JFK), as well as on (AAL) flights from US Airways (AMW)/(USA) hubs Phoenix, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington National.

The (AAL) code will be placed on most US Airways (AMW)/(USA)-operated flights between US Airways (AMW)/(USA) hubs Phoenix, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington National, as well as on US Airways (AMW)/(USA) flights from (AAL) hubs Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York (JFK).

Additionally, the American (AAL) code will be placed on US Airways’ (AMW)/(USA) East Coast Shuttle service, which includes flights between Boston, Washington National, and New York LaGuardia, and the US Airways (AMW)/(USA) code will be placed on select American (AAL) domestic flights from Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth to non-hub airports. Finally, during the first phase of code sharing, American (AAL)’s and US Airways’ (AMW)/(USA) codes are to be placed “on select international flights operated by the other carrier,” the American Airlines Group stated.

(AAL) President, Scott Kirby said, “Implementing this code share so early in the integration process allows us to begin realizing significant revenue synergies, which are estimated to exceed $1 billion annually by 2015.”

The American Airlines Group said its wholly owned regional subsidiary carrier American Eagle, will be renamed “Envoy” in the spring. American (AAL) explained the move was made as part of its merger integration with US Airways (AMW)/(USA), which will include a regional rebranding. All 10 regional carriers currently providing regional service for legacy American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) “will all eventually fly under the American Eagle brand.” By renaming American Eagle to Envoy, (AAL) hopes to eliminate any confusion over the branding.

American Eagle employs about 14,000 of the new American Airlines Group’s 100,000 global workers. “Our people and our company, which is one the largest regional carriers in the world, deserve a name that is all our own,” American Eagle President, Pedro Fabregas said. “By taking on the Envoy name, we can better differentiate ourselves from the competition and better market ourselves.”

Before and during (AAL)’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, there was considerable talk that Eagle would be divested following emergence from Chapter 11. That talk has been muted in recent months, though Envoy could still be a possible spin-off candidate in the future.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) celebrated its 40th anniversary in January. The first customer at (DFW) was American Airlines (AAL). Just five years later, (AAL) moved its headquarters from New York City to Dallas, helping to create one of the top ten airports in the world.

At its opening, (DFW) served 12 airlines with three runways, three terminals and 56 gates. It is now one of the largest and busiest, hosting 23 airlines with seven runways, five terminals and 155 gates. In 2012, nearly 60 million passengers used (DFW), ranking eighth in the world, and it ranked third in airplane movements with 650,124.

American Airlines (AAL) (now combined with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) to become the world’s largest airline) and (DFW) contribute more than >$31 billion annually to the Dallas/Fort Worth region’s economy and provide 143,000 jobs in North Texas.

(DFW) is (AAL)’s largest hub with 800 daily flights to nearly 200 cities. This year, (AAL) will begin service from (DFW) to Shanghai and Hong Kong. Etihad Airways (EHD) will begin (DFW) - Abu Dhabi service and Qatar Airways (QTA) will serve Dallas from Doha.

The airport this year will add the Dallas Area Rapid Transit orange line connecting (DFW) to Dallas County via light rail. Work is currently underway on a $2.3 billion renewal of the airport’s four original terminals.

February 2014: American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA), which closed their mega-merger in December and began the first phase of code sharing in January, have expanded code sharing to include nearly 6,500 daily flights to more than >275 destinations for travel starting on February 6.

The code share expansion covers almost all flights in the carriers’ combined networks “except for a select few international markets due to regulatory requirements,” (AAL) said, adding, “The two airlines expect to code share on every international flight in these markets by the end of the first quarter.”

(AAL) President, Scott Kirby said, “This expansion marks another milestone for (AAL) as we successfully implement the world’s largest code share. Bringing the networks together is what this merger is truly about. With this code share, our customers will be able to immediately realize some of the benefits they can come to expect from us, and it’s exciting to deliver those benefits so early in the integration process.”

Kirby said in late January that (AAL)/US Airways (AMW)/(USA) had exceeded expectations in terms of selling code share tickets in the first two weeks after code sharing began on January 13.

In January, USA scheduled passenger airlines employed 381,819 full-time workers, up +0.5% year-over-year, according to figures from the USA Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The January count indicates +1,777 more (FTE) jobs among USA scheduled passenger carriers than in January 2013.

Among the USA major/network carriers, year-over-year increases in January (FTE) jobs were seen at US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (up +4.1%), Alaska Airlines (ASA) (up +2.9%), American Airlines (AAL) (up +0.4%) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) (up +0.3%). Only United Airlines (UAL) reported (FTE) job losses in January, losing -1% of its (FTE) positions year-over-year. Overall, the USA major/network carriers saw a +0.4% year-over-year increase in January (FTE) positions.

Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), a major carrier classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier” (airlines that operate within specific niche markets) reported a year-over-year January increase of +381 (FTE) positions, up +8.7%.

For the major USA low-cost-carriers (LCCs), overall (FTE) positions grew +0.3% year-over-year in January. Spirit Airlines (SPR)’s (FTE) positions jumped +20.5% year-over-year, to 3,604 (FTE) employees; Allegiant Air (WJE) also continued its (FTE) job surge, up +15% from January 2013. Increases were also seen at Virgin America (VUS) (up +5.2%) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) (up +4.2%). January (FTE) job losses continued at Frontier Airlines (FRO) (down -11.7%) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (down -1.9%).

Sun Country Airlines (SCA), a national carrier/(LCC) classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier,” reported a year-over-year January increase of +192 (FTE) positions, up +20.3%.

Ranked by (FTE) workforce, the top 10 passenger airlines for January were: (UAL) (81,368 (FTE) employees), (DAL) (73,372), (AAL) (59,686), (SWA) (44,983), (AMW)/(USA) (31,574), (JBL) (13,119), American Eagle (11,017), SkyWest (9,816), (ASA) (9,517), and ExpressJet (9,178).

(AAL) has received approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) (CAC) to start a daily non-stop route between Shanghai and Dallas, Texas, this summer. (AAL) will start offering the new service from June 12 using 777-200s, said Erwan Perhirin, (AAL) Managing Director Asia Pacific.

(AAL) will also open a daily non-stop service from Hong Kong to Dallas this summer, using 777-300ER airplanes. (AAL) now has routes to Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas from Shanghai, said Maxine Peng, newly appointed (AAL) General Manager China.

"We intend to provide substantial benefits by deepening the important cultural and economic ties between China and America plus opening new connecting opportunities for Chinese passengers traveling across the USA and Latin America," Peng said.

The new flight will depart from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 4:50 pm and arrive at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport at 6:10 pm the same day, enabling excellent onward connections for customers to Latin America destinations and 90 mainland USA and Canadian locations, she said. The new route, Peng said, will be the first nonstop service connecting China with the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, a gateway for Chinese travelers to the Texan economic hub.

Route Network Update for American Airlines (AAL):
American Airlines ((IATA) Code: AA, based at Dallas/Fort Worth) (AAL) network changes:
New route: Charlottesville - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Dayton James M Cox - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Greensboro - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Knoxville McGhee Tyson - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Little Rock - New York La Guardia starting April 2, 2014.
New route: Louisville International - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Charlottesville starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Dayton James M Cox starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Greensboro starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Knoxville McGhee Tyson starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Little Rock starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Louisville International starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Norfolk International, Virginia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Richmond International, Virginia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Roanoke starting April 1, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Wilmington, North Carolina starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Norfolk International, Virginia - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Richmond International, Virginia - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Roanoke - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
New route: Wilmington, North Carolina - New York La Guardia starting April 1, 2014.
Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson - New York La Guardia route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.
Charlotte - New York La Guardia route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.
Cleveland Hopkins - New York La Guardia route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.
Minneapolis/St Paul - New York La Guardia route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.
New York La Guardia - Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.
New York La Guardia - Charlotte route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.
New York La Guardia - Cleveland Hopkins route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.
New York La Guardia - Minneapolis/St Paul route will be terminated on March 31, 2014.

March 2014: For the second consecutive month, after 15 months of reported declines, full-time equivalent (FTE) employment at USA scheduled passenger airlines has registered a monthly increase year-over-year.

In February, USA scheduled passenger airlines employed 381,985 full-time workers, up +0.4% year-over-year, according to figures from the USA Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

It was the third consecutive month in which full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs at USA scheduled passenger airlines increased year-over-year. The February total registers +1,571 more (FTE) jobs among USA scheduled passenger carriers than in February 2013.

Among the USA major/network carriers, year-over-year increases in February (FTE) jobs were seen at US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (up +3.6%), Alaska Airlines (ASA) (up +2.7%), American Airlines (AAL) (up +0.4%) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) (up +0.2%). United Airlines (UAL) reported losing -1.8% of its (FTE) positions year-over-year. Overall, the USA major/network carriers saw a +0.1% year-over-year increase in February (FTE) employees.

Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), a major carrier classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier” (airlines that operate within specific niche markets) reported a year-over-year February increase of +332 (FTE) positions, up +7.5%.

Overall, (FTE) positions at the major USA low-cost-carriers (LCCs) grew +0.7% year-over-year in February. Spirit Airlines (SPR) had the largest concentration of year-over-year growth, expanding its February (FTE) job count by +16.8%, to 3,534 (FTE) employees; Allegiant Air (WJE)’s monthly (FTE) job count grew as well, up +14.3% from February 2013, to 2.134 (FTE) employees. Increases also occurred at Virgin America (VUS) (up +6.7%) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) (up +4.9%). February (FTE) job declines were seen at Frontier Airlines (FRO) (down -7.4%) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (down -1.7%).

Sun Country Airlines (SCA), a national carrier/(LCC) classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier,” registered a year-over-year February increase of +169 (FTE) positions, up +17.4%.

Ranked by (FTE) workforce, the top 10 passenger airlines for February were: United Airlines (UAL) (80,694 (FTE) employees), Delta Air Lines (DAL) (73,602), American Airlines (AAL) (59,699) (less US Airways (AMW)/(USA) - see later, Southwest (SWA) (45,091), US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (31,604), JetBlue Airways (JBL) (13,301), and Alaska Airlines (ASA) (10.192).

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and Brazil’s (TAM) (TPR) have both officially joined the Oneworld (ONW) alliance, greatly expanding the global airline grouping’s network in the Americas.

The two carriers exited the Star (SAL) Alliance at the end of the day on March 30 and officially began services as Oneworld (ONW) Alliance members on the morning of March 31. The alliance switch was driven by mergers: (TAM) (TPR)’s with (ONW) member (LAN) Airlines in June 2012 to form the (LATAM) Airlines Group, and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) with (ONW)’s American Airlines in December 2013.

“The addition of (TAM) (TPR) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) represents the biggest single day of growth since the (ONW) alliance started 15 years ago,” International Airlines Group (IAG) (CEO) and new Oneworld (ONW) Alliance Chairman, Willie Walsh said. “We believe it is the single biggest day of growth for any of the alliances. Brazil is one of the most important markets for all airlines. We know in Brazil, we now have a partner with an excellent network.”

(TAM) (TPR) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) add nearly 100 destinations to the (ONW) Alliance’s network; 45 operated to by (TAM) (TPR) and more than >50 operated to by US Airways (AMW)/(USA). Walsh noted the (ONW) alliance’s worldwide network now reaches 1,000 destinations.

American Airlines (AAL) (CEO), Doug Parker called the entrance of US Airways (AMW)/(USA) into the (ONW) Alliance “another crucial step towards our progress to integrating (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) into a single carrier.” He added that having the entire (LATAM) Airlines Group in the (ONW) Alliance was significant for the new (AAL), noting that (AAL) and (LATAM) code share across 150 destinations. Brazil is one the “most important” international markets served by (AAL), Parker said.

(TAM) (TPR) (CEO), Marco Bologna said the Brazilian carrier’s entrance into the (ONW) Alliance means it has become “aligned with the best airlines in terms of reach worldwide,” highlighting connectivity at (AAL)’s USA hubs, especially Miami International Airport. With (TAM) (TPR)’s entrance, (ONW) becomes “the leading alliance in Latin America,” he said.

(ONW) (CEO), Bruce Ashby noted, “As the leading airline in Latin America’s biggest economy, (TAM) (TPR)’s addition represents a significant landmark.”

Bologna added, “(TAM) (TPR) is one of the fastest growing airlines in the Americas. [By joining Oneworld (ONW)], we are taking a very important step for the future of (TAM) (TPR) and (LATAM).”

April 2014: American Airlines (AAL) reported a record +$480 million net profit for the first quarter of 2014, the first earnings period for the newly merged carrier. The "new" American (AAL) was formed by the completion of the December merger between the US Airways Group and American's predecessor, the AMR Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2011.

The first three months of 2014 represent a +$777 million improvement over (AAL)'s -$297 million net loss reported during the same period a year ago. (AAL), which represents the new merger between American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA), also said in its earnings report that it has received $381 million for the sale of slots at New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Reagan National (DCA) airports. "We are very pleased to report a record profit in our first full quarter as a merged company," said Doug Parker, (CEO) of the American Airlines Group.

During the first quarter, (AAL) introduced two new Airbus A321T airplanes, exercised options to purchase 62 Airbus A320s and also revealed new Boeing 767-300 and 777-200ER cabin retrofits.

The newly merged carrier also joined operations at 58 airports, including (AAL)'s Miami hub and US Airways (AMW)/(USA)'s Phoenix hub.

Over the next year, the new American (AAL) plans to focus on merging technology systems between the formerly separate carriers.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has joined American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Finnair (FIN) in their transatlantic joint venture (JV).

As part of the joint business (established by Oneworld (ONW) global alliance partners (AAL), (BAB) and (IBE) in October 2010) the airlines can cooperate commercially on transatlantic flights. The joint venture also includes a revenue-sharing agreement in which member airlines have permission to coordinate schedules and pricing on North Atlantic routes.

Speaking on a panel at the USA Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Annual Aviation Summit in Washington DC, International Airlines Group (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said the addition of (AMW)/(USA), which merged with (AAL) at the end of 2013, provided “unmatched” capability on transatlantic routes. (BAB) is part of the (IAG) Group.

(AAL) (CEO), Doug Parker, who was a panelist with Walsh, said he was “extremely pleased with the foundation that has been established” since the merger was completed. He said the merged airline’s relationship with the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance was an important part of his plan to restore (AAL)’s position as “the best airline in the world.”

American Airlines (AAL) and the Massachusetts Port Authority opened a renovated airplane line maintenance center at Hangar 9 at Boston Logan Airport. The hangar will house up to three narrow body airplanes.

May 2014: US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has launched a code share with British Airways (BAB) after becoming an affiliate member of the Atlantic Joint Business between (BAB), American Airlines (AAL), Iberia (IBE) and Finnair (FIN). (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) closed their merger in December and earlier this year (BAB) parent the International Airlines Group (IAG) said it hoped to integrate US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s flights into the Atlantic Joint Business.

(BAB) said (AMW)/(USA) joined the group as an affiliate member on March 31. “It will remain as such until it fully integrates with (AAL) as part of their merger to create the largest airline in the world.”

Cementing the agreement, (BAB) will add its code to nearly 40 (AMW)/(USA) destinations in North America and the Caribbean, while (AMW)/(USA) will add its designator to over 70 (BAB) destinations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The code share will be introduced in two phases, which should be completed by the end of the summer.

“Our code share arrangement with (AMW)/(USA), and the addition of its extensive network to our schedule, marks another milestone in our Joint Business,” (BAB) Head of Alliances, Steve Ronald said.

“(AMW)/(USA)’s entry into the Atlantic Joint Business marked a crucial step in our overall integration process, and this code share arrangement with our long term partner (BAB) is essential to the continued expansion of our combined networks,” added (AAL) Senior VP Alliances & Partnerships, Kurt Stache.

American Airlines (AAL) has indeed begun cross-fleeting measures with partner, US Airways ((AMW)/(USA), following news that US Airways Express-partner, Mesa Airlines ((IATA) Code: YV, based at Phoenix Sky Harbor), will begin operating on some of American's Los Angeles International routes effective August 19. Phase One of the CRJ-900 services will involve the following cities: Albuquerque, Denver International, Fayetteville/Springdale, Houston International, Oklahoma City Will Rogers World, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Reno/Tahoe, San Francisco, California, and San José, California. Thereafter, services to Tucson International will be added at a later date. The new flights will depart from the American Eagle Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.

Bombardier (BMB) will this month deliver a CRJ900 to American Airlines (AAL) with enhancements providing a +5.5% improvement in fuel burn over previous CRJ900s. The airplane is the first CRJ900 featuring a package of aerodynamic and other “NextGen” enhancements.

The +5.5% fuel burn improvement will now be the “production standard” on the CRJ900, Bombardier Commercial Airplane VP Americas Sales, Kevin Smith told reporters at the Regional Airline Association convention in St Louis, Missouri. Going forward, operators of newly delivered CRJ900s can “take that savings to the bank,” he said. (AAL)’s enhanced CRJ900 will enter service in June and be operated by (PSA) Airlines under the American Eagle brand. It will be configured into three classes, including 16 “cabin-extra” seats between business (C) class and economy (Y).

Smith indicated Bombardier (BMB) is close to unveiling additional CRJ900 improvements. “We have a few ideas in our pocket now that we could roll out in the near future that would greatly enhance” fuel burn efficiency, he said.

June 2014: American Airlines (AAL) expanded its long-haul network from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) on June 11th with the addition of two new routes, both of which are served daily. With the longest sector being the 13,053 km sector to Hong Kong (HKG) operated by its 310-seat 777-300s, and the shortest being inaugurated to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) at 11,830 km utilizing its 247-seat 777-200s, the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member will face no competition on either of the new airport pairs.

The World Cup football (soccer) has put the spotlight on Brazil; international capacity at Brazilian airports is up +15% in June! World Cup puts spotlight on Brazil; international capacity at Brazilian airports up 15% in June. During the last decade, the air traffic demand in Brazil, South America’s largest country, has grown by +300%. In 2013, an amazing 107.8 million passengers were traveling in the Brazilian Airspace.

With the eyes of the sporting world on Brazil, of the 31 other countries competing in the (FIFA) World Cup, there are direct air services from Brazil to 15 of them. In total, there are non-stop flights from Brazil to 33 countries this July, with Morocco the most recent new country market thanks to Royal Air Maroc (RAM)’s flights from Casablanca to Sao Paulo which began last December.

The leading country market by some way is the USA, which has extended its lead over Argentina since last summer. Of the top 12 country markets only Panama, the (UAE) and Peru have not qualified for the current World Cup, while the United Kingdom is represented by England - - SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-2014-06-TOP 12 BRAZIL MARKETS."

The fastest-growing country market is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where seat capacity has grown by over >70% in the last year. Emirates (EAD) has increased seat capacity on its daily flights to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo by replacing its 777-200LRs with larger 777-300ERs. In addition, Etihad Airways (EHD) increased frequency on its Abu Dhabi to Sao Paulo service and also moved to a larger airplane.

The largest European market is not surprisingly Portugal, which ranks third overall for seats, with almost twice as many as France, Spain and Germany, who are battling it out for second biggest European market. Significant was the launch of (TAP) Portugal’s newest service to Brazil from Lisbon, with thrice-weekly flights to Manaus, onto Belem, and then returning to Lisbon.

In the last 12 months, a number of high-profile long-haul routes have been launched to Brazil from Africa, Europe and North America. The launch of new services to Sao Paulo from both Los Angeles (with American Airlines (AAL)) and Madrid (with Air Europa (ARE)) on the same day last December made for a great pre-Christmas bonus for the airport.

Analysis of schedule data reveals that Buenos Aires is the leading international destination from Brazilian airports, though by splitting traffic across two airports Miami becomes the leading airport destination - - SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-TOP 12 BRAZIL DESTINATIONS." Lisbon leads the way for European destinations with Frankfurt, London, Madrid and Paris all making the top 12.

(AAL) has promoted Jeff Plant as new team leader at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Plant will move from Los Angeles International Airport, where he currently serves as Managing Director.

American Airlines (AAL) plans to break ground in the next 30 days on a new integrated Flight Operations Center near its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) headquarters.

(AAL) currently has a (DFW)-based operations center, but US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s Flight Operations are managed from a facility in Pittsburgh. In a letter to employees, (AAL) said that while “no one will be moving from Pittsburgh for quite some time,” the plan is for all relevant employees to be working out of a unified Flight Operations Center at (DFW).

(AAL)’s current (DFW) Operations Center will close. “It became apparent that the best long-term solution is a new, state-of-the-art facility that can house all of our team members and the technology needed for our daily demands,” (AAL) told employees. “Our timeline for the new building is aggressive.” (AAL) said it will start construction of the new facility “within the next 30 days pending local approvals” and anticipates having it “move-in ready” by the 2015 third quarter.

“For many of you located in Pittsburgh, the decision to move to Dallas/Fort Worth is a life-changing one and we don’t take that lightly,” (AAL) said in the letter, adding that “change isn’t easy, but it is necessary for us to run the best operational control facility in the industry.”

The American Airlines Group has taken delivery of the first of 30 enhanced Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen airplanes, which will be operated by subsidiary, PSA Airlines under the American Eagle brand. The purchase agreement, which was announced in December 2013, also included options for an additional 40 CRJ900s.

As of March 31, Bombardier (BMB) has recorded firm orders for 1,817 CRJ Series airplanes, including 343 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen airplanes. More than >60 airlines currently operate the type.

American Airlines (AAL) and communications service provider, Gogo have entered into an agreement to begin installing its (ATG) connectivity service on 30 new Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen airplanes, which will be delivered to (AAL) starting in June. The additional connected airplanes will build on the more than >850 airplanes in (AAL)’s fleet that are currently equipped with Gogo’s in-flight Internet services. (AAL) currently has Gogo’s (ATG) and (ATG-4) service installed on its airplanes.

July 2014: The American Airlines (AAL) Group (in its second reporting period since the merger last December of (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA)) reported a record-setting net profit of +$864 million, up +70.4% year-over-year from the combined carriers’ +$507 million net profit in the 2013 June quarter.

Pre-merger, (AAL)’s standalone 2013 second-quarter net profit was +$220 million; (AMW)/(USA)’s standalone 2013 second-quarter net profit was +$287 million.

(AAL) is reporting its second-quarter net profit (excluding net special charges) to be +$1.5 billion, more than doubling the company’s combined net profit of +$681 million (excluding net special charges) during the second-quarter of 2013.

“We are pleased to report the highest quarterly profit in the history of (AAL),” American Airlines Group Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said. “Our merger is off to a great start.”

In addition to its quarterly financial results, the company unveiled a “capital deployment program,” which will include more than >$2.8 billion in debt and airplane lease prepayments to be completed by the end of 2014; the infusion of $600 million into the company’s pension fund; a $1 billion share repurchase program to be completed by the end of 2015; and a quarterly cash dividend of 10 cents per share, beginning August 18. “This is the first cash dividend declared at (AAL) since 1980,” the company said.

(AAL) reported operating revenue of $11.4 billion for the three months ended June 30, up +10.2% year-over-year, contrasted with the combined revenue of $10.3 billion for (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) in the 2013 June quarter.

Second-quarter expenses were $10 billion, up +7% year-over-year from the pre-merger combined expenses of $9.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating profit for the second quarter came to +$1.4 billion, up +41.2% from the two airlines’ pre-merger combined operating profit of +$991 million in the year-ago period.

(AAL)’s second-quarter mainline passenger traffic grew +2.4% year-over-year to 51.4 billion (RPM)s on a +3.5% capacity rise to 61 billion (ASM)s, resulting in a mainline passenger load factor of 84.3% LF, down -1 point from the second quarter of 2013. There were 37,910,000 mainline passengers for the second quarter, up +2.5% year-over-year. Mainline yield rose +7.7% year-over-year to 15.98 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel grew +2.2% year-over-year to 8.55 cents.

(AAL) promoted Don Casey to Senior VP Revenue Management, responsible for (AAL)’s passenger pricing and yield management activity for its worldwide network.

August 2014: American Airlines (AAL) will begin daily, Miami - Cap-Haitien, Haiti Boeing 737-800 service on October 2, subject to government approval.

(AAL) is retooling its Latin America schedule this winter, ending a São Paolo - Charlotte, North Carolina service, to focus on Miami, Florida, as (AAL)’s gateway to the continent. (AAL) said it will end Charlotte - São Paolo service in October, but passengers will be able to connect via Miami to Brazil’s financial center. From October, (AAL) will have no direct service between South America and Charlotte. (AAL) will continue operating direct flights from Charlotte to several cities in Mexico and the Caribbean as well as to Belize and Costa Rica in Central America, a spokesman said.

Although (AAL) will continue operating flights to South America from Los Angeles and Dallas, the main gateway to the continent will be through Miami, with several flights also operating from New York (JFK).

(AAL) is launching daily service from Miami to Viracopos on December 2 and will fly 3x-weekly from New York (JFK) to Viracopos from December 1. (AAL) is eliminating one daily frequency between Miami and São Paolo; it is also reducing the number of weekly flights between New York (JFK) and São Paolo. Viracopos is (AAL)’s 10th destination in Brazil.

(AAL)'s Robert Isom, Chief Operating Officer has confirmed that (AAL) expects to receive its first 787-8 in November. The 787 is one of two (AAL) plans to take delivery of this year. Entry-into-service (EIS) is unlikely before 2015.

737-823 (31200, N956NN), (SMBC) Capital leased, 5 A319-115s (5678, N8001N; 5745, M9004F; 5753, N4005X; 5810, N9012; 5842, N3014R), and 4 A321-231s (6222, A321-231; 6227, N120EE; 6238, N121AN; 6252, N122NN) leased.

September 2014: American Airlines (AAL) plans to operate Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) - Beijing (PEK) Boeing 777-200ER flights starting next summer. (AAL) said it has filed an application with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking permission for the (DFW) - (PEK) route. “Once approved, the new route will be the first nonstop flight connecting Beijing and Dallas/Fort Worth.”

(AAL) currently operates flights between Chicago O’Hare and Beijing. “Since 2013, (AAL) has added new nonstop flights connecting Hong Kong, Seoul, and Shanghai to (DFW), reinforcing (AAL)’s commitment to expanding and strengthening its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The flights will be operated as part of the transpacific joint venture (JV) between (AAL) and fellow Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member Japan Airlines (JAL).

(AAL) could realize as much as $200 million in annual cost benefits by mid-2015 or early 2016 from re-banking three of its largest hubs, (CFO), Derek Kerr said.

The merger process of (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) is going according to plan, but the major integration hurdles are still ahead, (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said. He said he was very happy with how much had been accomplished since the merger was completed some nine months ago. “So far, the integration is going very well and going to plan,” he said.

Among processes that have been completed, Doug listed the transfer of US Airways (AMW)/(USA) from the Star (SAL) Alliance to the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance; breaking ground on a new integration center, union contracts, and cargo operations’ integration. But he noted “the big stuff is still ahead.”

These are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015 and include the combining of the two airlines’ loyalty programs; gaining a single (FAA) certification; and forming a single reservation system. Doug said the new merged company’s profitability is allowing it to invest in new airplanes and customer service improvements, such as a three-class cabin on USA transcontinental routes, Wi-Fi and better seats. “Now that we are profitable, we are doing what profitable companies do, which is investing in our business.”

October 2014: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) which has the most exposure to Venezuela of any USA carrier, expects the country’s economic travails to result in a -2% to -4% decrease in (AAL)’s system-wide fourth-quarter unit revenue.

News Item A-2: American Airlines, which in the previous week added two new routes from Philadelphia, continued to expand its network with three new airport pairs on October 2nd, all of which are served daily. Operated by Envoy Air’s 50-seat ERJ 145s, (AAL) landed at Bismarck, North Dakota (BIS) from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). In addition, (AAL) commenced operations on the 1,067 km sector from Miami (MIA) to Cap-Haitien (CAP) in Haiti, utilizing its 150-seat 737-800s. (AAL) will face no competition on any of the three new additions.

(AAL) begins daily, Miami - Austin, - Kansas City, - Salt Lake City, - San Antonio, and 3x-daily, Los Angeles - Atlanta on March 5. All will be flown with Boeing 737-800s.

Oneworld (ONW) Alliance members Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) and American Airlines (AAL) will expand code sharing from October 26. In addition to (JAL)/(JAS)’s code share flights on (AAL) to Brazil via New York and Dallas/Forth Worth, it will add its (JAL) code on Los Angeles - São Paulo also.

(AAL) customers will now have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations, thanks to a new code share agreement between (AAL) and Jetstar Japan (JJP).

Under the new arrangement, (AAL) will place its "AA" code on services operated by (JJP) between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai), and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the code share started October 26, 2014.

Andrew Nocella, (AAL) Chief Marketing Officer said "We look forward to welcoming Jetstar Japan (JJP)'s customers on our direct flights from Tokyo Narita International Airport to our hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles. "We are delighted to work with (JJP), which is partly owned by two of our Joint Business Partners in Asia, Qantas Airways (QAN) and Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS)."

(JJP) is a partnership between the Qantas (QAN) Group, Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS), Mitsubishi Corporation, and the Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 airplanes across ten destinations in Japan.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has stated that Delta (DAL) is ‘squandering’ Tokyo Haneda slots from Seattle. Consequently, (AAL) is asking the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to seize one of Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Tokyo Haneda frequencies and reallocate it to (AAL) for service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). (AAL) is laying out a case for how it thinks the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) should seize Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Seattle - Haneda flights and reallocate it to (AAL) for flights from Los Angeles without re-starting the full reallocation process.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) is not moving to a revenue-based frequent flyer program when it merges its AAdvantage and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) Dividend Miles systems in the second quarter of next year, but (AAL) is not ruling out such a change in the future.

News Item A-5: American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) have unified under a single air waybill, effectively completing the combination of the cargo divisions of the merging airlines.

The carriers don’t expect to gain a single air operating certificate (AOC) from the (FAA) until next year, but cargo has become the “first Operations division at the airline to be fully integrated,” (AAL) said. The new American Airlines Cargo will generate +$800 million in annual revenue moving more than >1 billion pounds of cargo and mail per year. The integration involved combining and harmonizing 154 American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) cargo facilities.

(AAL) Cargo President, Jim Butler said, “As of today, all booking channels are open and cargo customers have access to flights across the combined network of the world’s largest airline.”

(AAL) (COO), Robert Isom added, “Becoming one cargo organization less than a year after we legally closed our merger is a tremendous achievement.” Isom has previously emphasized that cargo will “play a significant role” in the merged airline.

News Item A-6: (AAL) named Loral Blinde as VP People & Employee Services from the Seabury Group. He served as AirTran Airways (CQT) Senior VP Human Resources & Administration for more than >10 years. (AAL) also announced Bruce Wark has been promoted to VP & Deputy General Counsel and will oversee all intellectual property, commercial litigation and antitrust matters for (AAL).

News Item A-7: USA Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx recently awarded $10.2 million (FAA) grants to six airports to reduce emissions and improve air quality through the (FAA)’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) program.

(VALE) is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas of marginal air quality. The (FAA) established the program in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. Through (VALE), airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and passenger facility charges to help acquire low-emission vehicles, refueling and recharging stations, gate electrification, and other airport-related air quality improvements.

The airports include: Albuquerque International Sunport ($431,479: — to help the airport upgrade the infrastructure to low-emission technology by replacing four boilers in the airport’s central utility plant); Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International ($102,456: — to enable the airport to purchase two alternative-fuel garbage trucks and convert two passenger vans to cleaner burning fuel instead of diesel); Chicago O’Hare International Airport ($2 million: — to allow the airport to install an underground fuel-hydrant system, eliminating the need for diesel-powered fuel trucks); Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport ($2 million: — to help the airport install 12 electric gates at Terminal B and install and connect seven pre-conditioned air units for parked aircraft); Seattle-Tacoma International Airport ($2 million: — to allow the airport to install 43 charging units in Terminals A and B to support electric ground support equipment (GSE) such as luggage loaders and aircraft tugs); Yeager Airport in West Virginia ($3,678,168: — to fund both gate power units and pre-conditioned air units at seven of the airport’s gates).

“These grants will allow the airports to take advantage of the remainder of the construction season by beginning or completing the construction process,” (FAA) Administrator, Michael Huerta said. “The airports can continue to be good neighbors to residents in the surrounding communities.”

November 2014: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) continued to expand domestically with the addition of three new connections on November 6th. The biggest airline in the world, following the merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) last December, added 12 weekly flights from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Meridian Key (MEI), utilizing ExpressJet Airlines’ 50-seat CRJ 200s. Moreover, these flights continued on the 111 km sector from Meridian Key (MEI) to Laurel (PIB). Besides this, the Oneworld (ONW) member also introduced daily flights on the 3,473 km airport pair from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tampa, (TPA), a route served by (AAL)’s 150-seat 737-800s. (AAL) will face direct competition only on the route to Tampa from Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s 10 weekly services.

American Airlines (AAL) begins daily, New York (JFK) - Birmingham, UK Boeing 757 service on May 7. (AAL) will begin daily, Miami - Frankfurt Boeing 767-300 service on May 14.

News Item A-2: (AAL) and its pilots (FC), represented by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), remain locked in talks over a new contract proposed by management and a union counterproposal, with each side claiming that its version is in the pilots (FC)’s best interest.

See video "AAL FLIGHT 587 A300B4-605R CRASH" - - in November 2001

December 2014: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) and Qantas (QAN) have expanded code sharing, allowing (QAN) codes on nine (AAL) services: Los Angeles (LAX) - Lihue, (LAX) - Kona, (LAX) - Maui, (LAX) - (ATL), (LAX) - San Antonio, (LAX) - Tampa, Dallas/Ft Worth - Richmond, (DFW) - Tucson, (DFW) - Albuquerque.

American Airlines (AAL) touched down at Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP) on December 1st, when it commenced thrice-weekly flights from New York (JFK), utilizing its 209-seat 767-300s. No other operator flies this airport pair. Nonetheless, (AAL) is also gearing up to commence its second route to the Brazilian gateway on December 2nd, when it will introduce daily flights from Miami.

(AAL), which in the previous week touched down for the first time at Sao Paulo’s third busiest gateway, continued to expand its presence at Sao Paulo Viracopos (VCP), with the addition of a new link from Miami, Florida (MIA) on December 2nd. The 6,474 km sector will be served daily, utilizing (AAL)’s 209-seat 767-300s. No other airline serves this airport pair. As of December 1, (AAL) is operating thrice-weekly from New York (JFK) to Viracopos. Miami currently offers services to a total of 11 destinations in Brazil, more than any other USA airport.

News Item A-2: Air Transport World (ATW)'s Aaron Karp's AirKarp Blog: "AMERICAN'S ENVOY PROBLEM."
Doug Parker (CEO) and his team are stuck with Envoy for the time being.

It is the "fly in the ointment" of the American Airlines (AAL)-US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger, which so far has generally gone well. Doug Parker, the former US Airways (USA)/(AMW) (CEO) who became the (CEO) of the "new" American Airlines (AAL), when the mega-merger closed late last year, is faced with a dilemma that dogged previous (AAL) management for years: What to do with (AAL)’s huge regional subsidiary, Envoy Air?

Parker has told me on two different occasions this year that (AAL) has no plans to divest Envoy. But (AAL) management is clearly frustrated with the carrier formerly known as "American Eagle." (AAL) needs the lift Envoy provides, but the regional’s labor situation (in particular, its pilots (FC)’s contract) makes it impossible to grow Envoy or even, it would appear, manage it so that it smoothly compliments mainline (AAL).

Envoy is somewhat of an anomaly in the USA market. Most of the country’s regional airlines, and especially the larger ones, are independently owned, even as they provide lift for mainline airlines under capacity purchase agreements (CPAs). But Envoy, with a fleet of more than >250 airplanes serving over >150 destinations, and around 14,000 employees, is wholly owned by (AAL).

Prior to the US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger taking shape, the previous (AAL) management team was set on selling or spinning off Envoy (then Eagle), which it considered to be too unwieldy of a subsidiary.

Former American Eagle (CEO), Dan Garton said that when (AAL) entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2011, it was “60 - 90 days away” from divesting Eagle. “The stars and the moon were lined up [for a divestiture] and bankruptcy was the sole reason it stopped,” he said in May 2012. (AAL) had planned to move forward with divesting Eagle when it exited Chapter 11.

The plan was for a standalone Eagle to continue providing about two-thirds of (AAL)’s regional lift. But (AAL) would be relieved of the burden of directly managing Eagle, and Eagle would be free to pursue (CPA)s with other airlines where it made sense.

Following the merger, Parker decided to keep Eagle in the fold (it was renamed Envoy to avoid confusion with the “American Eagle” brand now being applied to all of (AAL)/(AMW)/(USA) regional flying, which post-merger is being handled by 10 regional airlines including Envoy). He thought he had started solving the Envoy problem early this year by negotiating an amended, 10-year labor contract with Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) representatives of Envoy’s pilots (FC).

Envoy’s fleet is dominated by 50-seat Embraer jets and its largest airplane is the 65-seat Bombardier CRJ700. The pilots (FC)’s contract doesn’t allow for larger airplanes. The deal Parker struck with (ALPA) would have allowed Envoy to operate bigger airplanes; in particular, (AAL) wanted to place new 72-seat EMB-175s with Envoy.

But by a 70% - 30% margin, Envoy’s pilots (FC) rejected ratification of the deal. That forced (AAL) to start placing EMB-175s with other regional carriers. And now (AAL), noting the lack of a stable labor deal enabling for growth and fleet modernization, has announced it will take at least 50 ERJ-145s (the heart of Envoy’s fleet) and move the airplanes to other carriers, including Trans States Airlines, which is not an (AAL) subsidiary. The ERJ-145 transfers will begin next year. Rather than growing, Envoy is rapidly shrinking.

Both (AAL) management and Envoy’s (ALPA) leadership admit that pilots (FC) are fleeing Envoy and new flight deck crew members (FC) are not eager to join the carrier. (AAL) said the ERJ-145 transfers are necessary because there simply won’t be enough Envoy pilots (FC) to fly the 50Y-seat jets.

American Senior VP Regional Carriers, Kenji Hashimoto said in a letter to Envoy employees that “pilots (FC) want to work for carriers that are actively growing and expanding their fleets. Without a cost-effective pilot (FC) agreement in place, Envoy will not secure new jets and faces challenges in recruiting new pilots (FC) without the promise of a renewed fleet.”

Following the ERJ-145 transfer announcement, Sam Pool, (ALPA)’s Envoy master executive council Chairman, wrote in a memo to Envoy pilots (FC) that “the harsh fact is that Envoy is currently losing pilots (FC), as our colleagues seek more rewarding careers elsewhere.”

Pool warned the Envoy pilots (FC) that their unwillingness to ratify a new labor contract may be self-defeating. Yes, he wrote, concessions would be required in a new labor deal, but “the reality is those other pilot (FC) groups in our segment of the industry, have demonstrated their willingness to accept concessions in exchange for new and larger air[lanes, and have subsequently agreed to reduce the pilot costs. If we wish to compete in this market, we simply have no choice but to recognize that reality and decide a course of action.”

The problem for (AAL) is that, while it might like to shed Envoy, it’s hard to see how that could happen at this point. The shrinking regional is diminishing in value as an asset. I can’t imagine a company wanting to buy it directly, and it’s hard to see much capital being raised via a spinoff. So Parker and his team are stuck with Envoy for the time being. Look for him to continue pressing (ALPA) for a concessionary labor deal that would lower Envoy’s costs, enable the addition of larger airplanes to the carrier’s fleet and allow (AAL) to at least get its regional affiliate in good enough shape to interest possible buyers/investors.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has reached a second tentative agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) that will allow pilots (FC) at Envoy Air to fly Embraer EMB-175 airplanes.

Envoy (CEO), Pedro Fabregas told employees in a letter that the agreement would be sent out to pilots (FC) “immediately” for a vote. Fabregas noted the tentative agreement will be supported by the union’s Master Executive Council (MEC). Presumably, (AAL) is optimistic this vote will fare better than the last one, in March 2014, when 70% of voting pilots rejected ratification of a tentative agreement that had been reached in February. Discussions between the company and the pilots union have been continuing, on and off, for several months.

Under the proposal, Envoy Air will be guaranteed 40 EMB-175s, with the first slated to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2015. Additionally, according to Fabregas, Envoy Air could eventually take “up to 90 additional EMB-175 jets,” if American (AAL) exercises all of its options with Embraer (EMB). Under the first tentative agreement, Envoy was to receive 60 EMB-175s, but 20 of those jets have already were allocated to Compass Airlines.

It was not immediately clear exactly how much more generous this tentative agreement is than the one pilots (FC) rejected, or what the new pay rates would be. But according to Fabregas, the new proposal improves the ability for pilots (FC) to flow through to jobs at American (AAL). “The time it takes for our pilots (FC) to qualify and receive priority over external candidates for pilot (FC) positions at American (AAL) will be greatly reduced, allowing our pilots (FC) to advance and grow their careers at both Envoy and American (AAL),” he told employees.

In a letter to members, the union (MEC) Chairman said the decision will ultimately be left up to the pilots (FC), but suggested that this likely is the best possible option. (AAL) has considerable leverage with Envoy, and other than taking jobs with other carriers, pilots (FC) have few other options if they want to work at a growing airline.

In March, Envoy pilots (FC) were upset with the pay rates (AAL) offered, but a lot has changed since then. (AAL) has considerably shrunk the Envoy operation, and without EMB-175s, the carrier would almost certainly continue to get smaller. In November, (AAL) said it would take at least 50 Embraer ERJ-145s from Envoy beginning in the first quarter of next year. And in September, (AAL) said it would transfer all 47 of Envoy’s Bombardier CRJ700s to PSA Airlines, also beginning next year. At the time, (AAL) said it wanted Envoy to operate only one fleet type.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) was supposed to take dellivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner in November, only to have the date pushed back to this month and then into the first quarter of 2015. Reasons for the delay include problems with installing lie-flat seats in the premium cabin. (AAL) is working with Boeing (TBC) and the (FAA) to get some issues "squared away."

News Item A-5: (AAL) is evaluating two types of business (C)-class seats for its long-range Boeing 757s, one similar to what (AAL) has installed on its Airbus A321 transcontinental airplanes and the other akin to what JetBlue Airways (JBL) has put on its "Min"t subfleet.

January 2015: News Item A-1: The American Airlines Group earned net income of +$2.88 billion in 2014, the first full year following the December 2013 American (AAL)/US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger. The net profit reversed a combined net loss of -$1.23 billion posted by the former American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) in 2013.

(AAL)’s 2014 revenue was up +5.5% compared to (AAL)/US Airways (AMW)/(USA) combined 2013 revenue to $42.65 billion, while expenses rose +1.5% to $38.4 billion, producing an operating profit of +$4.25 billion, up +64.8% from combined operating income of +$2.58 billion in 2013.

American (AAL)’s 2014 mainline traffic increased +0.8% (compared to combined American (AAL)/US Airways (AMW)/(USA) traffic in 2013) to 195.65 billion (RPM)s on a +2.4% rise in capacity to 237.52 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 82.4% LF, down -1.3 points. Yield improved +4.4% to 15.74 cents.

Unlike rival USA airlines, American (AAL) does not engage in fuel hedging, allowing it to fully realize the benefits of the steep drop in oil prices in recent months. As a result, it anticipates significant fuel cost savings in 2015. (CFO), Derek Kerr noted that “all fuel savings go to the bottom line” since (AAL) is not hedging.

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said “We didn’t think it made sense to hedge. Large drops in fuel prices are quite costly to companies” that engage in fuel hedging.

Kerr said (AAL) hasn’t reconsidered fuel hedging even with oil prices at a low level. “It just doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Somehow you’ve got to convince yourself that you know better than the oil market experts. All the rationale for not hedging in the past still exists today. Oil prices are less, so the downside is less, if you’re wrong.”

(AAL) plans to grow 2015 capacity +3% year-over-year domestically and +1.5% internationally, and Kerr said the plan won’t change even with oil prices low. “You won’t see any changes from us in the near future” on the capacity plan, Kerr said, noting that (AAL) is still planning for high fuel prices out of prudence and also is already fully using all of its training resources to meet its current capacity plan.

(AAL) management expressed strong satisfaction with how the merger integration process has gone so far. The major integration issue in 2015 is the merging of the two carriers’ reservation systems, which the company expects to be completed in the fourth quarter.

Parker said (AAL) is using profits primarily to “catch up” on passenger product investments that waned when (AAL) was enduring financial difficulties. “We believe we will be leapfrogging our competitors [in terms of product offering] shortly,” he said.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) has ramped up the battle for Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Seattle - Tokyo Haneda route authority, submitting a formal application to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting that the route be reallocated to (AAL) for daily Boeing 777-200 flights from Los Angeles (LAX).

The (DOT) is conducting a proceeding to determine whether (DAL)’s Seattle - Haneda authority should be reallocated. Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) has also signaled an interest in (DAL)’s Seattle - Haneda slot. The Japanese government makes four Haneda slots available to USA carriers. Currently, (DAL) operates to Haneda from (LAX) and Seattle, United (UAL) operates to Haneda from San Francisco, and Hawaiian (HWL) conducts flights to Haneda from Honolulu.

(AAL) argues that (DAL) is underutilizing “a scarce resource” by operating Seattle - Haneda flights too infrequently. The (DOT) requires coveted slots to be operated at least once during a 90-day period and (DAL) has said it is in compliance with that rule. (DAL) said it has made a “temporary seasonal adjustment” owing to lower demand in the winter and plans to increase Seattle - Haneda operations to daily service in March.

But (AAL) has claimed (DAL) is not following the “letter and spirit” of (DOT)’s dormancy rule on the Seattle - Haneda route. (AAL) President, Scott Kirby said that “it is imperative that (AAL) be allowed to compete” at Haneda, noting (AAL) is “the only USA global network carrier without the authority to operate its own airplanes at Haneda.” He added, “(AAL)’s proposed Los Angeles - Haneda service will increase competition in the Haneda market and make the most of underutilized operating rights by giving millions of consumers and shippers a new, viable travel option to Haneda that they don’t have today.”

(AAL) said that “Los Angeles is the largest continental USA gateway to Tokyo and demand in the Los Angeles - Tokyo market is almost five times larger than Seattle - Tokyo.”

Later, The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) said it will start a route case proceeding for slots at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, handing a victory to American Airlines (AAL) and Hawaiian Airlines (HWI).

The two carriers last year petitioned the (DOT) to reallocate a slot pair held by Delta Air Lines (DAL) for Seattle flights. (AAL) and (HWI) said (DAL) is “squandering” the slot, operating it a bare minimum to avoid triggering (DOT)’s 90-day dormancy rule, while (DAL) said it has reduced frequencies due to seasonality. The (DOT) last month invited comments on whether it should start a route case proceeding.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has been granted authority by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to launch Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) - Beijing (PEK) Boeing 777-200ER flights.

The daily service will start May 7 and be the only direct flight between (DFW) and (PEK). (AAL) filed an application with the (DOT) seeking permission for the route last September. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has also cleared the route.

(AAL) currently flies to Beijing from Chicago O’Hare and those flights will continue. (PEK) will become the fifth Asian destination to which (AAL) operates from its base hub at (DFW). In the last two years, (AAL) has started service from (DFW) to Hong Kong, Seoul, and Shanghai. (AAL) also flies from (DFW) to Tokyo Narita.

The (DFW) - (PEK) flights will be operated as part of the transpacific joint venture (JV) between (AAL) and fellow Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, Japan Airlines (JAL). Tickets for the new flights will go on sale January 24.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) pilots (FC) have ratified a new, five-year collective bargaining agreement that brings all of the flight deck crew (FC) of the former American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) under one labor contract.

The contract covering 15,000 pilots (FC) was approved by a 65.7% to 34.3% margin, according to the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing (AAL)’s pilots (FC). (APA) said 94.6% of eligible pilots (FC) participated in the vote.

According to (AAL), the contract gives pilots (FC) an “immediate” +23% pay raise and annual +3% raises over the next five years.

(APA) President, Keith Wilson said the higher pay rates led (AAL) pilots (FC) to make “a business decision” to approve a contract with which they are not entirely happy. “(APA) will now focus on further engagement with (AAL) management to address ongoing shortcomings in our contract,” Wilson said. “Our total compensation will still trail industry-leader Delta Air Lines (DAL), while work rules affecting our pilots (FC)’s quality of life need meaningful improvement. There’s a lot of work remaining to achieve the industry-leading contract our pilots (FC) deserve.”

The contract ratification was a big win for American management as it navigates the US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger integration process. It also cleans up a lingering issue from the 2005 US Airways (USA)/America West Airlines (AMW) merger: (USA) pilots (FC) and (AMW) pilots (FC) had still been working under separate labor contracts. Now there is just one contract for all mainline American Airlines Group pilots (FC).

News Item A-5: "USA carriers should tread carefully in their anti-Gulf carrier campaign" January 21, 2015 by Karen Walker in Air Transport World (ATW) Editor's Blog:

Following a bit of saber-rattling last year, leaders of the “big three” USA consolidated carriers, American (AAL), Delta (DAL), and United (UAL), are believed to ramping up their campaign in Washington DC against the major Gulf carriers, which are looking to expand their North American footprints.

The USA carriers should tread carefully. There are risks to a strategy that could lead to regulatory intervention on what is essentially a "marketplace" issue.

First, airlines do themselves no favors if they play the game of (rightly) rejecting regulation where it is not necessary, but (wrongly) seeking it when it suits them. Lawmakers should stay out of airline business practices such as ancillary fees, use of phones (when operationally safe), and other product-related decisions, where rules are not applied to other travel businesses and have nothing to do with safety, security and anti-competitive behavior. Requesting help to keep out competition, sends mixed signals to Washington and opens a back door to the era of heavy-handed economic regulation. Remember when the (CAB) defined what could count as a “sandwich?"

These same (USA) carriers are turning to the Asia market and transpacific routes to get a bigger slice of that fast-growing market; one made possible through "Open skies." If USA carriers seek regulatory help to fend off Gulf competition in North America, then they have no recourse should Asian flagships do the same to them.

That isn’t to say a competitive threat doesn’t exist. In a report headed by Professor Martin Dresner, a member of the University of Maryland faculty and one of the country's leading aviation economists, empirical results suggest that greater competition by Gulf carriers in USA international markets is associated with significant growth in USA - Middle East traffic volumes and small but statistically significant traffic losses and fare reductions for USA carriers in route markets connecting the USA with Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

But the answer isn’t to whine about competition to Congress; rather, USA carriers must work to ensure their customer products remain the popular choice. As Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark said in Chicago last year, “Don’t worry about us. Get on with the job. Focus on what you’re doing.”

Second, the “government subsidy” accusations that the USA carriers use as the foundation for their anti-Gulf carrier campaign, fall into the “people in glass houses” category. Each of the carriers that are leading this campaign have benefited from Chapter 11, allowing them to clean their balance sheets and void obligations to creditors and employees. They also enjoy legacy rights on some of the world’s most lucrative hub airports and routes, particularly in the transatlantic market. Individual USA states provide millions of dollars of incentives that help support, attract and keep their local carriers.

Whatever ‘subsidy’ accusations are leveled at the Gulf carriers, each effectively started from scratch, and built their global networks and customer bases on their service reputations, not on inherited rights. In other words, the customer chose the product. That’s the market at work, and that’s where USA carriers should invest their time and resources, not in lunches on Capitol Hill.

News Item A-6: "Maintaining Capacity Discipline"
January 28, 2015 by Aaron Karp, (ATW) in his AirKarp blog.

Huge profits. Low fuel prices. Strong demand. In the past, those factors would likely have led major USA airlines to ramp up capacity, but no longer. The USA’s three global full-service airlines (Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL)) have all vowed to maintain strict capacity discipline.

(UAL) and (AAL) both plan to stay below <3% capacity growth in 2015. (DAL) has not provided full-year capacity guidance (though President, Ed Bastian has said domestic capacity will probably grow “somewhere in the +2% to +3% range”), but has said its March quarter capacity will rise just +3% schedule-over-schedule (factoring in all of last year’s winter storm-related cancellations, (DAL)’s first-quarter capacity could rise as much as +5%). That follows low growth in 2014, a year in which all three airlines stayed below <3% year-over-year capacity expansion ((UAL) +0.5%, (AAL) +2.4% and (DAL) +3%).

“We are not making any changes to our 2015 capacity plan in light of the lower fuel prices,” (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson told analysts and reporters when discussing (DAL)’s 2014 earnings. “In fact, we continue to trim capacity on the margin to maintain yields and our (RASM) premium.”

Similarly, (UAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Jeff Smisek told analysts and reporters last week, “We’re going to run (UAL) for profit maximization and we’re very focused on capacity discipline. We will absolutely not lose our capacity discipline.” (UAL) plans to grow capacity no more than >2.5% this year.

(AAL) plans to increase 2015 capacity +3% year-over-year domestically and +1.5% internationally. (CFO), Derek Kerr said, “You won’t see any changes from us in the near future” on the capacity plan.

USA airlines have been burned badly in the past by moving too aggressively to increase capacity. “We’ve seen this movie many times in the industry,” Anderson said. “You’ve got to run the company conservatively and we’re trimming capacity as we speak.”

News Item A-7: American Airlines (AAL) has promoted Vasu Raja to VP International Revenue Management. He was previously Managing Director International Revenue Management. His responsibilities will include overseeing the Atlantic joint business alliance with British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Finnair (FIN), as well as the airline’s Pacific joint venture (JV) with Japan Airlines (JAL).

News Item A-8: "Gambling on jet fuel & how hedging relates to airfares" January 27, 2015 by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog:

American Airlines (AAL)’s (CEO) Doug Parker and (CFO) Derek Kerr were feeling bullish today, with justification, as they reported net income of $2.9 billion for 2014, the first full year following the merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

An interesting part of this story was Doug Parker and Derek Kerr’s decision not to fuel hedge, a gamble that paid off, as oil prices dropped from all-time highs in the latter part of 2014. Most other major airlines took the more obvious and conservative route and hedged.

That, of course, worked the opposite way for them with some taking hits in the fourth quarter, most markedly Delta Air Lines (DAL), which took a $1.2 billion fourth-quarter charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods. As a result, (DAL), unable to realize the benefits of a -14% year-over-year drop in the December quarter’s average price per fuel gallon, incurred a -$712 million net loss in the fourth quarter.

The gamble could have gone the other way, of course, but Parker and Kerr seemed confident in their choice. “We didn’t think it made sense to hedge. Large drops in fuel prices are quite costly to companies” that engage in fuel hedging. To which Kerr added, “Somehow you’ve got to convince yourself that you know better than the oil market experts. All the rationale for not hedging in the past still exists today.”

(AAL)’s decision was gutsy, but it’s also something of a hallmark of Parker and Kerr who have been long-time partners through America West (AMW), US Airways (USA) and who created the “New American.”

(IATA) has forecast that the drop in oil prices (to about $85 per barrel this year, or some 20% lower than last year) will help push down average round-trip airfares by -5%.

If you understand this industry, however, and realize that hedging is a common, usually wise practice, then you’ll know there will be a lag in those fares coming down, principally because of hedging. Some USA self-styled air travel consumer advocates are calling on USA airlines to “slash airfares and do it now,” citing the drop in oil costs. But for most airlines, their hedging policies mean they don’t see an immediate benefit of jet fuel costs; rather, some are taking a hit. That will change as they adjust their hedges, while oil price cuts in general tend to stimulate economies and boost air travel.

News Item A-9: Qatar Airlines (QTA) & the (IAG): "Shifting sands in the global reach of the Gulf carriers" January 30, 2015 by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog:

The announcement that Qatar Airways (QTA) has acquired a 9.99% stake in (BAB)/(IBE) parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG) is an interesting development in the ongoing change in the international airline landscape prompted by the growth of the Gulf carriers.

(QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al Baker describes the taking of a stake in the (IAG), worth about $1.7 billion, as an “excellent opportunity to further develop our Westward strategy.” (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said he was “delighted” about the investment, and opportunities to work more closely with (QTA).

There’s an interesting history to the (IAG) and (QTA) connection. Al Baker and Walsh are long-time, firm friends who each hold the other in high respect. In October 2013, (QTA) joined the Oneworld (ONW) global alliance, becoming the first of the major Gulf carriers to join a global alliance. British Airways (BAB), a founding (ONW) member, was (QTA)’s sponsor and Walsh spoke very enthusiastically about the importance of having (QTA) join. My understanding is that his enthusiasm was not matched by every (ONW) member (CEO).

Dubai-based Emirates (EAD), meanwhile, remains alliance-independent, but in 2013 it entered a five-year alliance with Qantas (QAN), another Oneworld (ONW) Alliance founding member. And Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) owns a 29% stake in airberlin (BER), another (ONW) airline. (EHD) has its own version of an alliance, taking stakes in relatively small carriers and creating a constellation of airline equity partners that includes airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), India’s Jet Airways (JPL), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Air Seychelles (ASY) and Aer Lingus (ARL). Interestingly, the (IAG) wants to buy Aer Lingus (ARL), a move, which if it happens, would further tangle the (IAG)-Oneworld (ONW)-Gulf carrier web.

(EHD), of course, is also now a 49% owner of Alitalia (ALI) (to keep you on track with the alliance matings here, (ALI) is a SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member). But (QTA)’s stake in the (IAG) is the first time that one of the “Big Three” Gulf carriers has invested in one of the “Big Three” European airline groups of the (IAG), the Lufthansa Group and Air France (AFA) - (KLM).

It will be fascinating to see if the (QTA) - (IAG) deal marks the beginning of more such equity partnerships (within the caps of the (EU) airline ownership rules) between Gulf carriers and their European counterparts. The fact is that it’s becoming increasingly challenging for the “traditional” global hubs of Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Heathrow, and Paris to compete with the “modern” world hubs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar.

In the USA, meanwhile, there is growing awareness that what happened in Europe regards Gulf competition could happen in America. A campaign is being run by North America’s “Big Three” (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) to try and get lawmakers to review "Open Skies" policies and the international air transport competitive landscape to take account of the rise of the Gulf carriers.

Flying under the radar so far in the shifting sands of air transport power houses is Turkish Airlines (THY), which is a Star (SAL) Alliance carrier and which has developed an extensive network, very large and modern fleet and highly successful global hub in Istanbul. It will be interesting to see whether that continues to be the case if, as Al Baker described it, a “Westward strategy” by Gulf carriers begins, in some eyes at least, to look more like a "Westward" invasion.

News Item A-10: American Airlines (AAL) has received the first of 42 Boeing 787s it has on firm order, becoming the second USA airline to take delivery of a 787 Dreamliner. (AAL) also received the delivery of 2 new 737-800s.

February 2015: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) will end flights between New York LaGuardia and Louisville in March, as it shifts slots to routes serving larger markets.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based Oneworld (ONW) alliance carrier will end its three-daily flights between LaGuardia and Louisville on March 29th, local reports said. Embraer ERJ-140 airplanes with 44 seats operate the flights.

The slots used by the flights will likely shift to (AAL)’s new three-times daily New York - Cleveland service that begins the same day that Louisville ends.

(AAL) continues to juggle its destinations from LaGuardia. It discontinued Cleveland service in April 2014 (the same time that it began Louisville flights) before the deciding to re-enter the market this year and it resumed Atlanta flights after a nine-month hiatus earlier this month.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will continue to fly between LaGuardia and Louisville and United Airlines (UAL) flies between Newark and Louisville, "Innovata" schedules show.

News Item A-2: Alaska Airlines (ASA) is seeking to transfer its authority to fly between Los Angeles and Mexico City to American Airlines (AAL), a move that would permit (AAL) to start double-daily flights on June 4.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) will begin domestic service in May and international service in June using its newly delivered Boeing 787.

(AAL) received the first of 42 787s it has on firm order at the end of January. The 787 order is made up of a mix of 787-8s and 787-9s, and includes 15 purchase rights.

(AAL) carrier said the 787 initially will be deployed between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) beginning May 7, before launching internationally between (DFW) and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) beginning June 2. The new 787s will also operate between (DFW) and Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires beginning June 4. Customers can start booking 787 flights beginning February 14. (AAL) will deploy the 787 to additional markets in 2015 as it takes delivery of new airplanes.

According to (AAL), the 787 will be arranged in a two-class cabin configuration. The 787-8 features 28 fully lie-flat business (C) class seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. The custom-designed forward-and rear-facing seats provide direct-aisle access for every business (C) class customer for more mobility throughout the cabin. The 787 is equipped with satellite Wi-Fi capability to keep customers connected while traveling internationally. The premium cabin also features in-flight entertainment selections on a 15.4-inch (HD) Panasonic touchscreen monitor positioned in each seat. Each seat is equipped with universal AC power outlets and a (USB) jack.

The main cabin will be outfitted with 48 main cabin extra seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, offering customers up to six inches of additional legroom, and 150 main cabin seats also arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration. Every seat offers a 9-inch (HD) Panasonic touchscreen monitor with an assortment of movies, TV programs, games and audio selections. Each main cabin seat is also equipped with universal AC power outlets and a (USB) jack.

In 2015, American (AAL) plans to take delivery of an average of two new airplanes per week. It is also retrofitting its entire fleet of Boeing 777-200s and selected 767-300s, 757-200s and Airbus A319s to refresh the cabins and enhance the experience on domestic and international flights.

News Item A-4: Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (BMB) announced that American Airlines, Inc (“American”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Airlines Group Inc, has signed a firm order for 24 CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. This order was announced on December 30, 2014 and followed American (AAL) exercising 24 of 40 previously booked CRJ900 NextGen airplane options. The options were originally acquired as part of American’s large regional jet order announced in December 2013.

As previously announced by Bombardier (BMB), based on the list price for the CRJ900 NextGen airplane, the firm order is valued at approximately $1.14 billion USA. “We are pleased to add these new Bombardier (BMB) CRJ900 NextGen airplanes to our growing fleet and see the award as a reflection of (AAL)’s continued confidence in (PSA) to provide friendly, reliable and cost-effective regional services for American’s customers,” said Dion Flannery, President, (PSA) Airlines. “We are proudly building, from a foundation of strength, one of the largest regional service providers for the world’s largest airline.”

Including this latest order, Bombardier (BMB) has recorded firm orders for 1,858 CRJ Series airplanes, including 384 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen airplanes. Worldwide, CRJ Series airplanes are in service with more than >60 airlines and over >60 customers operate corporate variants of the airplanes in more than >50 countries on six continents. CRJ Series airplanes have transported more than >1.5 billion passengers and have logged more than >41 million flight hours and over >34 million takeoffs and landings.

News Item A-5: Embraer (EMB) delivered to American Airlines (AAL) the first of 60 firm order EMB-175 jets under the contract signed between the two companies in December 2013. The contract also included options for another 90 EMB-175s, taking the total order potential to 150 airplanes.

(AAL) selected Compass Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, to operate the first 20 EMB-175 airplanes under the American Eagle brand. The EMB-175s will be configured with 12F First Class, 20PY Main Cabin Extra, and 44Y Main Cabin seats, for a total of 76 seats.

News Item A-6: American Airlines (AAL) has selected Phoenix-based regional, Mesa Airlines (which operates as American Eagle and US Airways Express) to operate seven new Bombardier (BMB) CRJ900 NextGen airplanes for a 10-year term under the American Eagle brand. The airplanes, recently purchased by Mesa, will bring the total number of CRJ900s operated by the company to 64.

Mesa Chairman & (CEO), Jonathan Ornstein said, “We look forward to continuing to provide reliable and cost-effective regional jet service for (AAL)’s customers with the advanced technology and fuel efficiency provided by this airplane.”

Mesa will take delivery of the additional airplanes from the Bombardier (BMB) factory beginning in July, with all airplanes received by September 2015.

Since March 2013, Mesa said it has “doubled the size of the company, creating +900 new positions, and providing job security and enhanced opportunities for all its employees.” During this time, Mesa added 19 CRJ900 airplanes to the fleet it operates for (AAL) and 19 new Embraer EMB-175 airplanes for United Airlines (UAL). The addition of these 7 airplanes and 11 new EMB-175s scheduled for delivery will bring Mesa’s fleet total to 115 airplanes in 2015.

The 76-seat CRJ900 NextGen features a two-class configuration with 12 first class, 36 main cabin extra and 28 main cabin seats.

Mesa’s crew bases are located in Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, Charlotte (through May 2015), Houston and Washington Dulles, with maintenance bases in Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Louisville, Oklahoma City, and Washington Dulles.

March 2015: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL) joined with a number of unions March 4th to accuse the three major Gulf carriers of receiving government subsidies totaling more than >$40 billion.

Representatives of the USA airlines, the Air Line Pilots Association International, the Allied Pilots Association, and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants held a joint press conference in Washington DC as part of the USA carriers’ campaign against Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA).

The USA carriers claim the subsidies that the Gulf carriers receive from their government owners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar contravene fair competitive practices requirements of the "Open Skies" agreements that the USA has signed with Qatar and the (UAE).

The (CEO)s of (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) held behind-closed-doors meetings with White House and government officials earlier this year and showed them financial documents they say support their claims of large government subsidies.

Today, they made public those documents. They did not explain why the documents were not revealed earlier.

Among their allegations, the carriers say that Qatar Airways (QTA) benefits from billions of dollars in interest-free, unsecured loans from its state owner that it does not have to pay back. Etihad (EHD), they say, has received $6.3 billion in direct equity infusions plus $4.6 billion in interest-free loans. Emirates (EAD) removed $2.4 billion in 2014 oil hedging losses from its books, the USA carriers say, and has benefited from $2.3 billion in subsidies for Dubai airport expansions.

The USA carriers said the financial details came from statements that the carriers have to file with other countries where they operate, including New Zealand and Singapore.

The USA carriers also accuse their Gulf rivals of “skyrocketing capacity” at more than three times the growth rate of global (GDP) (+11% versus +3%) and of starting to penetrate the transatlantic market via fifth freedom routes such as New York - Milan - Dubai.

They have requested USA government officials not to allow any of the Gulf carriers to add new flights to the USA, while they discuss the situation and their allegations are considered. To date, they say, their case has been taken “very seriously” and being looked at “diligently” by the government officials with whom they have met.

In February, a group of Washington lobbyists and a FedEx Express (FED) executive said the campaign by the USA carriers was an effort to roll back "Open Skies" and keep out international competition.

The heads of Emirates Airline (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have strongly defended their airlines against allegations of large government subsidies leveled at them by the three big USA carriers (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Airlines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL)).

News Item A-2: "In "Open Skies" War Game, Gulf Carriers 3: USA Carriers 0," by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, March 5, 2015.

Today, after two years of “investigation” and a largely behind-closed-doors campaign (apart from the Delta (DAL) (CEO)’s unfortunate (CNN) TV interview), the three major USA carriers finally made public the document that allegedly proves their Gulf carrier rivals are operating only because of more than >$40 billion subsidies from their state owners.

Representatives of American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) held a press conference jointly with representatives of major airline unions to defend their campaign, provide an outline of the document, and insist that they are taking action not because they don’t believe in "Open Skies" (they love the other 112 USA agreements, they just don’t like those with the (UAE) and Qatar) or are against competition (“bring it on,” but it must be fair).

You can read the news summary of the press conference here, and responses from Emirates (EAD) President, Sir Tim Clark and Qatar (QTA) Group (CEO), Akbar Al Baker here.

But what was my quick take from this press conference? In my view, not a lot. It only raised more questions about the USA carrier (CEO)s’ true motivations behind this strange campaign.

First, any time that the three biggest international USA carriers join forces (backed solidly by their union groups) you have to wonder at the real story. Job protectionism is fine, but (like competition itself) must be done on a sound basis. I don’t see a case made.

Second, if the so-called “breakthrough” (their words) by the USA carrier investigation into Gulf carrier financials was the simple discovery that they could access the numbers via countries like New Zealand and Singapore, why did it take two years to compile a report? And, if the evidence is so damaging, why was this not made public much earlier, rather than shuffling secret documents around White House and government rooms? Unfair competition is a serious allegation: if you have the proof, show it and take it to Justice. The USA carrier reps were posed that question today by a reporter. Their reply: “We just didn’t.”

The third question relates to Chapter 11, a uniquely USA system that allows airlines in dire financial straits (for whatever reason) to hold off their creditors, wipe out debts and restructure. Outside the USA, Chapter 11 is seen as a subsidy. The USA carriers insisted today it was not a subsidy in the view of the USA. That’s irrelevant in a global market. It’s what counts as a subsidy in global eyes that matters.

The USA carriers also said today that Chapter 11 means you have to shrink your airline. So how come (AAL), fresh out of bankruptcy protection, is now the world’s largest carrier and investing heavily in new airplanes and products?

I’ll leave the last word for now to a response to the press conference from USA - (UAE) Business Council President, Danny Sebright. “Before claiming government support for international competitors, the Big 3 [USA carriers] may first want to check their own balance sheets. Since 2006, the Big 3 transferred billions of dollars of pension liabilities directly to Uncle Sam, while leaving creditors holding the bag for billions more, through multiple bankruptcies. They received billions in cash payments and guaranteed loans in a direct government bailout, while enjoying the advantages of antitrust immunity to fix transatlantic fares with their European partners,” Sebright said.

The USA airlines should “stop complaining and start competing,” he added.

Unless and until American (AAL), Delta (DAL), and United (UAL) have a more compelling case that is not so clearly about closing the competitive door after they got what they wanted via Chapter 11, I suggest that’s good advice. By my count, they are already several points behind in this game, and they now risk scoring home goals.

News Item A-3: "European Union (EU) Seeks Mandate for Talks with Gulf States Over Subsidies" by (ATW)'s Aaron Karp, March 18, 2015.

Citing “distortions in the market,” European Union (EU) Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc said she will seek a new mandate from (EU) countries to open talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia over “unfair subsidies to airlines.”

Bulc said the request for talks with Gulf states was initiated by France and Germany. She pointed to the study recently issued by major USA airlines, alleging more than >$40 billion in state aid to Gulf airlines over the last decade. “Gulf carriers compete with Europe’s airlines on international flights,” Bulc said. “The subsidies they receive, create distortions in the market, denting the competitiveness of (EU) and USA carriers, critics say. According to the [USA airlines’] study, Gulf airlines received interest-free loans, free land and low airport charges, among others.”

French Secretary of State for Transport, Alain Vidalies and German Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt said in a joint statement, “European airlines are losing market share against the Gulf companies because of their unfair competitive practices, and in particular because of the significant public subsidies and guarantees they enjoy.” The two ministers said they want the European Commission to develop a “common strategy on controlling foreign airlines’ operations with traffic rights in the (EU).” They said the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Austria support their position.

Bulc said the mandate she is seeking to “curb market-distorting state aid to airlines” could also extend to China, Brazil, and Turkey.

Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark, speaking to reporters in Washington DC, said his company will issue a “line by line response” to the USA carriers’ report. “We will do it in a very methodical, clinical manner,” he said.

Responding to Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO), Carsten Spohr announcing his support for the USA airlines’ campaign against Gulf carriers, Clark said, “Once we have disproved the allegations against us, then let’s have a talk about who is saying what. We have been dealing with the question of subsidies for many, many years in the European area and other parts of the world, and we have successfully dealt with that.”

News Item A-4: "FedEx: Don’t ‘Capitulate’ to USA Passenger Airlines on "Open Skies" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, March 19th, 2015.

FedEx Corporation (FED) is pushing back hard against major USA passenger airlines that, in the cargo giant’s view, are trying to get the USA government to alter "Open Skies" agreements with Middle East states that are integral to FedEx (FED)’s business.

American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar of providing more than >$40 billion in state “subsidies” to Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) over the past decade, and appear to want the USA government to limit those airlines’ access to the USA by revisiting "Open Skies" agreements with the (UAE) and Qatar signed in 1999 and 2001, respectively. (EU) transport minister Violeta Bulc cited the USA airlines’ allegations when announcing she is seeking a new mandate from (EU) countries to open talks with the (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia over “unfair subsidies to airlines.”

FedEx (FED), however, said "Open Skies" deals with Middle East states are crucial to its air cargo business and is urging the USA government not to “capitulate to the interests of a few carriers who stand ready to put their narrow, protectionist interests” ahead of the USA’s broader economic interests. (FED) is especially concerned about potential restrictions to its air cargo hub in Dubai.

Speaking to analysts, (FED) President & (CEO), David Bronczek said, “Our view is very simple. We believe in "Open Skies" and free trade, and we’ve been doing this for decades now. We base our whole business model on "Open Skies." We have a lot of business in the Middle East, a lot of business in Asia, and around the world. And of course for us, competing in an "Open Skies" environment is critical for us.”

In a letter recently sent to USA Secretary of State, John Kerry, Bronczek said, “Retrenchment in any way from "Open Skies" by the USA would jeopardize the economic growth benefits that air cargo provides. Retrenchment would result in higher fares and fewer options for flying passengers. Retrenchment benefits only a very few.”

Specifically, Bronczek said the "Open Skies" agreements the USA has with Middle East nations “are very valuable” to FedEx (FED), noting the Memphis-based express delivery operator’s Dubai hub was enabled by the USA - (UAE) "Open Skies" accord signed in 1999. “FedEx (FED) flights from the USA crisscross with our flights from India and Asia [at the Dubai hub] in order to move USA products into local markets,” he wrote. “This hub also acts as our gateway to Africa.”

Bronczek said (AAL), (UAL) and (DAL) “believe they have little to risk by limiting foreign carrier access to USA markets. What they want is for the USA government to protect them from competition from able, attractive new entrants.” He noted that “FedEx (FED) alone operates almost two-thirds more flights to the Middle East than all the USA passenger carriers combined. Modifications to [the USA - (UAE) "Open Skies"] agreement might spell the end of these opportunities.”

FedEx (FED) Founder, Chairman & (CEO), Frederick Smith told analysts this week that (FED) remains “very much in support of continuation of "Open Skies” and said the USA passenger carriers’ effort is part of a “very concerning trend” globally of “protectionism over the last several years.”

News Item A-5: American Airlines (AAL) added five new domestic routes, of which four were launched from Miami (MIA) on March 5th. With the longest sector being the 3,360 km route to Salt Lake City (SLC), and the shortest being inaugurated to Austin-Bergstrom (AUS), (AAL) will face direct competition only on the route from Los Angeles (LAX) to Atlanta (ATL) from Delta Air Lines (DAL) (76 weekly flights) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (20). As a matter of fact, (AAL)’s expansion at Miami is due in part to the start of the “Spring Break” period, when university and college students are heading south for the sun.
Los Angeles (LAX) - Atlanta (ATL), A319, 21x vs (DAL) 76x; (SWA) 20x;
(MIA) - Austin-Bergstrom (AUS) 737-800 7x; - Kansas City, A319 7x; - Salt Lake City (SLC) 737-800 7x; - San Antonio (SAT), 737-800 7x.

(AAL) begins Boeing 787-8 services on Dallas/Fort Worth - Beijing on June 2 and - Buenos Aires on June 4.

News Item A-6: Here's a switch: Now airline pilots (FC) are complaining that they are feeling constrained and uncomfortable in a plane. But it's not the cramped seats that have pilots upset.

Pilots (FC) of American Airlines (AAL) said the new uniforms they were asked to test are uncomfortable and fit badly. The new uniforms, which replace the outfit pilots (FC) have been wearing for 20 years, come in three cuts, "athletic," "classic" and "average."

In addition to the bad fit, some pilots (FC) said the pants pockets aren't deep enough, said Gregg Overman, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, the union for American's 15,000 pilots (FC).

But the biggest problem is that the lining of the jacket is a blend of 96% polyester and 4% elastane, a combination that does not breathe, Overman said. "Like most working people, pilots (FC) spend a lot of time in their work clothes," he said.

An (AAL) spokesman said "there will be significant changes to the prototypes based on all of the good information we've received from employees."

News Item A-7: See video - "777-300ER Business Class LAX - LHR"

April 2015: News Item A-1: The American Airlines (AAL) Group posted a first-quarter net profit of +$932 million, nearly doubling net income of +$480 million in the 2014 March quarter, as fuel costs decreased -43% year-over-year.

(AAL)'s first-quarter revenue actually decreased -1.7% year-over-year to $9.83 billion, but expenses lowered -7.1% to $8.61 billion, producing an operating profit of +$1.22 billion, up +66% over an operating profit of +$730 million in the prior-year period. (AAL) blamed the revenue dip on “competitive capacity growth, a stronger USA dollar and economic softness in Latin America.”

(AAL)’s first-quarter fuel expenses totaled $1.54 billion, representing a fuel cost savings of -$1.17 billion compared to the 2014 March quarter. (AAL), which doesn’t engage in fuel hedging, realized the full benefit of a -41.1% year-over-year drop in the average per gallon airplane fuel price to $1.83.

(AAL)’s mainline first-quarter traffic decreased -2.1% to 44.85 billion (RPM)s on a -1.7% cut in capacity to 55.85 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 80.3% LF, down -0.3 points. Yield fell -1.6% to 15.58 cents.

(AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA), which merged in December 2013, received a single air operating certificate (AOC) from the (FAA) earlier this month.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) are now operating under a single air operating certificate (AOC) issued by the (FAA). The milestone was achieved 16 months after (AAL) emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and merged with (AMW)/(USA).

(AAL) said that “most Flight Operations, Maintenance and Dispatch procedures will be identical for all flights. Air traffic control (ATC) communications will refer to all (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) flights with the call sign ‘American’.”

(AAL) originally hadn’t expected to achieve a single (AOC) until late 2015. (AAL) (COO), Robert Isom said the remaining significant merger components are “moving to a single reservations system and website and combining our frontline employee workgroups.” Earlier this year, (AAL)’s pilots (FC) ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement that brought all of the flight deck crew (FC) of (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) under one labor contract.

(AAL) noted that “more than >110,000 employees completed hundreds of thousands of hours of training in multiple phases and more than >115,000 pages on policies and procedures were published” in order to achieve a single (AOC).

(AAL) said that “the (FAA)’s recognition of American (AAL) as a single operator does not mean change for customers, who will continue to check in for their flights on aa.com, usairways.com, or at American (AAL) or US Airways (AMW)/(USA) ticket counters until later this year when (AAL) moves to a single reservations system.”

News Item A-3: Alaska Airlines (ASA) may transfer its authority to fly between Los Angeles (LAX) and Mexico City to American Airlines (AAL), the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively decided on April 17, despite an objection from Delta Air Lines (DAL).

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL)’s fleet planning strategy hinges on having a variety of different-sized airplanes that can match varying route needs, but there is a gap in an airplane type that would fill the role of the Boeing 757, (AAL)’s VP Network Planning said. Speaking as a panelist at the 24th Annual Phoenix International Aviation Symposium, (AAL) VP Network Planning, Charles Schubert said that tailoring airplanes to routes was a “What we see on the horizon in terms of airplane development is the need to fit the types of profiles we are going to fly. A lot is talked about fleet commonality, but as look at our incoming 787s and A350s, they are deigned to fly very long-range routes but are not necessarily the best airplanes for Europe or [USA] coast-to-coast, which may be better served by re-engined airplanes like the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737 MAX,” Schubert said.

“We are looking to match different airplanes to different needs. We have such a wide variety of missions and it’s important to be able to match airplanes to them, although you can go too far.”

One important airplane need on the horizon, Schubert added, was that there is no direct replacement for the Boeing 757, an airplane flown by all three USA major network carriers on transatlantic routes.

Schubert said the Airbus A330neo may be the closest in terms of capability. The A330neo was launched at the Farnborough Airshow in July. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of 2017. The new type will incorporate the latest generation Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines and will reduces fuel consumption over the current A330 by -14% per seat. It will have an increased range of up to +400 nautical miles; its overall weight reduction will be at least -800 kg.

Airbus (EDS) Americas (CEO) North America, Barry Eccleston, a fellow panelist, said (EDS) is looking at potentially developing a long range version of the A321 that could operate on routes currently served by the 757, but no decision has been made and the company is not willing to invest heavily in developing a new airplane for what will be a relatively small market. He said the A330neo would be “a terrific 767 replacement.”

Schubert agreed the A330neo was the “more logical replacement for the 767, while a long-range A321 was “interesting” as a 757 replacement.
“There are some other things being talked about, but I don’t see these happening in the near term,” Schubert said. “At (AAL), we have a few years left to address this, and I expect we will be flying the 757 transatlantic for a while to come,” he said. “But ultimately, we will need a new, more efficient airplane to service the [UK cities] Newcastle, Birmingham, and similar cities.”

Eccleston said another global trend being seen now, is airlines wanting more seats per airplanes, regardless of the range of the airplane. “There’s a reason for this and it’s to reduce seat mile costs, which is about finding the best return on invested capital. We see airlines no longer chasing market share. So programs like the neo and MAX are attractive because they give a better return on invested capital than perhaps some shiny new airplane,” Eccleston said.

News Item A-5: Senior executives from two of the three major USA carriers involved in the growing dispute over alleged unfair competition from the Gulf carriers, said they are simply asking for government-to-government consultations on the USA "Open Skies" agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar.

Speaking as panelists at the (CAPA) Americas Aviation Summit in Las Vegas April 28, American Airlines (AAL) Senior VP Government affairs Will Ris and Delta Air Lines Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer, Ben Hirst said that both of the "Open Skies" agreements include a clause that allows either side to request government-to-government consultations for any reason related to the agreement. They said they want those consultations to happen soon, but are not against the Gulf carriers or against competition.

There was no representative from the USA third airline (United Airlines (UAL)) that joined (AAL) and (DAL) in commissioning a white paper report alleging that Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have received a total of more than >$40 billion in subsidies from their state owners, that contravene the “fair competition” conditions of the "Open Skies" agreements.

“This is not a campaign. From the (AAL) point of view, this is not about airlines at all. It’s about USA government trade policy. When you have an airline receiving massive amounts of government money and unfettered access to the USA, we should do something about that,” Ris said.

Hirst said (DAL) was being “foreclosed” from serving the India market because of Gulf carrier capacity there. “We are not serving those markets because of subsidized flow from the Gulf,” he said.

Etihad (EHD) General Counsel & Company Secretary, Jim Callaghan was the only panel representative from the Gulf carriers. He said he had seen the “exact same playbook” before, when he was formerly at Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair (RYR) and European majors “threw the kitchen sink at us.”

Callaghan said, “The three largest carriers not just in the USA but also in the world, and which also control the three clubs (the global alliances) that control 50% of the world’s traffic, are trying to shut the door on any competition or potential competition. That’s what’s going on here.”

News Item A-6: See attached "AAL-2015-04 - iPAD Glitch-A/B.jpg."

News Item A-7: See attached "AAL-2015-04 - TOP 25 WORLD TRAFFIC.jpg"
and "AAL-2015-04 - TOP REGIONAL TRAFFIC.jpg."

News Item A-8: See video "AAL-Inside the 787 Dreamliner" - -

May 2015: News Item A-1: The USA government is “taking very seriously” the request Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and their labor groups have made that consultations begin with the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar on alleged subsidies for the airlines from those countries, a USA Department of State official said.

The government is doing its “due diligence” on the subsidy claims the USA carriers have made against Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA), Tom Engle, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation Affairs, said, speaking at the Phoenix International Aviation Symposium. The effort is an interagency affair, with State, Transportation & Commerce leading the investigation, with help from the USA Trade Representative and the Council of Economic Advisers, Engle said. He declined to describe a timeline for when the government will decide if it will proceed with consultations. Public comment is being solicited on a website, and the government will provide the opportunity for rebuttals before making a decision.

Consultations, or formal government-to-government talks, are provided for under the "Open Skies" treaties should one party have a grievance or dispute. At issue is whether the three Persian Gulf carriers receive subsidies that distort the market, making it difficult for USA carriers to compete for lucrative international traffic, particularly to South Asia.

Representatives from (DAL), (AAL) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) drove this point home forcefully at a panel discussion here, while also reiterating their support for "open skies" as a policy.

But at issue is that the three Gulf carriers are “instruments of government policy,” existing solely and subsidized to carry out Qatar’s and the (UAE)’s aims to flow passengers over their hubs in Doha, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, Ben Hirst, (DAL) Chief Legal Officer said. “We are concerned about USA policy that opens the doors of this huge market to entities that basically are arms of the state,” (AAL) Senior VP Government Affairs, Will Ris said.

John Byerly, the former State Department official who negotiated more than >70 "Open Skies" policies and is now a consultant to Emirates (EAD), rejected the USA airlines’ claim to support "Open Skies." Asking for Gulf carriers’ capacity to be frozen at the January 28 level until consultations play out, is an abrogation of the treaty. "Open Skies" liberalize the market. “They [the Gulf carriers] are beating [the USA airlines] in the market place,” Byerly said. “These USA airlines had a nice, comfortable little nest, with alliances and joint ventures (JV)s.”

The international aviation playing field has never been level; rather, it has always had “bumps and hills,” Byerly said. "Open Skies" allow the market to function as freely as it can in such a regulated industry, he said.

News Item A-2: "USA Anti-Gulf Coalition Claims Grass Roots Support Across USA" by (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker, May 22, 2015.

The coalition of USA airlines and labor groups that is campaigning against the three major Gulf carriers, has claimed broad support from USA lawmakers, local chambers of commerce, and local unions.

The "Partnership for Open & Fair Skies," a coalition of (AALO), (DAL), and (UAL) plus a number of pilot (FC) and transport workers unions, has been briefing local leaders, newspapers and organizations across the USA during the past few weeks on a report commissioned by the three USA carriers that alleges Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have benefited from $42 billion of subsidies from their state owners. The USA carriers say this contravenes fair competition rules of the "Open Skies" agreements between the USA and the (UAE) plus Qatar.

The three Gulf carriers strongly deny the allegations. (EHD) has commissioned and released a counter-report that accuses the three USA airlines and those they have merged with of benefiting from $71.5 billion—mostly from having debt wiped out under Chapter 11 restructuring.

This May 22, (EHD) issued a second report that it commissioned that also refutes the excess capacity accusations that the USA campaign has made against the Gulf carriers.

The USA carriers have asked the Obama Administration to hold government-to-government consultations with the (UAE) and Qatar on Gulf carrier activity within the two "Open Skies" agreements. It is not yet clear if such talks will be held, but the USA departments of Commerce, State & Transportation are conducting a review of the USA allegations and are seeking comments. The deadline for comments is the end of May.

The "Partnership for Open & Fair Skies" says it now has the support of more than >260 members of the House of Representatives, the USA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, mayors of multiple major USA cities, and a coalition of trade leaders in North Carolina. New Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel wrote a letter to the Secretaries of Commerce, State & Transportation expressing his concerns for the future of USA hubs like Chicago if the Gulf carrier operations are not addressed.

The USA-Gulf spat has spread across the Atlantic, with some European countries asking the European Union (EU) Commission (EC) to review Gulf carrier operations to their major cities and freezing service expansions by the Gulf carriers. Dutch Secretary of Transport, Wilma Mansveld said two wide body flights a day from Dubai to Amsterdam does not correspond to market demand and has frozen Emirates (EAD) at one daily flight.

Not all European airlines are opposed to the Gulf carriers, however. The (IAG), parent of British Airways (BAB), has made clear its support for open competition and has taken a stand against the Association of European Airlines (AEA), withdrawing the memberships of (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) because it says the (AEA) is protectionist. Qatar Airways (QTA) has a 10% stake in (BAB). Airberlin (BER), an equity partner with Etihad (EHD), has also withdrawn from the (AEA).

Video clip: The (MSNBC) news program looked at the Gulf carrier subsidies dispute:

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) expanded its long-haul offering with the addition of three new routes on May 7th, all of which are served daily. (AAL) introduced its third and fourth route to the UK from New York (JFK), linking (JFK) to Edinburgh (EDI) and Birmingham (BHX), UK using its 176-seat 757-200s (see photos - - "AAL-2015-05 - JFK to Birmingham UK.jpg" & "AAL-757-200 - 2015-05.jpg). (AAL) already flies to London Heathrow (LHR) (thrice-daily) and Manchester (MAN), UK (daily). In addition, (AAL) started its second route to Beijing (PEK), joining its existing Chicago O’Hare (ORD) daily flights, this time with 247-seat 777-200 operations from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). (AAL) will face no direct competition on any of the three new routes.

News Item A-4: Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL), the Engineering division of The Monarch Group, has been contracted to provide line maintenance technical handling to American Airlines (AAL). The contract, which commenced in May, will see Monarch (MON) support (AAL)’s Boeing 757-200 at Birmingham Airport.

News Item A-5: American Airlines (AAL) Senior VP Government Affairs, Will Ris announced he will retire at the end of 2015 after nearly 20 years with (AAL).

Ris is one of the best-known and most respected airline executives in the industry, particularly in the Washington DC circles among the regulatory affairs community. “Will's impact on (AAL) has been immeasurable,” (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said. “He has been the voice of (AAL) and its people in Washington, DC for nearly 20 years. He has represented us extraordinarily well because he understands commercial aviation and cares about the professional people who work in the business. We are extremely disappointed to know that Will has decided to retire, but he most certainly has earned it. We wish him and Nancy only the best.”

An attorney with broad experience in government and transportation, Ris has been (AAL)’s principle government affairs executive since July 1996. He is responsible for directing all activities on behalf of (AAL) with Congress, the administration and a broad range of federal agencies.

He is a former trial attorney for the USA Civil Aeronautics Board and was appointed counsel to the USA Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation and its Aviation Subcommittee. In 1978, he was the principal Senate legal counsel for the drafting of the airline deregulation legislation. "It has been a delight to work with so many capable and passionate government officials and policy makers over the years. These individuals have had a huge impact on our industry and will continue to shape the future of aviation,” Ris said. He paid tribute to his (AAL) colleagues, saying “the current employees and those who worked tirelessly before them, have built a platform for the future that is stronger than I have ever seen in my career.

"I am especially grateful to Doug Parker and the leaders at (AAL) who have such a powerful vision for the future and who will continue to navigate the path forward for (AAL). I am incredibly privileged to have participated in (AAL)'s amazing story."

Ris will remain active with (AAL) through December 31, 2015, and will continue to lead (AAL)'s efforts on several key initiatives, including (FAA) reauthorization and the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, (AAL) said.

News Item A-6: (AAL) is focused on ensuring its regional carriers have “safe and reliable” operations and is not interested in the next generation of regional jets, at least for now, (AAL) Senior VP Regional Carriers, Kenji Hashimoto said.

News Item A-7: American Airlines (AAL) is creating a sub-fleet of 16 Extended Twin-engine OPerationS (ETOPS)-certified Airbus A321s to fly between the West Coast and Hawaii, an (AAL) spokeswoman said.

2 737-823 (31217, N971NN; 31218, N970NN), 2 787-8 (40620, N802AN; 40621, N603AL), and A319-115 (6595, N8031M), ex-(D-AVYF) deliveries.

June 2015: News Item A-1: "American Airlines (AAL), Qantas (QAN) Step Up Partnership with New Transpacific Routes" by (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker, June 9th, 2015.

American Airlines (AAL) and Qantas Airways (QAN) are expanding their joint business by adding new service between the USA and Australia.
(AAL) will begin operating a daily, nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Sydney from December 17, while (QAN) will begin Sydney to San Francisco from December 20.

Services will initially operate on peak days and ramp up to 6x-weekly in January 2016. The two Oneworld (ONW) Alliance airlines said their closer and more integrated relationship also provides opportunities for future growth in the transpacific markets not currently served by either airline, such as New Zealand.

(AAL)’s new service between Los Angeles and Sydney will be operated with three-class Boeing 777-300ERs.

(QAN) will operate its service between Sydney and San Francisco with a reconfigured Boeing 747-400 fitted with the same style interiors found on its Airbus A380 airplanes.

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker and (QAN) (CEO), Alan Joyce both talked at the press conference of further growing their business relationship, although Joyce joked, “I am not sure that we can have a striped kangaroo.”

But Joyce said the USA market was (QAN)’s largest international market with some 40% of its overseas business invested there. “We could not have such a large network in the USA without American,” he said. “With this partnership, anything is possible.”

Joyce also noted that the strong relationship with (AAL) did not affect (QAN)’s partnership with Emirates (EAD), even though (AAL) is one of the USA carriers involved in the alleged subsidy fight against the Gulf carriers. He said (EAD) had significantly enhanced (QAN)’s reach into Europe. “We have great relationships with both (EAD) and (AAL) and that will continue,” Joyce said.

News Item A-2: JetBlue Airways (JBL) is urging the USA Department of Transportation to only approve expansion of the Qantas (QAN) - American Airlines (AAL) joint venture (JV) with conditions.

News Item A-3: "New Integrated Operations Center (IOC) in 3rd Quarter 2015" by (ATW) Kathryn M. Young, June 4, 2015.

The Integrated Operations Center (IOC) which changed its name in 2013 from the original Systems Operations Control (SOC), is the first facility described back in July 1990 with the attached first photo "AAL-1990-07 - SYSTEM OPS CONTROL.jpg." The existing (IOC) facility's last day as the (IOC) is expected to be in mid-August 2015.

A new facility, expected to open in the third quarter of 2015 is named the Robert W Baker Integrated Operations Center (IOC), named after former (AAL) Vice Chairman, Robert Baker. The $88 million project will consolidate (AAL)’s Operations' center in Fort Worth and the US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s center in Pittsburgh. The building will be a two-story, 149,000 sq ft facility and will house 1,400 employees, including 600 from US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

The new (IOC) is located near (AAL)’s headquarters and the Flight Academy, south of Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport. Specific functions performed there will include Flight Dispatch, Crew Scheduling, Maintenance Operations Control (MOC), Weight & Balance Planning, System Customer Service, Flight Planning Support, and Emergency Planning & Response.

July 2015: News Item A-1: See attached "AAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-A/B/C/D/E" which shows American Airlines (AAL) is the No 1 airline in the world.

News Item A-2: The American Airlines Group reported second-quarter net income of +$1.7 billion, nearly doubling a net profit of +$864 million in the 2014 June quarter, marking the best quarterly result in (AAL)’s history just over >18 months removed from emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“We think it’s the highest quarterly earnings that any airline has ever produced in any quarter,” Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker told analysts and reporters, adding, “We are doing more than we thought we’d be able to accomplish with the [US Airways (AMW)/(USA)] merger. We are really bullish.”

(AAL)’s second-quarter revenue fell -4.6% year-over-year to $10.83 billion, while expenses decreased -10.5% to $8.91 billion, producing an operating profit of +$1.92 billion, up +37.2% over operating income of +$1.4 billion in the 2014 June quarter. (AAL), which does not engage in fuel hedging, saved more than >$1 billion year-over-year in fuel costs in the quarter and expects more than >$4 billion in fuel savings for the full year.

(AAL)’s second-quarter system traffic increased +1.1% year-over-year to 57.82 billion (RPM)s on a +1.9% rise in capacity to 69.4 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 83.3% LF, down -0.7 points. Yield dropped -6.1% to 16.28 cents.

President, Scott Kirby did acknowledge “a challenging revenue environment” that drove down system second-quarter (PRASM) 7% year-over-year and said he does not have a “reasonable expectation” that (PRASM) will turn positive until the second half of 2016. “I know there’s an obsession in the market with (PRASM), but we’re producing the best [earnings] result, as far as we can tell, in the history of the airline industry,” Kirby said.

Currency headwinds, big demand drops on flights to Venezuela and Brazil and a rise in industry capacity in the domestic USA market were cited as reasons revenue is challenged. “There is no doubt that if supply exceeds demand, unit revenue goes down,” Parker said. “What I think everyone acknowledges is (ASM)s have grown faster than demand [in the USA], which does put pressure on (PRASM).” For its part, (AAL) plans to grow system capacity just +1% for the full-year 2015 compared to 2014.

But significant cost savings driven by a drop in fuel prices are offsetting the revenue softness. “The revenue hasn’t fallen as much as the costs have fallen, and as a result, earnings are growing,” Parker said.

News Item A-3: The American Airlines Group Inc on July 10 lowered its plans for capacity growth in the USA, seeming to heed investors' calls to slow its expansion in light of weaker-than-expected travel demand.

(AAL), the world's largest passenger carrier, said it expects total 2015 capacity to grow about +1% compared with 2014, versus an earlier forecast of +2% growth. While its international expansion forecast remains unchanged, it said USA capacity will grow between +1% and +2% this year, compared with a prior outlook of a +2% to +3% rise.

(AAL) did not offer an explanation for the change, although it recently has taken other actions such as deferring the delivery of 35 Airbus Group A320neo family jetliners to keep capacity in check.

(AAL) also said it expects to retire one more 757 than it previously planned. It expects to increase its regional fleet of Bombardier (BMB) by +21 CRJ900 airplanes, compared with earlier guidance of adding +25 of those planes.

The USA Department of Justice has launched an investigation into whether USA airlines have worked together illegally to keep airfares high by signaling plans to limit flights.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) will add eight new routes to the Caribbean and Latin America beginning in September, bolstering its already leading presence to the region.

(AAL) will launch 2x-daily, Los Angeles - Mexico City service with 160-seat Boeing 737-800s on September 2. Alaska Airlines (ASA) is shifting the authority for the route to (AAL) and will place its code on the flights.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) had sought the authority as well, however, the USA Department of Transportation denied its request.

(AAL) will launch 2x-weekly, Los Angeles - Mazatlan service with 76-seat Embraer EMB-175s from November 7.

On December 18, (AAL) will begin 5x-weekly, Dallas/Fort Worth - Quito service with 128-seat Airbus A319s and 2x-weekly, Los Angeles - Montego Bay service with 737-800s.

A day later it will add Saturday-only service between Charlotte and both Curacao and Puerto Plata, between Chicago O’Hare and Punta Cana, and between Dallas/Fort Worth and Punta Cana. The Charlotte and Dallas/Fort Worth flights will be flown with A319s and the Chicago flight with a 737-800.

In addition, (AAL) will resume 5x-weekly service between New York John F Kennedy and Caracas with a Boeing 757-200 on December 17. It suspended service on the route in July 2014 due to its inability to repatriate cash from Venezuela.

Aeromexico (AMX), United Airlines (UAL), and Volaris (VLS) fly the Los Angeles - Mexico City route, Alaska (ASA), and Delta (DAL) fly Los Angeles - Mazatlan, InselAir (INS) flies Charlotte - Curacao, Frontier Airlines (FRO) and United (UAL) fly Chicago O’Hare - Punta Cana, and Sun Country Airlines (SCA) fly Dallas/Fort Worth - Punta Cana.

No airlines fly the Los Angeles - Montego Bay, Charlotte - Puerto Plata, and Dallas/Fort Worth - Quito routes.

News Item A-5: The last flight for US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will take place this fall, and one more name in airline history will disappear.

The farewell flight for (AMW)/(USA) will be a red-eye (Flight 434 is scheduled to leave San Francisco around 10:00 pm and land in Philadelphia after 6:00 am on October 17. The (AMW)/(USA) website will be turned off. Airport kiosks and signs will change to American Airlines (AAL).

The two airlines merged in December 2013 and decided to keep the better-known "American" name. Vestiges of the carrier will survive for some time, however, as some planes won't be repainted yet in (AAL)'s colors and logo.

In the last 10 years, mergers have eliminated Northwest (NWA), Continental (CAL) and AirTran (CQT). Before that, Pan Am (PAA), (TWA) and many smaller carriers disappeared.

American Airlines Group Inc announced the timing of the curtain call on Friday, July 10. (AAL)'s biggest challenge may be combining the computer systems of two airlines without creating the kinds of problems that have plagued United (UAL) and Continental (CAL) after they combined reservations systems in 2012. This week, all (UAL) flights were grounded and more than >1,000 were delayed after a problem that (UAL) blamed on a faulty router.

Maya Leibman, (AAL)'s Chief Information Officer (CIO), said (AAL) has built in redundancies and disaster-recovery programs in key systems. But referring to (UAL), she said, "There is no technology leader that could stand up and say with 100% certainty that nothing like this could ever happen to them."

(AAL) officials said they have hired about 1,900 airport and reservations agents and will give special training to nearly 10,000 current employees to perform the switch from the US Airways (AMW)/(USA) reservations system, called "Shares," to (AAL)'s, which is provided by Sabre. (AAL) is also reducing flights around the switchover to lighten the load on computer systems.

Customers booked on (AMW)/(USA) flights after October 17 will get a new flight number bearing American (AAL)'s AA code. That's only about 4% of all reservations in the (AAL) and (AMW)/(USA) systems, they said.

(AAL) will have more technology work to do after October. It still must combine crew-scheduling and maintenance-tracking systems. (AAL) has about 113,000 employees, including those at wholly owned regional subsidiaries such as Envoy Air.

(AAL) is the biggest airline operator in the world by passenger traffic, having surpassed (UAL) after the merger with (AMW)/(UAL).

News Item A-6: Australia’s competition watchdog has granted interim approval for an expanded partnership between Qantas (QAN) and American Airlines (AAL), clearing the way for the carriers to market proposed new transpacific routes.

News Item A-7: American Airlines (AAL) deferred delivery of five Boeing 787s to 2017 - 2018 and 35 Airbus A320neos to 2021 - 2023.

2 787-8s (40624, N806AA; 40625, N807AA), 1 A319-112 (0929, N705UW), (BCI) Aircraft leased, 4 A321-231 (6656, N141NN; 6667, N140AN; 6687, N139AN; 6711, N142AN), 1 A330-243 (1041, N281AY), Wells Fargo leased.

August 2015: News Item A-1: INCDT: "((NTSB): American (AAL) A321 ‘Substantially Damaged’ from Tail Strike" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, August 19, 2015.

The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating an August 15 incident in which an (AAL) Airbus A321-231’s tail struck a runway.

According to the (NTSB), (AAL) flight 1851, en route from Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina, “reportedly encountered wind shear on final approach to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.” The A321-231 first hit runway approach lights “followed by an airplane tail to runway impact,” the (NTSB) said. “The flight crew (FC) then performed a go-around maneuver and completed the landing.”

(AAL) said 153 passengers and six crew ((FC) - (CA)) were aboard the A321-231 aircraft and “there were no reported injuries.” (AAL) said the flight’s Captain (FC) “discovered damage to the underside of the aircraft” after the landing, prompting (AAL) to report the incident to the (NTSB) and the (FAA).

The (NTSB) said the A321-231 was “substantially damaged.” (AAL) said the aircraft has been taken out of service.

The (NTSB) is analyzing the A321-231’s flight data (FDR) and cockpit voice recorders (CVR) at its laboratory in Washington DC. “The investigation will include an examination of weather conditions at the time of the event, airplane performance and operational factors,” the (NTSB) said.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) is on track to launch A321 service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Hawaii as of August 18.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has announced plans to operate charter flights between Los Angeles International and Havana International, Cuba in partnership with Cuba Travel Services. The weekly, 737-800 service (the first between the USA West Coast and Cuba) will commence December 12.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with American to include flights from Los Angeles to Havana,” Michael Zuccato, General Manager at Cuba Travel Services, said. “We will continue to deliver a high quality travel experience and opening up new West Coast access to Cuba will bring a convenient, affordable option to authorized travelers.”

(AAL) already serves Cuba, the Communist island, operating 22x-weekly charter flights from Miami International and Tampa International to Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Havana, Holguin, and Santa Clara de Cuba.

This week, it emerged that the Obama administration has opened negotiations with Cuba over the resumption of scheduled air services between the two countries. Though they have moved to restore diplomatic ties, the USA congress is unlikely to lift a fifty year-old trade embargo (which includes air travel) any time soon.

As such, the "Wall Street Journal" states the White House is considering in bypassing Congress and reinstating scheduled commercial flights between the two countries by year-end, using executive action.

Among the talking points between the two parties are daily flight allocations as well as the legality of Cubana ((IATA) Code: CU, based at Havana International) (CUB), commencing flights to the USA.

News Item A-4: US Airways ((IATA) Code: US, based at Phoenix Sky Harbor) (AMW)(USA) has scheduled its last commercial flight to be operated under the "US Airways" brand-name and flight code for Friday, October 16.

Flight US1939 (so numbered to reflect the year predecessor, "All American Aviation" officially commenced operations) will operate on board an A321-200 across four sectors (Philadelphia International - Charlotte - Phoenix Sky Harbor - San Francisco, California - Philadelphia International. A special event is likely planned at each destination.

Following the flight's conclusion, all US Airways (AMW)/(USA) flights will be operated under the American Airlines ((IATA) Code: AA, based at Dallas/Fort Worth) (AAL) "AA" flight code. The move coincides with the introduction of a single, unified reservations system (one of the final steps in US Airways (AMW)/(USA)'s USD11 billion merger with (AAL).

The next milestone for the American Airlines (AAL) - US Airways (AMW)/(USA) integration is October 17 when the "US Airways" brand will be retired.

News Item A-5: American Airlines (AAL) operates 965 airplanes, to 56 countries, 343 destinations, on 2,475 routes, and 3,520 daily flights.

News Item A-6: Air Lease Corporation (ALE) delivered one new Boeing 737-800NG on long-term lease to American Airlines (AAL) on August 14, 2015.

September 2015: News Item A-1: Technology specialist (WIN) is expanding its e-booking system to connect independent forwarders to 16 airlines. (WIN) already connects to over 90 airlines for electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB). The carriers available for e-bookings include British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Etihad Airways (EHD), (SAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Jet Airways (JPL), Swiss (CSR), American Airlines (AAL), Air France (AFA), Finnair (FIN), Korean Air (KAL), (KLM), Lufthansa (DLH), United Airlines (UAL), Emirates (EAD), and Gulf Air (GUL). The all-in-one tool includes the ability for customers to look up flight schedules, create and manage bookings in real-time, transmit (e-AWB) data, and receive full (e-AWB) tracking automatically.

October 2015: News Item A-1: The American Airlines Group reported third-quarter net income of +$1.69 billion, up +79.8% over a net profit of +$942 million in the 2014 September quarter. This brings its nine-month 2015 net income to +$4.33 billion.

(AAL) executives said the company had reached a major milestone on October 17, when it successfully cut over US Airways (AMW)/(USA) reservations system to (AAL)’s Sabre system, officially ending the "US Airways" brand. President, Scott Kirby said (AAL) has had an 89.4% on-time performance and 99.5% completion rate since the cut over.

“There’s still a lot of hard work left to do to finish the integration, but [the cut over] was a huge achievement,” Kirby said. “It is great to have this milestone behind us. And that’s really the foundation that lets us do a whole backlog of projects that we haven’t been able to do because all the Information Technology (IT) resources have been focused on the cut over.” He said there would be “more innovation” in (AAL)’s frequent flyer program and added that (AAL) plans to “further dis-aggregate the product and offer fares with a greater suite of attributes, that allows us to really compete with the low-cost carriers (LCC)s.” The new fare offerings are expected be rolled out next year.

(AAL)’s third-quarter revenue was down -3.9% year-over-year to $10.71 billion, while expenses dropped -11.9% to $8.71 billion, producing operating income of $2 billion, up +58.7% over an operating profit of +$1.26 billion in the prior-year quarter. Aircraft fuel costs lowered -43.7% to $1.59 billion.

(AAL)’s third-quarter mainline traffic increased +5.3% year-over-year to 54.67 billion (RPM)s on a +2.6% rise in capacity to 63.46 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 86.1% LF, up +2.2 points. Yield fell -10.2% to 14 cents.

News Item A-2: "American prepares for Res System Cutover, + Retirement of ‘US Airways’ by (ATW) Aaron Karp, October 12 2015.

American Airlines (AAL) has “spared no expense” in preparing for the October 17 cutover of the US Airways (AMW)/(USA) reservations system to (AAL)’s Sabre system, a senior executive said. “We are all completely committed to getting this right,” (AAL) Chief Information Officer (CIO), Maya Leibman said. The reservations system cutover, which is considered the last major milestone of the American (AAL)-US Airways (AMW)/(USA) integration visible to the public, will enable (AAL) to officially retire the US Airways (AMW)/(USA) brand.

Through 2016, there will still be airplanes painted in US Airways livery and employees wearing US Airways uniforms, but from October 17 flights will all operate under the “AA” code and all ticket bookings will be with “American.” All airport facilities will be branded American from October 17 as well.

Leibman acknowledged that the reservations system cutover will be “a very complex process,” leading (AAL) to do everything it can to mitigate the risk that something will go wrong. Cognizant of recent glitches that have disrupted US airlines (AMW)/(USA)’s operations, including one at (AAL) in September, (AAL) will have a 24/7 command center staffed by 1,000 people from October 14 - October 27 to immediately “triage” any problems with the reservations system, Leibman said. “One thing we don’t want to do, is let our guard down during this entire process,” she explained.

The system cutover will affect 9,000 computers in the American/US Airways system, and the most intense focus will be on US Airways’ legacy hubs in Charlotte, Phoenix, and Philadelphia. Well in advance, (AAL) reduced its flight schedule at those three airports by -11% October 17 compared to a normal autumn Saturday, easing the pressure a bit. Overall, (AAL) will operate about -200 fewer flights October 17 than on a typical October Saturday.

(AAL) said it has conducted about 1 million hours of training for around 50,000 employees in preparation for the system cutover. It has also done numerous technology tests. “We have really tested the heck out of everything,” Leibman said, adding that American is as “prepared as possible” for October 17, but is also ready to “triage as effectively as possible” if something goes wrong. “No technology leader can say with 100% certainty that nothing [will go wrong],” she said. “If they do, don’t buy a bridge from them.”

News Item A-3: "The Brilliance in American’s Reservation Cutover" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, October 23, 2015.

Did you hear that? If you reply “what?,” then that’s the point. The world’s largest airline, American Airlines (AAL), completed the final and most challenging step in its merger-acquisition with US Airways at the weekend (the cut over to a single reservation system).

And the sound of silence since that cut over is proof of what can only be described as one of the most meticulously planned and executed airline mergers ever. Despite the scale of the operation, Doug Parker’s team this month proved that they knew the challenges that lay ahead, correctly identified the pain points, and rightly identified the approaches and solutions that would get them through the various integration steps.

I know that Doug has set aside a slot in his calendar each week that is firmly committed to meeting with his integration team. Huge priority was set on keeping the flow of communications open, so that problems could be tackled early on.

The result is that neither the company’s operational or financial performance, nor its customers were harmed.

The American Airlines Group just reported third-quarter net income of $1.69 billion, up +79.8% over a net profit of +$942 million in the 2014 September quarter, while (AAL) has delivered an 89.4% on-time performance and 99.5% completion rate since the cut over.

President, Scott Kirby described this as “a huge milestone” and he’s correct.

But the very fact that most of (AAL)’s customers knew nothing, is what makes that milestone so brilliant.

News Item A-4: "American (AAL) Takes Spirit Seriously" by (ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp Blog, October 23, 2015.

The notion that ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR) isn’t taking passengers away from major USA airlines and isn’t in direct competition with them (promulgated by both Spirit (SPR) and major USA carriers in the past) is no longer germane. (AAL) President, Scott Kirby has made clear that (AAL) considers (SPR) a very serious competitor and, in fact, is planning to roll out a new fare model next year primarily to enable it to better compete against (SPR) and other USA (ULCC)s.

First, some pretty amazing numbers, Kirby revealed in (AAL)’s third-quarter earnings conference call:

* 87% of people who flew (AAL) in the last year, were flying on (AAL) for the only time they would fly it during that year. Those passengers represent about 50% of (AAL)’s revenue.

* 28% of (AAL)’s domestic capacity overlaps with (SPR)’s. 11% of (AAL)’s domestic (ASM)s overlap with (ULCC) Frontier Airlines (FRO)’s.

* Spirit (SPR) operates 50 flights a day from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and is (AAL)’s number two competitor at (DFW). (SPR) is (AAL)’s number three competitor at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

* For several reasons, most importantly because (AAL) is carrying a lot of connecting traffic, while (SPR)’s passengers are mainly flying point-to-point, one (SPR) flight is the equivalent of three (AAL) flights in terms of passengers carried.

Kirby believes that those 87% of passengers who only fly (AAL) once a year (the infrequent flyers, if you will) view flight tickets as a commodity and simply want the lowest fare. Therefore, these passengers generally have no qualms about flying (SPR) instead of (AAL). As a result, (AAL) is matching (SPR)’s and (FRO)’s fares all over the country, and believes it has no choice but to do so.

“When 50% of our revenue is up for grabs, we have to compete,” Kirby said. “We can’t just walk away. We know that we have to match their fares. This isn’t something unique to (ULCC)s. We match Delta (DAL), we match United (UAL), we match Air France (AFA). If we’re going to fly head-to-head, we need to match their fares.” Kirby said (AAL) operates higher load factors on the routes, where it is matching (ULCC)s, which helps make up for the low fares on the revenue side.

Kirby did not give details, but said (AAL) is working on a new fare structure to be rolled out sometime in 2016 with the explicit purpose of countering (ULCC)s, which offer very low base fares and then charge fees for nearly everything. (AAL) will “dis-aggregate the product and offer fares with a greater suite of attributes, that allows (AAL) to really compete with the low-cost carriers (LCC),” he said.

I noted in March that Southwest Airlines (SWA) was running a television ad targeting Spirit (SPR), treating the (ULCC) as a legitimate rival. Kirby’s comments are the most explicit I’ve heard from a major USA airline executive, indicating (SPR) is being taken seriously and viewed no differently as a competitor than, as Kirby said, (DAL), (UAL) or (AFA).

The question now is how will (SPR) and (CEO), Ben Baldanza respond? “We’re carrying different customers than (DAL) or (SWA) is carrying,” Baldanza has said in the past. “In general, our decision about where to fly is about how much new traffic we can generate with our lower fares, not about how much traffic we can take away from X, Y and Z.” But with X, Y and Z now aggressively trying to take traffic away from (SPR), can Baldanza afford to maintain that posture?

News Item A-5: (AAL) plans to offer a version of the low-fare, no-frills approach to flying that is boosting profit margins at discount carriers. Officials at (AAL) said they need to fight back against small but fast-growing rivals including Spirit Airlines (SPR) and Frontier Airlines (FRO), which are known for cheap fares, lots of extra fees and poor service.

Beginning next year, (AAL) will offer tickets with "less frills" but a "really cheap price" where it competes on nonstop flights with discount carriers, said President Scott Kirby.

November 2015: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) plans to launch service to New Zealand in June 2016, the latest move by USA carriers as they boost their presence in the Australasian market.

News Item A-2: "American Airlines (AAL) Makes Changes to its Loyalty Program" by (ATW) Madhu Unnikrishnan, November 18, 2015.

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted American Airlines (AAL) a 60-day extension for its Los Angeles - Tokyo Haneda service, and has taken the unusual step of naming Hawaiian Airlines (HWI)’s proposed Kona - Haneda route as a back-up, if (AAL) does not fulfill the terms of the initial award.

With this decision, the (DOT) dismissed Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s objections to (AAL)’s proposed service. (DAL) earlier this year surrendered its slots at Haneda, which it used for Seattle service. That came after a year-long fight in the dockets, in which American (AAL) and Hawaiian (HWI) claimed (DAL) was operating the route at a bare minimum to avoid triggering the (DOT) dormancy rule.

But when the (DOT) awarded the slots to (AAL), (DAL) said (AAL) was not operating the route at all. (AAL) retorted that it was negotiating with the Japanese government over viable slot times. Earlier this month, (AAL) said it had secured viable slot times at Haneda, and asked the (DOT) for a 60-day extension to begin service. The (DOT) has given (AAL) until February 29.

The (DOT) batted away (DAL)’s claims by saying it had found “nothing on the record to suggest that, despite a brief startup delay, the anticipated benefits of (AAL)’s Los Angeles - Haneda service . . . will not be forthcoming,” adding that it found “no persuasive argument in (DAL)’s motion or subsequent pleadings that would warrant revocation of (AAL)’s authority.”

The (DOT) also awarded Hawaiian (HWI) back-up authority for two years to operate a Kona - Haneda route, however, should (AAL) fail to provide daily service on its route, per the terms of its award. “[The (DOT)] finds that additional backup protection would be in the public interest to ensure maximum public benefits are achieved with this limited Haneda opportunity,” the (DOT) said in its ruling.

Japan has made four slot pairs available to USA carriers for flights between the USA and Haneda Airport, which is close to central Tokyo. In addition to American’s Los Angeles flight, United Airlines (UAL) flies to the airport from San Francisco, (DAL) from Los Angeles, and (HWI) from Honolulu. Because the slots are late in the evening in Japan, they are not viable for USA East Coast flights. But the Japanese government has said it is considering allowing daytime USA flights from Haneda, though no time line has been given as to when that change might occur.

3 737-823s (31229, N980NN; 31230, N981NN), deliveries; 737-823 (31163, N916NN) repainted into Reno Air heritage colors; 787-8 (40629, N811AB), delivery, 2 A321-231s (6828, N150NN; 6840, N151NN), deliveries; 3 A321-231s (4535, N975UY; 5235M, N976UY; 5374, N982VJ), re-registered.

December 2015: News Item A-1: "American (AAL) Saves -$673 million in Fuel Costs in 2015" by (ATW) Madhu Unnikrishnan, December 14, 2015.

American Airlines (AAL) is sticking to its strategy of not hedging fuel costs, a decision it says has saved -$673 million this year.

(AAL) is continuing the longstanding practice of US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s management to not hedge. (COO), Robert Isom told investors recently that (AAL) paid $1.67 per gallon for fuel this year, lower than its competitors. United Airlines (UAL) paid an average of $1.89 per gallon for fuel, and Delta Air Lines (DAL) paid an average of $1.80, according to those airlines’ third-quarter earnings results. Isom credits the difference with (AAL)’s decision not to hedge.

(AAL)’s ambitious re-fleeting program will help it realize further fuel-savings, Isom said. New technology airplanes (such as the Boeing 787, Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo) are -10% to -15% more efficient than older airplanes. (AAL) has more than >400 airplanes on order. Isom noted that (AAL) has taken delivery of 129 airplanes this year, in a mix of narrow bodies, regionals and wide bodies. (AAL) has raised $4.5 billion in new financing this year, the bulk of which will fund new airplanes, Isom said. (AAL)’s airplane financing rate “has come in nicely,” at 3.6%, he noted.

The new fleet will drastically save on maintenance costs, Isom said. New engine technologies allow for greater run time between overhauls.
“And if you are able to extend the life of those overhauls, that’s an expense you are going to avoid.” These cost advantages will accrue over the next decade, he said.

(AAL) is a year into its experiment on re-banking the Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare and Miami hubs. When it re-banked its three largest hubs last year, (CFO) Derek Kerr said (AAL) could realize as much as $200 in annual benefits, despite the higher costs of staffing for banked hubs. Isom did not give specifics, but said re-banking has allowed (AAL) to “optimize revenues on every flight.” And it has given (AAL) greater flexibility to add banks and connectivity during peak periods, such as the recent Thanksgiving travel period in the USA.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) commenced a total of 12 new routes between December 17 and 19. Of the 12, eight face direct competition, with four of city pairs facing more than one incumbent carrier. Apart from (AAL), the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member’s new service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD), a route which is 12,056 km in length, the average sector of the remaining 11 routes is 2,433 km and are all connections on the North American continent. Only five of the new 12 airport pairs are USA domestic services.

Routes as follows:
Chicago O'Hare (ORD) to Aspen (ASE) Colorado, CRJ7 7x-weekly, vs United Airlines (UAL) 34x, to Montrose (MTJ), EMB-175, 7x;
Los Angeles (LAX) to Jackson Hole (JAC), A319 7x, vs Delta Air Lines (DAL) 7x, (UAL) 7x, to (MTJ), EMB-175 7x, vs (UAL) 2x, & Allegiant Air (WJE) 2x;
New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Jacksonville (JAX), EMB-170, 14x, vs (DAL) 20x;
Dallas Ft Worth (DFW) to Quito (UIO), A319 5x, vs (DAL) 20x;
(LAX) to Montego Bay (MBJ), 737-800 2x;
Charlotte Douglas (CLT) to Curacao (CUR) A319 1x vs Insel Air 1x, to Puero Plata (POP) A319 1x;
(ORD) to Punta Cana (PUJ), 737-800 1x, vs (UAL) 9x & Frontier Airlines (FRO) 7x;
(DFW) to (PUJ) A319 1x;
(LAX) to Sydney (SYD), 777 7x, vs Qantas (QAN) 11x, (DAL) 7x, (UAL) 7x, & Virgin Australia Airlines (VOZ) 7x.

Item A-3: (AAL) will switch the way members of its AAdvantage loyalty program earn rewards from the number of miles flown to the amount spent for a ticket.

The move will bring (AAL) in line with (DAL), which shifted its SkyMiles program from a miles- to fare-based system. (UAL) also moved to a fare-based system this year. (AAL) expects to implement the change in the second half of next year.

(AAL) last year said it would not consider changing the AAdvantage program, until after it had completed most of the major milestones in its merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

With the cessation of US Airways (AMW)/(USA) flights last month, and the reservations system cutover, many of the customer-facing milestones have been achieved.

In the new system, AAdvantage members will earn five miles for every USA dollar spent on fares; gold members will get seven miles; platinum members will get eight, and executive platinum members will earn 11 miles.

“American Airlines (AAL) has spent the last two years being singularly focused on integration. Now we’re at a point where we can begin to look ahead and lay the foundation for the future of the
AAdvantage program to ensure we’re rewarding our most loyal customers with the benefits they value the most,” AAdvantage President, Suzanne Rubin said.

News Item A-4: "Cuba & USA Reach Historic Air Agreement to Restart Scheduled Flights," by (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker, December 16, 2015.

Cuba and the USA have reached a bilateral arrangement to establish scheduled air services between the two countries, the USA State Department said. American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) were among the first USA carriers to say they will seek approval to begin scheduled services as soon as possible.

The agreement, reached late December 16, means that charter operations can continue between the USA and Cuba and scheduled services can begin, although no timeline was given. The opening up of scheduled services is expected to be phased in slowly to allow Cuba to build the infrastructure that will be needed to accommodate the extra flights and passengers and to ensure Cubana’s future in the new aviation environment.

USA law will still prohibit tourist travel to Cuba by American citizens, but State said that “a stronger civil aviation relationship will facilitate growth in authorized travel between our two countries, a critical component of the President’s policy toward Cuba.”

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker issued a statement welcoming the agreement. “Today’s announcement is great news for our customers as it brings us one step closer to connecting the USA and Cuba with scheduled air service,” he said. “We look forward to establishing scheduled service to Cuba in 2016, from Miami and other (AAL) hubs.”

(AAL) said it expects to submit a USA - Cuba service proposal to the Department of Transportation and hopes for timely approval of its proposal to enable (AAL) to introduce scheduled service as soon as possible in 2016.

(UAL) described the agreement as “historic” and said it looked forward to offering service between our global gateways and Cuba “as soon as we have approval to do so.”

“We hope the next dot on our Caribbean route map will be Havana, and possibly even other destinations in Cuba,” JetBlue (JBL) Senior VP Airline Planning, Scott Laurence said. “Cuba is the perfect addition to the (JBL) network.” (JBL) said it is “eager” to offer scheduled service to Cuba.

The bilateral is a major step forward in the resumption of normal relations between Cuba and the USA, a move that began a year ago with an announcement by USA President, Barack Obama of policy changes and the lifting of some travel restrictions to Cuba by USA citizens. Since then, the USA has reopened its embassy in Havana, but little else has changed.

Scheduled commercial airline services have been suspended for decades, since relations between the two countries broke down during the Cold War era. But that does not mean there have been no USA commercial flights to Cuba. Charter flights abound and are a particularly important connector, particularly from Florida, where many Cuban Americans reside. In December, (AAL) launched a regular charter from Los Angeles to Havana. USA citizen travel to Cuba is said by USA officials to be up by some +60% in 2015 over 2014, with more than >100,000 Americans visiting the country between January and September.

There is huge potential for growth in Cuba’s aviation and tourism markets, but also many constraints, primarily in ground and airport infrastructure, and in Cuba’s concerns to protect its only major airline, Cubana (CUB), which has just 26 aircraft, most of them Russian. (CUB), in its present form, would easily be outweighed by the USA carriers that are eager to start service to Cuba, including (AAL), (JBL) and (UAL).

The new bilateral is therefore expected to be phased in slowly. The airline is merging with regional carrier Aero Caribbean, which has a fleet of four ATR72s and three ATR42s and which operates domestic flights as well as services to some other Caribbean islands, including the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Cubana (CUB) is restricted to owning aircraft with no more than >10% USA-made content; essentially compelling it to use Russian-made Antonov AN-24s, Ilushin IL-96s and Tupolev TU-204s, although it does also lease four A320s from Avion Express, using those aircraft for Canadian routes.

Speaking informally during a recent dinner in Havana to mark the 70th anniversary of (IATA) (which was created in the Cuban capital) Cuba’s Head of Civil Aviation, Mayda Molina Martinez, said that any new air agreement with the USA would be phased in slowly and in such a way that would allow (CUB) to grow and adapt to the USA market.

Cuba’s air traffic management system is well positioned to handle the anticipated increases in commercial airliner movements under a more open aviation agreement. Cuban aviation authorities already liaise with the (FAA) on Air Traffic Control (ATC) issues and are recognized as being expert and efficient. In addition to the large number of USA charter flights that Cuba’s (ATC) system handles, the island nation manages well more than 70 over-flights a day.

The pain points will be on the ground, in airport terminal infrastructure and air side. Cuba has 10 international and 15 domestic airports. While the international airports are equipped with long runways, much development work will be necessary if Cuba’s airports, especially Havana, are to manage large increases in aircraft and passenger traffic. New technology will be necessary air side and on the terminal side, and there will be a need for far more automation. Self-serve check-in kiosks are non-existent and the checked baggage delivery system from plane to carousel can be hours-long.

“We have offered the government our assistance and to send people here to make a plan for what needs to be done,” (IATA) (DG), (CEO) Tony Tyler said in Havana. “We want to avoid mistakes that others have made, when they build too much, too quickly. We can help them draw up a plan so that the right infrastructure is in the right place at the right time.”

(IATA) announced in November plans to start operating a Billing & Settlement Plan (BSP) banking system in Cuba in 2016, helping to facilitate ticket transactions between airlines and travel agents.
The (BSP) system would be an important step in the gradual opening up of Cuba’s travel and tourism business, as relations between Cuba and the USA thaw. (IATA)’s (BSP) system is a critical enabler for airlines, facilitating financial transactions through travel agents via a standardized agreement and settlement mechanism. Cuba has four accredited agents with over >100 branches across the country, but no (BSP) system.

News Item A-5: Baggage fees revenues for USA airlines in (3Q) 2015 rose +6.2% year-over-year, to $1.02 billion, according to the USA Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). It is the first time third-quarter baggage fee revenues have surpassed the $1 billion threshold.

In contrast, reservation cancellation/change fees revenues for the 11 major USA reporting airlines plus two other carriers (Sun Country Airlines (SCA) and Island Air Hawaii) were down -0.4% year-over-year (YOY), to $755.2 million.

In figures released December 15 by the (BTS), a USA Department of Transportation agency, American Airlines (AAL)’s (3Q) revenue figures in both categories reflected the consolidation of its reporting following its merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA), with extreme (YOY) boosts in revenue: for baggage fees, (AAL)’s revenue grew +88.5% (YOY), while for reservation cancellation/change fees, its revenue grew +51.7% (YOY). Looking more closely, however, if the (3Q) 2014 revenues from both airlines are combined and contrasted to the consolidated (AAL) (3Q) 2015 revenue, the (AAL)'s (YOY) changes are more realistic, with baggage fee revenue rising +3.9% (YOY), and reservation cancellation/change fee revenue falling -2.7% (YOY).

For third-quarter baggage fee revenues, after American Airlines (AAL)’s $292.1 million in revenue, Delta Air Lines (DAL) earned the most, with $236.9 million in revenue, virtually flat with its (3Q) 2014 total. United Airlines (UAL) was next, with $184.7 million in revenue, up +2.2% (YOY).

Four of the five reporting low-cost-carriers (LCCs) showed remarkable jumps in (3Q) 2015 baggage fee revenue. JetBlue Airways (JBL) reported $42.7 million in (3Q) baggage fee revenue, up +86.6% from $22.9 million in (3Q) 2014. Allegiant Air (WJE), Spirit Air Lines (SPR) and Frontier Airlines (FRO) all saw (YOY) baggage fee revenue growth of +25.2%, +23.5% and +22.6%, respectively. Virgin America (VUS)’s (3Q) baggage fee revenue fell -1% (YOY).

Southwest Airlines (SWA) reported a -34.9% (YOY) drop in baggage fee revenue, earning $11.5 million during the September quarter (compared to $17.7 million in (3Q) 2014). (SWA)’s baggage policy allows two checked pieces of baggage per customer. Excess baggage on (SWA) starts at $75 per item one-way.

(DAL) brought in the most revenue for reservation cancellation/change fees during the third quarter with $230.9 million, up +2.1% (YOY). Following (AAL)’s $217 million in revenue, (UAL) reported $202.2 million in revenue, down -4.2% (YOY).

Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s (FRO) and (WJE) both had notable increases in revenue for reservation cancellation/change fees during the quarter. (FRO)’s revenue was up +41.2% (YOY) to $9.3 million, while (WJE)’s was up +31.7% (YOY) to $2.7 million. Minneapolis-based, Sun Country Airlines (SCA) reported reservation cancellation/change fees revenue of $3.8 million during the quarter, over >5 times what the airline earned in (3Q) 2014.

See (AAL) 777-300 video:

January 2016: News Item A-1: "American Airlines (AAL) Posts $7.6 Billion 2015 Net Profit" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, January 29, 2016.

American Airlines (AAL) reported a net profit of $7.61 billion for the full-year 2015, well more than double net income of $2.88 billion in 2014.

Excluding special items that included a $3 billion non-cash benefit related to tax valuation, (AAL) earned a net profit of +$6.3 billion in 2015, up +50% over net income of $4.2 billion, excluding special items in 2014. “It’s hard to imagine that just two years ago (AAL) was just emerging from bankruptcy,” Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker told analysts and reporters.

He noted that the “big concern” in 2015 was how much disruption major integration steps in the (AAL) - US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger process, such as the October cutover to a single reservations system, would cause. “Our team hit the ball out of the park,” Parker said.

(AASL)’s 2015 revenue was $40.99 billion, down -3.9% year-over-year, while expenses decreased -9.4% to $34.79 billion, producing operating income of +$6.2 billion, up +46% over an operating profit of +$4.25 billion in 2014.

(AAL) continues to benefit significantly from lower fuel prices since it does not engage in any fuel hedging. It saved -$4.4 billion on fuel costs in 2015 compared to 2014 and expects to save another -$2 billion in 2016.

(AAL)'s 2015 system traffic was up +2% year-over-year to 223.01 billion (RPM)s on a +1.2% rise in capacity to 268.74 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 83% LF, up +1 point. Yield fell -6.5% to 15.92 cents.

During a January 29 earnings conference call, an analyst questioned why Delta Air Lines (DAL) had a superior flight operational performance than (AAL). Parker said (AAL)’s performance will continue to improve with the major US Airways integration steps behind it and noted that (DAL) is “five years ahead of us” in terms of the timing of the (DAL) - Northwest Airlines (NWA) merger.

“The biggest thing is we ran two airlines through 2015,” Parker said. “If you look at what other carriers did in the second year post-merger, we did better than anybody.”

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) launched four services on January 5, of which three connect New York LaGuardia (LGA) at a 20x-weekly frequency to Cincinnati (CVG), Indianapolis (IND) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP). Commenting on the launch of flights by the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member between Cincinnati and New York’s third biggest airport, after New York (JFK) and New York Newark, Candace McGraw, (CEO), Cincinnati Airport, said: “Our goal is to provide as many options and choices of carriers in all Cincinnati markets. We are especially pleased that (AAL) has decided to add New York LaGuardia to their Cincinnati network, since it is a key business market for our passengers.” All four routes launched by (AAL) will face direct competition from Delta Air Lines (DAL), while two of the services will also see Southwest Airlines (SWA) as an incumbent carrier. The average sector length of the routes is 1,128 km.

Routes as follows:
Cincinnati (CVG) to New York LaGuardia (LGA) EMB-170 20x vs (DAL) 34x,
Indianapolis (IND) to (LGA) EMB-170 20x vs (DAL) 28x, (SWA) 13x,
Minneapolis-St Paul to (LGA) EMB-170 20x vs (DAL) 43x,
Washington Reagan (DCA) to Atlanta (ATL) EMB-175 35x vs (DAL) 86x, (SWA) 39x.

News Item A-4: "(LATAM) Seeks Antitrust-immunized Joint Ventures (JV)s with American (AAL) and the (IAG)" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, January 14, 2016.

The (LATAM) Airlines Group is seeking to form separate joint ventures (JVs) with American Airlines (AAL) and the International Airlines Group (IAG) for travel between North and South America, and between South America and Europe, respectively.

(AAL) and (LATAM), parent to Brazil’s (TAM) (TPR) and Chile’s (LAN) Airlines (as well as affiliated carriers throughout South America), said they will apply for antitrust immunity (ATI) with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) and the relevant regulatory authorities in South America. Similarly, (LATAM) and the (IAG), the parent of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), said they have signed “a joint business agreement” for the operation of “flights between Europe and South America.”

(LAN), (TAM), (AAL), (BAB) and (IBE) are all members of the Oneworld (ONW) alliance. (AAL), (BAB), (IBE) and Finnair (FIN) already operate an antitrust-immunized transatlantic (JV).

The (IAG) said in a statement that (LATAM), (BAB) and (IBE) “plan to seek approval from the appropriate competition authorities in South America and will inform the regulatory authorities in the European Union (EU),” adding, “Under the joint business, (BAB), (IBE) and the (LATAM) Airlines Group would cooperate commercially on flights between the European Union (EU) and South America. They would expand their code share arrangements on flights between and within Europe and South America, significantly increasing the number of destinations that the airlines can offer customers.”

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh hinted at a potential (IAG)-(LATAM) (JV) in December, telling the Aviation Club of the UK that the (IAG) “would like to have closer ties to” (LATAM).

(LATAM) (CEO), Enrique Cueto called the potential (JV)s with (AAL) and the (IAG) “excellent news for Latin America,” adding, “Through these two agreements, we seek to significantly improve the benefits to our clients by providing them with greater connectivity between South America and the USA/Canada and also between South America and Europe. This step is necessary to offer the best network of connections for everyone in Latin America and increases the possibility of adding new routes and direct flights to new destinations, as well as flights already operated by (LATAM) and affiliates in the future.”

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said, “Customers will benefit from more frequent and convenient schedule options than the carriers could offer individually. Travelers headed to Latin America will soon have more seamless access to more than >100 additional destinations with (LATAM) beyond (AAL)’s already extensive network.”

Walsh added, “We already have a close commercial relationship with the (LATAM) Airlines Group as part of the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance and we look forward to enhancing the relationship further. This joint business would benefit customers by providing them with easier journeys to more destinations with better aligned schedules and increased frequencies. This would boost both tourism and business travel between South America and Europe.”

(LATAM) emphasized that it, (AAL) and the (IAG) “will continue to operate independently and maintain control of their respective operations,” adding, “These agreements will not cause any changes to the ownership or administration of the airlines.”

News Item A-5: "Mid-Atlantic USA Snowstorm Prompts Major Flight Cancellations" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, January 22, 2016.

Anticipating a major snowstorm due to strike the USA Mid-Atlantic region over the weekend, airlines have canceled at least 3,014 flights as of 11:30 am (EST) January 22.

According to flight tracking site "FlightAware," as of 11:30 am (EST), airlines reporting cancelations include: American Airlines (AAL) (789 flights canceled), Southwest (SWA) (492), ExpressJet (194), Republic (171), United (UAL) (166), Delta (DAL) (147), Mesa (111) and JetBlue (JBL) (88), among numerous others.

Airports reporting cancelations as of 11:30 am (EST) include Charlotte-Douglas International (396 canceled flights), Washington Reagan National (181), Baltimore-Washington International (167), Washington Dulles International (158), Raleigh-Durham International (123), New York LaGuardia (118), Hartsfield-Jackson International-Atlanta (112) and Chicago O’Hare International (107) among many others.

The USA National Weather Service is forecasting the storm “will impact a large portion of the East Coast from the southern Appalachians through the Mid-Atlantic states from Friday into the weekend. Snowfall totals may exceed two feet in portions of these areas, including the Baltimore and Washington DC metropolitan areas.”

In advance of the storm, several airlines offered ticket-holders for flights between January 21 and January 24 the opportunity to change flights without penalty. In (AAL)’s case, passengers making flight changes will have the ticket-reissue charge waived for one ticket change, and could begin travel as early as January 20 or as late as January 27 under the waiver. JetBlue (JBL)’s change/cancel fees waiver extends the travel change date through January 29.

Southwest Airlines (SWA) had previously announced it will cancel almost 400 flights system wide January 22. (DAL) preemptively canceled 120 flights in the Southeast region, and is expected to cancel more for the Washington DC and New York region as the storm progresses. (UAL) announced it “will be shutting down operations starting Friday afternoon out of Dulles, and a few other airports in the Washington metro area. The company hopes to resume some operations on Sunday," and Etihad (EHD) "has regrettably been forced to cancel . . . [six] flights to and from Abu Dhabi and New York (JFK) and . . . to and from Abu Dhabi and Washington, DC."

February 2016: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) on February 11 launched daily services between Los Angeles (LAX) and Tokyo Haneda (HND). The 8,810 km sector will be operated by (AAL)’s 787-8 fleet. Two incumbent carriers already service this airport pair directly, with All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) both offering daily services. (AAL) already serves the Los Angeles to Tokyo market, with (AAL), the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member currently operating a daily service to Tokyo Narita from (LAX). All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) also both serve Narita as well as Haneda from (LAX), while Japan Airlines (JAL) and United Airlines (UAL) also serve Narita from the Californian hub daily. Singapore Airlines (SIA) offers a daily service between (LAX) and Singapore, which makes an intermediate stop in Narita, a sector on which the Star (SAL) Alliance member does have local traffic rights. With this latest route from the world’s largest airline (AAL), it means that in total it will offer 2x-daily services from (LAX) to Tokyo, with the carrier facing direct competition from five airlines across both routes which combined offer 49 weekly services on the city pair.

News Item A-2: "Free Snacks Now Back at All 3 Big USA Airlines, Even in Coach" by Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, February 1, 2016.

Enjoy your stroopwafels, United (UAL) customers. And your rice crackers and mini pretzel sticks.

Free snacks returned to the economy (Y) cabin of (UAL)'s flights February 1. And, soon, free snacks will be back for (AAL)'s coach (C) class customers, too.

(AAL), the world's biggest carrier, announced February 1 that it will restore complimentary snacks and add more free in-flight entertainment options in the coach (C) class cabin.

The moves by (UAL) and (AAL) - - (Delta never removed its complimentary snacks) - - come as the airline industry has found stable financial footing after a tumultuous run from 2001 into the early 2010s. USA carriers lost money by the billions last decade. But a wave of consolidation subsequently swept over the industry, producing several mega-mergers that has left the USA with four giant airlines that control about 80% of the passenger traffic here.

Some consumer advocates have bemoaned that development, arguing that fewer airlines means less competition. On the flipside, USA airlines are now reporting record profits. And they've begun to use at least some of those profits to improve passengers' flying experiences. "What has changed is that the airlines have been able to fix our core business and be able to reinvest in our customers," Fernand Fernandez, American's VP Global Marketing, said to The Associated Press (AP).

The free snacks in coach (C) class may not mark a sea-change in how airlines operate, but it does signal competition among the biggest carriers. And it may be a shot across the bow to an emerging breed of "ultra" low-cost carriers (ULCC)s that are increasingly expanding at the hubs of major airlines like (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL).

Those (ULCC) discount carriers (Spirit (SPR) & Frontier (FRO) are the biggest in the USA) make their mark by offering rock-bottom fares, but charge extra for almost everything else. Even seat reservations are not free. "We know that we have customers who select our airline based on price and we're really excited to offer them a product that is superior to choosing a (ULCC)," Fernandez said to (AP).

It also allows (AAL) and (UAL) to keep up with (DAL), said Henry Harteveldt, founder of travel consultancy, the Atmosphere Research Group. Even Southwest Airlines (SWA), which offers only coach (C) class seats, has continued to offer basic complimentary snacks.

"These are token investments in the passenger experience that will not cost airlines a lot of money but are small ways to make passengers a little bit happier," Harteveld added to the (AP). "(AAL) and (UAL) realized: We don't let other airlines have an advantage on price, - - why let them have one on pretzels."

As for (AAL), its free snacks will be available this month on its transcontinental flights connecting New York (JFK) to both Los Angeles and San Francisco. (AAL) said all other domestic flights will have "an assortment of complimentary snacks . . . by April."

"We want customers to choose (AAL) every time they fly," (AAL)'s Fernandez said in a statement announcing the change. "We are giving our customer more choices to enhance their personal flying experience by offering new service and new entertainment options in all cabins."

(AAL)'s customers on flights departing prior to 9:45 am local time will receive Biscoff cookies. Passengers on later flights will get either Biscoff cookies or pretzels. (AAL)'s heartier "Food for Sale" items will continue to be sold on its flights.

Starting in May, however, (AAL)'s coach (C) class customers will get complimentary meal service on all flights between Hawaii and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). (DFW) is (AAL)'s busiest hub.

Beyond snacks, (AAL) said it will expand its selection of free in-flight entertainment choices on domestic flights with in-seat entertainment.

Meanwhile, at (UAL), the free coach (C) class snacks started February 1. (UAL), which first announced the move in December, even went so far as to coin a "#GetTheStroop" hashtag on social media to promote its new breakfast offering.

(UAL)'s free snacks will be offered on all of (UAL)'s flights in North America, the Caribbean and between Honolulu and Guam that did not already have a complimentary meal or snack option in coach (C) class. The move comes as new (UAL) (CEO), Oscar Munoz has tried to put customer service in the spotlight at (UAL), acknowledging earlier this fall that "the implementation of the (UAL) and Continental (CAL) merger has been rocky for customers and employees."

(UAL) said coach (C) class customers on flights that depart before 9:45 am will receive a morning stroopwafel, which (UAL) describes as "a Dutch, caramel-filled waffle that pairs perfectly with coffee or tea."

For flights that depart after 9:45 am, economy (Y) customers will get "packaged savory snacks, such as an Asian-style snack mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas or a zesty-ranch mix of mini pretzel sticks, Cajun corn sticks and ranch soy nuts."

The free snacks will be offered in tandem with (UAL)'s for-pay "Choice Menu" items. Those items range from small snacks like Chex Mex (US$3.99) and Pringles (US$3.99) to a more robust breakfast, lunch and dinner options that cost up to US$9.99. The availability of the Choice Menu options varies by flight.

(UAL)'s Latin America flights that already had free meals in coach will not receive the new snacks, since (UAL) will retain its current complimentary offerings in those markets.

News Item A-3: "Embrace, Don’t Hate, Your Profitable Airline" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, February 25, 2016.

USA airline profitability is getting the industry a bad press. You’d think, in a capitalist society that resents government intervention and applauds entrepreneurialism, that Americans would feel good about seeing some of their most well-known global brands doing well.

The reality is the opposite; uniquely, when it comes to its airlines, Americans prefer them down-at-heel. More accurately, perhaps, they would prefer them to be government-owned and controlled. It’s a quixotic view fueled by the nation’s leading newspapers and magazines (the LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and Time magazine) and more have all run columns attacking USA airline profitability and service (and so-called passenger/consumer advocate groups that are calling for more regulations and taxes on airlines).

This is wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin to communicate the message that financially healthy airlines are good for the industry, for passengers, and yes, even for the country.

(IATA) Director General, Tony Tyler took a stab at that messaging in a recent speech in New York, saying “profitability is a good thing for which no one need apologize.” He pointed out that commercial aviation is growing because the value it has delivered, has continued to increase over the 102 years of its existence. Globally, the 3.8 billion people and 53 million tonnes of cargo that airlines will safely carry this year supports some $2.4 trillion in economic activity and some 58 million jobs, he said. In the USA, the world’s largest single air market, aviation supports some 5.7 million jobs, including tourism-related employment, and contributes some $562 billion to USA Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

That last point, (GDP) contribution, is why airlines are good for the country. And look what USA airlines are doing with their new-found financial stability and profitability: buying new aircraft, adding new products and services, paying their employees better so they are happier in their jobs. Here’s one example: American Airlines (AAL) generated record revenue last year of $6.3 billion, but it also made capital expenditures of $6.2 billion and paid down $2.2 billion debt. It’s bringing into service the Boeing 787 and 737 MAX, introduced lie-flat, long-haul business (C) and first (F) class cabins that – finally! compete with those of international competitors.

Yes, USA carriers are also paying down debt and rewarding shareholders with more meaningful, closer-to-industry-standard returns, but that’s what any responsible, private business must do.

USA airlines are now delivering to the investor, while also running incredibly safe operations that transport millions of people to just about anywhere they want to go, within the USA or globally. Apple and Amazon do not have to worry about (or spend money on) ensuring their customers are safe. But for every single one of these profitable USA carriers, safety is the top priority (and it’s a very expensive priority).

USA defense contractors profited (some richly) from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; how is that ok, but airline profitability is wrong?

Tony Tyler is correct (airlines should not apologize for being profitable).

News Item A-4: "American Airlines Picks SelectCare for 757 Fleet" by Flightglobal Michael Gubisch, Maintenance, February 2016.

See attached - "AAL-2016-02 - Rolls Royce SelectCare.jpg."

(AAL) has become the launch customer for Rolls-Royce (RRC)'s new fixed price, engine overhaul scheme, SelectCare. The program is derived from the UK (RRC)'s hours based TotalCare aftermarket support package.

(RRC)'s deal with (AAL) covers a set number of overhauls for (AAL)'s
(RB211-535) engines which power its 757 fleet (66 757-200 airplanes).

News Item A-5: "Gogo to Offer 2Ku Internet to American Airlines"

Gogo acknowledged on February 25 that American Airlines (AAL) is permitted to change Internet providers on roughly 200 Boeing 737s if, in the airline’s “reasonable judgment,” it receives a more favorable contract proposal from another company.

March 2016: News Item A-1: "USA Carriers File Applications to Start Scheduled Flights to Cuba" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, March 2, 2016.

All 4 USA major carriers and at least 3 independents filed applications with the USA government March 2, seeking approval to provide non-stop services to Cuba.

The flood of filings, submitted March 2, come after the USA and Cuba announced an agreement in February to resume scheduled commercial air service. Services are expected to begin late summer or early fall this year, with an initial total of 20 daily round-trip flights being allocated to USA airlines between the USA and Havana and 10 daily round-trip flights to 9 other Cuban cities.

Those slots will be hard fought over as the consolidated “big 4”:— American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA)) and independents Alaska Airlines (ASA), JetBlue Airways (JBL) and Silver Airways rushed to get their applications in. Ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR), based in Florida, has also said it said it plans to apply.

(AAL) is requesting 10 daily frequencies to Havana from its Miami hub plus additional service to Havana from Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Chicago. (AAL)’s proposal also includes daily service between Miami and 5 other Cuban cities.

To Havana, (AAL) is proposing 10 daily flights from Miami, one daily from Charlotte and (DFW), and 1 weekly from (LAX) and Chicago. (AAL) also wants to fly 2x-daily services out of Miami to Santa Clara, Holguin, and Varadero; and daily service to Camaguey and Cienfuegos.

(DAL) wants to fly daily flights to Havana from Atlanta, New York (JFK), Miami, and Orlando, using Boeing 757-200s out of its Atlanta and (JFK) hubs and Boeing 737-800s on the Miami and Orlando routes.

(UAL)'s proposal seeks 11 roundtrip flights per week to Havana that includes daily service from New York, +1 additional Saturday flight (8x-weekly flights), along with a Saturday-only flight from Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Washington Dulles and Chicago O'Hare (3x-weekly flights). (UAL) would use 737-800s.

(SWA) wants to serve Havana from 3 Florida airports: (Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, and Orlando) as well as fly to Varadero and Santa Clara from Fort Lauderdale. (SWA) is an all-737 operator.

New York-based, (JBL) would put Airbus A320s and A321s on 15 daily frequencies connecting 4 Cuba cities with 6 cities. These include 2x-daily, New York (JFK) - Havana; 4x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Havana; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Camaguey; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Holguiìn; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Santa Clara; 2x-daily, Orlando - Havana; 2x-daily, Tampa - Havana; 1x-daily, Newark - Havana; and 1x-daily, Boston - Havana.

(JBL) said it anticipates a start date of September 8, or <100 days after receipt of all necessary approvals, whichever is earlier.

(ASA) (seemingly the only USA carrier with a concept of Cuba’s still limited and fragile infrastructure) has placed a relatively modest request to fly 2x-daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Havana operating 737-900ERs.

Silver Airways, a small regional carrier that operates Saab 340B turboprops, is seeking approval to serve 10 Cuban destinations from the 5 Florida cities of Key West, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers/Naples.

Although the restoration of an air bilateral with Cuba is widely welcomed, general USA tourist travel to Cuba is still not allowed. Initially, at least, the new arrangement will be aimed at facilitating visits by travelers who fall under 1 of the 12 categories authorized by the USA Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

However, USA President, Barack Obama is scheduled to make an historic visit to Cuba March 21 - 22 (the 1st sitting USA President to visit the Caribbean island in 88 years) as part of efforts to normalize diplomatic relations.

(IATA) and others forecast that USA tourism to Cuba will see huge growth.

News Item A-2: "Cuba is a Rare, Hot-growth Opportunity for USA Airlines" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, March 3, 2016.

Large and significant as it is, the USA domestic air transport market is essentially a mature market, growing at about +4 to +5% annually. Relative to regions like China, which is seeing domestic travel increase at about +10% year over year, or India, that is seeing an astonishing +20% clip, the USA market has limited growth opportunities.

That helps to explain the mass rush to grab available frequencies to Cuba for scheduled flights that will become available later this year under the new USA - Cuba air bilateral.

(AAL), (DAL), (SWA), (UAL), (ASA), (JBL), Silver Airways, (SPR), and Frontier Airlines (FRO) all want to get a slice of what is a rare new growth market right on America’s doorstep. Cuba isn’t a USA domestic destination, of course, but much of the Caribbean is regarded as “almost” domestic (especially from Florida and east coast cities (and Puerto Rico is a USA territory)) in terms of appeal and ease of access for American tourists.

What each of these airlines wants to establish is a foot in the door of this new market, then build on it as USA - Cuban diplomatic relations thaw and normalize. Here’s an opportunity to get in 1st on a near-USA market that is expected to see double-digit air traffic growth, akin to the emerging and much further afield markets like China and India.

India, of course, is a much tougher market for USA airlines to break into because the major Gulf carriers got ahead of that game. China, also, is a huge future market (but Chinese carriers are also growing fast, in numbers, quality, aircraft capacity and ability to compete).

Cuba has only Cubana (CUB), a small airline with very limited resources and which has been severely restricted by Havana in the types and origin of aircraft and components it can operate.

In the application filings submitted this week to the USA Department of Transportation, (AAL) made the biggest grab, seeking more than half of the 20 daily round trips that are expected to be made available to Havana, as well as some of the 10 daily round trips dispersed among Cuba’s other 9 airports. (AAL)’s interest is natural, given its Miami hub, but it seems unlikely that the (DOT) will extend a large hand to the largest of the big 4 consolidated airlines. That probably explains why (AAL) has hedged its bets and also submitted applications for Cuban cities like Santa Clara, Holguin, and Varadero, which the other airlines are far less interested in. Havana is the prize.

What will be interesting to see is whether the (DOT) divvies this year’s flight allocations between a couple of the “big 4,” enabling them to offer meaningful frequencies and connections from the get-go, or whether it will disperse them more widely so that independents like (JBL) (which operates charters to Cuba), (ASA), or even small turboprop regional, Silver can get a foothold and keep the market competitive. My guess is the latter.

The timing of this opportunity is also interesting. A few short years ago, (SWA) would not have been a player, but since its acquisition merger with AirTran (CQT), it has become an international airline with a significant Caribbean market it wants to grow. Will the (DOT) regard (SWA) as a low-cost competitor in its decision-making, or just another 1 of the big 4 that dominates 80% of the USA domestic market and warrants as much control as (AAL), (DAL), and (UAL)?

But remember, the real growth trajectory won’t occur until the USA lifts its prohibition on regular American tourists who can visit Cuba, just as they do in their millions to the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Mexico and the rest of the Caribbean. That’s the historic landmark that these USA airlines want to get ahead of and why these initial flight allocations are so important. It’s a critical moment for a USA airline to get in on the ground as a new market opens; and that’s a rare opportunity.

News Item A-3: (AAL), between March 3 and 5, launched a total of 10 routes across its USA and Mexico network. The airports to make the biggest gains from the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance carrier’s expansion are Phoenix (PHX) and Cancún (CUN), with both gaining 4 new services from (AAL). Of the 10 sectors, 4 will face direct competition, with (DAL) offering a competing service on 3 of the 4 new routes from Cancún. The average frequency of the new services was 5.8.

Routes as follows:
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Albany (ALB) 21x-, vs (UAL) 19x;
Dallas Fort/Worth (DFW) to Merida (MID) A319 5x-;
Phoenix (PHX) to Lubbock (LBB) CRJ9 7x-,
to Memphis (MEM) CRJ9 7x-,
to Midland (MAF) CRJ9 7x-,
to Roswell (ROW) CRJ9 7x-;
Kansas City (MCI) to Cancún (CUN) 737-800 1x-,
Nashville (BNA) to (CUN) 737-800 1x-,
Pittsburgh (PIT) to (CUN) A319 1x- vs (DAL) 1x-
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) - to (CUN) 737-800 1x- vs (DAL) 1x-.

News Item A-4: "American vs Delta for Los Angeles - Beijing Authority" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, March 29, 2016.

(AAL) has applied to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for permission to fly daily between Los Angeles (LAX) and Beijing (PEK), pitting it against rival (DAL) for the route authority.

(DAL) earlier this month sought permission from the (DOT) for daily, (LAX) - (PEK) flights. With only 7x-weekly USA - China route slots remaining available to USA carriers, the (DOT) will have to choose between (AAL) and (DAL) for the (LAX) - (PEK) flights. Both airlines said they would like to launch the service on December 16, 2016.

No USA airline currently operates between Los Angeles and Beijing nonstop. The only airline operating the route is Beijing-based, Air China (BEJ), and (UAL) code shares with (BEJ) on the route.

(AAL) does serve (PEK) from Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare, while (DAL) serves (PEK) from Seattle and Detroit. “This new route would be our only Beijing access from the western USA, creating new connections to one of Asia’s major business and leisure destinations,” (AAL) said. An (AAL) spokesperson said (AAL) would use a Boeing 777-200 on the (LAX) - (PEK) route.

(DAL), which plans to operate the route with a 777-200ER configured with 291 seats including 37C lie-flat business (C)-class seats, said the route would provide “our business (C) customers with access to Beijing and beyond through our partnerships with China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and China Southern Airlines (GUN).”

News Item A-5: "American (AAL), Southwest (SWA) pilots (FC) Back Shuster’s (ATC) Plan" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, March 4, 2016.

Unions representing pilots (FC) from (AAL) and (SWA) have added their support to the proposal by Representative Bill Shuster (Republican-Pennsylvania) to separate USA air traffic control (ATC) from the (FAA).

Shuster’s proposed (FAA) re-authorization bill, which has cleared the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I), chaired by Shuster, would move the management and operation of USA (ATC) to a “federally chartered, fully independent, not-for-profit corporation” led by a board of directors that would include a pilot (FC) labor representative. Both the (SWA) Pilots Association (SWAPA), representing (SWA)’s 8,000 flight deck crew, and the Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing (AAL)’s 15,000 pilots (FC), were pleased Shuster’s original bill was amended during a (T&I) markup so that the governing board’s pilot (FC) labor representative would be appointed by a coalition of flight deck crew labor groups rather than just the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

(ALPA) remains opposed to the bill. (SWAPA) and (APA) both said they would like to see additions to the legislation related to, for example, pilot (FC) medical certification reform. However, the two unions said such concerns aren’t enough to stop them from backing the overall bill, particularly the plan to create a non-profit, independent (ATC) corporation led by a 13-member board of directors (the T&I markup added aerospace manufacturing and business aviation directors to the board, bringing its membership from 11 to 13).

“For decades, we have watched valuable taxpayer-supported resources used in well-intended efforts to modernize the (FAA) and the air traffic control (ATC) system, only to have those efforts thwarted or become obsolete at implementation due to the vagaries and inefficiencies of the federal funding mechanism,” (APA) President, Keith Wilson said in explaining his support for “separating the regulated from the regulators.”

(SWAPA) President Jon Weaks said, “For too long, the delays in upgrading our (ATC) technology have led to costly delays for passengers on the ground. [The proposed bill] will take bold and significant steps to separate the (FAA)’s air traffic controllers from the federal bureaucracy that has deprived them of the tools necessary to best do their job.”

Shuster’s plan to create an (ATC) corporation separate from the (FAA) has already gained the backing of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the union representing 19,000 USA air traffic controllers.

News Item A-6: "American Airlines Pilots: We Are Tired of Apologizing for Our Embarrassing Company" by Benjamin Zhang, Business Insider, March 08, 2016.

(AAL) had a banner year in 2015, reporting a stellar +US$6.3 billion in profit.

During the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline's last investor call, (CEO) Doug Parker praised his company for successfully emerging from its merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA).

But now it looks like the newly merged airline is not without its share of growing pains.

The Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing (AAL)'s pilots (FC), published a scathing letter last week blasting (AAL) for its "toxic" labor relations and declining product quality.

"The pilots (FC) of (AAL) will not remain silent as we witness the rebirth of the toxic culture we fought so hard to eradicate," the union wrote.

In the letter, the union accused (AAL) management of engaging in "old school, rules-based management" as well as "cut-throat and heartless operating methods."

Further, the (APA) offered complaints about crew (FC) scheduling that's in violation of its labor agreement and incorrectly calculated pay for pilots (FC).

That's in addition to (AAL)'s product, which the union claims is so "embarrassing" that the pilots (FC) are "tired of apologizing to passengers."

But (AAL) doesn't believe that things are as desperate and difficult as the union claims. And it should be noted that the (APA)'s national elections are slated to kick off later this month. "We are working hard with everyone to make sure that (AAL) is a fantastic place to work," (AAL) spokesman, Casey Norton told "Business Insider." "A culture change is on its way."

"The only way we can serve our customers better is by serving our employees better," Norton added.

In addition, Norton told "Business Insider" that most of the (HR) and scheduling issues will be ameliorated by the company's new consolidated flight-operations system, which will come on line later this year.

According to (AAL), it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to streamline (AAL)'s (HR) system, including its crew scheduling and benefits system.

Last year, (AAL) and the (APA) agreed to a 5-year deal that gave (AAL)'s pilots (FC) a +23% raise in the 1st year and +3% raises each subsequent year.

In the letter, the (APA) goes on to praise rival Delta Air Lines (DAL) for its solid labor relations. But the vast majority of the Atlanta-based carriers' employees are not unionized. (DAL)'s pilots (FC) have asked for a +40% raise over the next 3 years after rejecting (DAL)'s proposal for a +22% raise last summer.

Finding consistency in service and product offering after a merger is a difficult task to achieve. 5 years after (UAL) and Continental (CAL)'s merger, the resulting (UAL) still struggles with product integration.

Premerger (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) were very different airlines functioning under different competitive pressures. (AAL)'s traditional in-flight product tended to be of a high caliber simply because of the highly competitive hubs it had to operate from, such as New York, London, and Los Angeles.

Conversely, (AMW)/(USA) found a way to become incredibly successful by operating hubs out of smaller, less competitive markets, such as Phoenix, Charlotte, and Philadelphia (so much so that its management team was able to take over the much larger (AAL)).

Since the smaller markets afforded less competition, (AMW)/(USA) didn't have to operate with (AAL) levels of scrutiny upon its in-flight product.

That's certainly created complications for the merged airline.

According to Norton, (AAL) has invested $3 billion on customer improvements, such as ungraded lounges and in-flight product. Crews on all (AAL) flights now work from the same operations manual and should provide the same food and service regardless of which airline once operated the route.

Also, (AAL) is in the middle of 1 of the largest fleet-renewal projects in airline history, and is expecting to take delivery of >100 new jets this year. By year's end, the average age of (AAL)'s fleet should dip below the 10-year mark, which is significantly younger than (UAL)'s and (DAL)'s fleets.

News Item A-7: "(CEO): American Shifts Focus to Employees, Product" by (ATW) Madhu Unnikrishnan, March 14, 2016.

American Airlines (AAL) will focus on investing in its employees and on board product, now that much of the integration with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has been completed, (CEO) Doug Parker said.

Parker said management has to regain the trust of (AAL)’s employees. In the years leading up to (AAL)’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011 and afterward, employees took pay cuts and made other concessions. But now that (AAL) is back to financial health (it reported 2015 net profit of +$7.6 billion) (AAL) must reward its employees, Parker said.

He acknowledged that increased pay for all its employees will hit (AAL)’s bottom line, explaining that “we have to have an engaged and excited workforce. The history has been bad enough,” referring to the pre-bankruptcy and pre-merger historically difficult relationship with unionized employees. “It’s been long enough. If we can get this right, there’s a huge upside.”

(AAL) plans to invest $3 billion in its on board product and lounges to enhance the customer experience over the next year, Parker said.
This figure does not include investment in aircraft. Part of the program will be upgrading (AAL)’s "Admirals Club" lounges, as well as retrofitting the fleet with business (C)-class lie-flat seats.

(AAL) remains committed to seat-back in-flight entertainment systems, despite (AAL)’s investment in on board Wi-Fi, because some customers have expressed a preference for them,

The (CEO) asked investors to value the company not as an airline, but as a “high-quality industrial” company. Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson has been adamant in referring to (DAL) as such, and Parker said it is time for Wall Street to consider (AAL) as more than an airline. “We are now one of those guys,” Parker stressed. “[DAL] was 5 years ahead of us, because they got their merger done 5 years ahead of us.”

News Item A-8: American Airlines (AAL) promoted Devon May to Senior VP Finance.

News Item A-9: "Gogo New Open Architecture Modem Ready for (HTS), (LEO) Satellite Connectivity" by Juliet Van Wagenen, Avionics Today, March 1, 2016.

Gogo will upgrade its satellite modem for use with its next generation 2Ku and Ku satellite technologies. The modem will begin flight testing on Gogo's Boeing 737 test lab airplane, known as the "Jimmy Ray," in the coming months, with the company anticipating commercial delivery to begin in 2017.

According to Gogo, the new modem will be capable of delivering 400 Mbps to an airplane to support the anticipated capacity of next generation High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). The modem will also have the capability to simultaneously supporting (IP) streaming and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

"Just like your home or office Wi-Fi set-up, you can make improvements to the amount of bandwidth delivered, but if the modem can't support that bandwidth, you can create a choke point in the network," said Anand Chari, Gogo's Chief Technology Officer, noting that the new modem also seeks to enable an open architecture to take advantage of new satellite technologies as they come online, such as High Throughput Satellite (HTS) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations.

Gogo partnered with Gilat Satellite Networks for the development of the new modem. The (IFC) company has begun the licensing approval process for the new modem through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the (FAA).

April 2016: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) reported a 1st-quarter net profit of +$700 million, down -24.9% from net income of +$932 million in the 2015 March quarter, as revenue fell -4% year-over-year to $9.44 billion.

(AAL)’s 1st-quarter mainline (PRASM) dropped -8.9% year-over-year to 11.4 cents, and President Scott Kirby said “we expect the revenue environment to remain challenging throughout 2016.” He said a return to positive unit revenue growth is not expected until 2017.

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker said the company remains “bullish” on the long-term prospects of both (AAL) and the USA airline industry, but added, “Because we’re bullish doesn’t mean we’re absolutely pleased with our current performance. We aren’t.” He said (AAL)’s management team is particularly disappointed with (AAL)’s revenue performance, which he described as not being “acceptable or long term.”

(AAL)’s 1st-quarter expenses totaled $8.1 billion, down -5.9% year-over-year, including a -33.3%, or -$525 million, drop in fuel costs. Operating income was $1.34 billion, up +9.8% over an operating profit of +$1.22 billion in the prior-year quarter.

(AAL)’s mainline first-quarter traffic increased +3.1% year-over-year to 46.22 billion (RPM)s on a +3.1% rise in capacity to 57.56 billion (ASM)s, producing a flat load factor of 80.3% LF. Yield dropped -8.9% to 14.2 cents.

Parker cited a 5% profit sharing program, which kicked in as of January 1, as another factor that brought down the first-quarter bottom line profit, but predicted it would pay off over the long term. “I know investors may question that decision” to implement profit sharing, he said. “It’s a big decision.”

But Parker said it was necessary, because some employees had left the company over disappointment with compensation. Too many (AAL) employees “felt we weren’t appreciating their contribution to the bottom line,” Parker explained. “We had to have our team engaged and excited, and [not having profit sharing] was holding us back. We have indeed seen an uplift in engagement and excitement [since profit sharing was instituted]. I know it’s good for our shareholders [long term]. It’s impossible to quantify. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I know it’s the right decision.”

News Item A-2: (AAL) turned 90 years old on April 15. It began with the Robertson Aircraft Corporation (RAC) DH-4 mail flight piloted by Charles Lindbergh on a Chicago - St Louis route. (RAC) went through mergers and name changes, becoming (AAL) in the 1930s.

News Item A-3: (AAL) launched 6 USA domestic routes on April 5 from its hubs at Charlotte Douglas (CLT), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), New York LaGuardia (LGA), and Washington Reagan (DCA). All of (AAL)’s new routes will be operated at least 2x-daily on board (AAL)’s regional jet fleet. Of (AAL)’s 6 new routes, 5 will face direct competition, with 2 facing >1 incumbent carrier.

News Item A-4: Airbus (EDS) has rolled out the 1st USA-built (AAL) A321 of the paint shop at the Mobile, Alabama facility.

The aircraft is the second A321 to be produced in the Mobile facility, but the 1st for (AAL). According to Airbus (EDS), there are 8 aircraft in production for (AAL) at the facility.

(MAAS) Aviation performed the paint job.

June 2016: "6 USA Airlines Granted Permission to Operate Cuba Flights" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, June 10, 2016.

6 USA airlines have been granted permission by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin scheduled flights between the USA and Cuba in the autumn. The awards follow last December’s bilateral agreement between the USA and Cuba to restart scheduled commercial flights between the countries. The route authorities were approved for non-Havana services; the (DOT) said it will make a decision on Havana authorities over the summer.

American Airlines (AAL), Frontier Airlines (FRO), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Silver Airways (Saab 340B turboprop operator based in Fort Lauderdale), Southwest Airlines (SWA), and Sun Country Airlines (SCA) all had their applications to operate non-Havana routes approved in full by the (DOT). Miami-based Eastern Air Lines (EAL)’s application was deferred because the startup carrier using the historic name is currently only authorized to operate charter flights.

“Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to ‘begin a new journey’ with the Cuban people,” USA Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century.”

(AAL) has been authorized to fly 2x-daily between Miami and the Cuban destinations Santa Clara, Holguin, and Matanzas, and daily between Miami and Camaguey plus Cienfuegos. The flights to/from Santa Clara and Holguin will be operated with 160-seat Boeing 737-800s, while the 3 other routes will be flown with 144-seat Airbus A319s. (AAL) said the flights are expected to start in September.

(FRO) has been authorized to fly daily between Chicago O’Hare and Santiago de Cuba, and weekly (on Saturdays) between O’Hare and Matanzas. Additionally, (FRO) can fly 4x-weekly between Philadelphia and Camaguey, 3x-weekly between Philadelphia and Santa Clara, and weekly (on Saturdays) between Philadelphia and Matanzas. All of (FRO)’s Cuba flights will be operated with 180 to 186-seat A320s.

(JBL) has been given permission to fly daily between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Camaguey, Holguin and Santa Clara in Cuba. All of (JBL)’s Cuba flights will be with 162-seat A320s.

Silver has been granted the authority to fly between Fort Lauderdale and nine Cuban destinations: Camaguey (5x-weekly, but not on Mondays or Fridays), Cayo Coco (3x-weekly), Cayo Largo del Sur (weekly on Saturdays), Cienfuegos (2x-weekly), Holguin (daily), Manzanillo (3x-weekly), Santa Clara (daily), Santiago de Cuba (daily) and Matanzas (4x-weekly). All of Silver’s flights will be operated with 34Y-seat Saab 340B turboprops.

(SWA) has been given permission to fly between Fort Lauderdale and Matanzas (2x-daily) and between Fort Lauderdale and Santa Clara (daily) using 143-seat 737-700s.

Sun Country (SCA) has been granted authority to fly between Minneapolis and Santa Clara (weekly on Sundays) and between Minneapolis and Matanzas (weekly on Saturdays) using 737s.

“Today’s news is historic on many fronts, especially for the families who, for the 1st time in generations, will have affordable air travel to visit their loved ones,” (JBL) President & (CEO) Robin Hayes said.

July 2016: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) reported a 2016 2nd-quarter net profit of +$950 million, down -44.3% from +$1.7 billion in net income in the 2015 June quarter, as revenue fell -4.3% year-over-year to $10.36 billion.

(AAL) noted that the quarter’s earnings were negatively affected by a $541 million non-cash tax provision that (CFO) Derek Kerr said skews year-over-year comparisons. He argued that a more accurate indicator is pre-tax profit excluding special items; on that basis, (AAL) earned +$1.5 billion in the 2nd quarter, down slightly from a +$1.6 billion profit on a similar basis in the prior-year period.

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker told analysts and reporters the year-over-year profit decline is “revenue driven.” Like much of the rest of the USA airline industry, (AAL) continues to report unit revenue declines. In the 2nd quarter, mainline unit revenue as measured in (PRASM) dropped -7% year-over-year to 11.5 cents.

(AAL)’s 2nd-quarter expenses decreased -3.3% year-over-year to $8.61 billion and operating income was $1.75 billion, down -8.8% from an operating profit of +$1.92 billion in the 2015 June quarter.

(AAL)’s 2nd-quarter mainline traffic rose +0.6% year-over-year to 51.93 billion (RPM)s on a +1.2% increase in capacity to 62.67 billion (ASM)s, producing 82.9% LF, down -0.5 point. Mainline yield declined -6.4% 13.88 cents.

While Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) have both warned about the negative impact on the airline business of the Brexit vote in the UK, with an expected dip in travel demand between the USA and the UK, (AAL) executives believe the impact may actually be positive near term and certainly not negative. “I think for the next few years at least there’s not going to be much impact from Brexit,” (AAL) President Scott Kirby said, noting that so far it is “hard to see any evidence it’s a big problem.” In fact, he said, there will likely be “a lot more lawyers, bankers, consultants flying across the Atlantic trying to figure out what this means.”

Kirby conceded that “longer term,” a weaker UK economy may dampen transatlantic demand, but “near term I don’t see a lot of problems.”

News Item A-2: "DOT Proposes 4 USA Airlines for Daytime Slots at Tokyo Haneda" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, July 20, 2016

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) on July 20 gave tentative approval to American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), and United Airlines (UAL) as proposed final candidates for daytime service to Tokyo Haneda Airport. USA departure cities proposed by the (DOT) are Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, and Minneapolis.

The applicants are aiming for 5 flights per day to Tokyo Haneda, which is regarded as Japan’s busiest airport and is the closest airport to downtown Tokyo.

Following the February 18 agreement between the USA and Japanese governments to open Haneda to daytime USA service, 4 USA airlines applied for the daytime rights.

The agreement, which was an amendment to the bilateral "Open Skies" agreement between the USA and Japan, announced that effective October 30, 2016, the 4 existing USA nighttime slot pairs at Haneda will be transferred to daytime hours. Additionally, a new daytime slot plus a new nighttime slot were announced and made available.

Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) was the only carrier to apply for the new night time opening. The (DOT) awarded the slot to (HWI) on May 13, for service between Honolulu and Haneda, and service between Kona, Hawaii, and Haneda.

Nonstop night time flights to Haneda are already in operation from Los Angeles (operated by (DAL), (AAL) and (UAL)), Honolulu (operated by (AAL), (HWI) and (UAL)) and San Francisco (operated by (AAL) and (UAL)).

The (DOT) will receive objections to the proposed allocations through August 1, with answers to the objections due for submission the following week, on August 8. The (DOT) said it will review all of the material and make its decision soon thereafter.

Mark Nensel, mark.nensel@penton.com

August 2016: News Item A-1: "USA Airlines Tickets to Havana Already On Sale" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, marknensel@penton.co, August 31, 2016.

The 8 USA airlines granted permission by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) on August 31 to operate scheduled flights between the USA and Havana have begun rolling out proposed service plans. Tickets are already on sale at Spirit Airlines (SPR) and United Airlines (UAL). All routes require approval by the Cuban government. Most airlines will not reveal start dates until the approval is granted.

* Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (ASA) is tentatively scheduling 1x-daily service involving a Seattle - Los Angeles -Havana same-airplane routing.

* American Airlines (AAL) will operate 4x-daily service from Miami and a 1x-daily flight from Charlotte, North Carolina.

* Delta Air Lines (DAL) intends to begin 1x-daily nonstop service to Havana from Atlanta, Miami and New York (JFK) on December 1. (DAL) said tickets for the proposed flights will go on sale September 10. (DAL) operated charter flights to Havana from the USA at various times since 2002, including a period from October 2011 through December 2012 in which up to 12 flights to Havana per week originated from Miami, Atlanta and New York (JFK).

* Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate 1x-daily service from Miami.

* New York-based JetBlue Airways (JBL), which on August 31 made the 1st commercial airline passenger flight to Cuba in nearly 55 years, will operate 2x-daily service from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (excluding Saturday, which will be 1x-daily) and 1x-daily service from both New York (JFK) and Orlando, Florida. (JBL) announced it will offer Cuban government-required health insurance coverage as part of the ticket purchase price. Additionally, as part of the online booking process, customers can fill out the required affidavit indicating which of 12 USA Treasury Department-approved Cuba-travel reasons (ie, family visits, educational activities, religious activities, journalism, humanitarian projects, professional research, professional meetings, etc.) is applicable to them.

* Florida-based low cost-carrier (LCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR) expects to begin 2x-daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on December 1. Tickets for (SPR)’s flights to Havana went on sale on September 1, but (SPR)’s booking site stipulates the flight is subject to government approval. Cuban government-required health insurance is bundled into the ticket price, (SPR) said.

* Southwest Airlines (SWA) intends to offer 2x-daily nonstop service to Havana from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and 1x-daily nonstop service from Tampa, in addition to 2x-daily nonstops from (FLL) to Varadero, Cuca and 1x-daily nonstop service to Santa Clara, Cuba. (SWA) said the airline intends to launch its Cuban flights later this year.

* United Airlines (UAL) will begin 1x-daily nonstop flights to Havana from Newark, New Jersey, on November 29, pending Cuban government approval, (UAL) said. Additionally, (UAL) will have 1x-Saturday-only service to Havana from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). (UAL)’s Havana flights went on sale on September 1. (UAL) will operate both services utilizing Boeing 737 airplanes.

News Item A-2: "4 Questions Arising From Scott Kirby's American-to-United Move" by (ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp Blog, August 31, 2016.

If you click on the (URL) for Scott Kirby’s executive bio at American Airlines (AAL), you land on a generic link on (AAL)’s website that states: “This page must have taken flight.” This is perhaps the understatement of the year in the airline business.

Indeed, Kirby’s surprise jump from the post of (AAL)’s President to United Airlines (UAL)’s President, breaking up a longtime association with (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker, continues to reverberate around the global airline industry. Here are 4 pressing questions arising from the switch:

1: Did (AAL) really decide to cut Scott Kirby loose? (AAL) has tried to spin the move as a proactive step it took, noting that Kirby (who goes from being the #2 executive at (AAL) to the #2 executive at (UAL)) is receiving a lucrative severance package ($3.85 million in cash). But for anyone who follows the USA airline industry closely, it defies belief that (AAL) would unilaterally decide to dump its top strategist and one of the brightest stars in global airline management (absent Kirby having other options and wanting out for some reason).

Kirby and Parker go back >2 decades, and Kirby has been Parker’s right-hand man through the America West Airlines (AMW) - US Airways (USA) and US Airways (USA) - American (AAL) mergers. But (AAL) is Parker’s airline to run, and it is expected to be for some time. Kirby’s exit from (AAL) is likely a combination of the opening at (UAL), where (CEO) Oscar Munoz has been revamping his executive team, and a realization by Kirby that he would have to wait a very long time to become (CEO) at (AAL).

2: Will Kirby be (UAL)’s next (CEO)? Nothing has been said publicly on this front, but there is widespread speculation that Kirby at least has been led to believe this is a possibility, whereas it wasn’t a realistic possibility at (AAL). Say one thing for Munoz, who joined (UAL) from the freight rail industry last September: he is not afraid to have deputies with high-profile credentials who are considered potential airline (CEO) material. Both Kirby and new (CFO) Andrew Levy have held the title of “President” for multiple years at other airlines despite only being in their 40s.

While there is speculation that Munoz was forced into making these hires because of the board turmoil at (UAL) earlier this year, my sense is that Munoz truly wants to turn around (UAL) by surrounding himself with talented people who, like him, are willing to think outside of the conventional box. Even if Munoz (who is well liked by (UAL)’s employees) does not end up being (UAL)’s (CEO) for a decade, being the man who finally righted (UAL) would be quite an achievement, and Munoz is assembling a team that gives him the best chance of success.

3: Does Kirby bring insider knowledge of (AAL)’s strategies and thinking to (UAL) that will hurt (AAL)? Per the terms of a separation agreement, Kirby has agreed to hold (AAL) proprietary information “confidential and will not use or disclose any such proprietary information…,” including to a new employer. In truth, USA airlines are legally forced to divulge so much information publicly that there are not too many secrets. And Kirby is a very candid talker on quarterly earnings calls with analysts and reporters (usually speaking more than Parker on (AAL)’s calls) so his views on a wide range of issues, from fuel hedging to ultra low-cost carriers (ULCC)s to Brexit, are widely known. The fact that Kirby is no longer in the room when (AAL) executives are strategizing is what hurts (AAL) most.

4: What does the pairing of Kirby and former Allegiant Air (WJE) President Andrew Levy as (UAL)’s President and (CFO) foretell? Expect (UAL) to develop a very specific product offering to appeal to passengers flying on (ULCC)s like Allegiant (WJE), Spirit Airlines (SPR) and Frontier Airlines (FRO) (a big player at (UAL)’s Denver hub). Kirby noted last year that half of (AAL)’s revenue comes from 87% of its passengers who fly 1x- a year. Those infrequent flyers view flight tickets as a commodity and simply want the lowest fare, Kirby has said.

“When 50% of our revenue is up for grabs, we have to compete,” Kirby, who spearheaded (ULCC) price matching at (AAL), has explained. “We can’t just walk away. If we’re going to fly head-to-head, we need to match their fares.”

Also, I would expect (UAL) to reevaluate its fuel hedging program and probably drop it altogether. (AAL) and (WJE) do not hedge (which has allowed both carriers to fully benefit from low fuel prices), and Kirby and Levy have both been publicly critical of the practice.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (IAAL) announced several marketing appointments: Kurt Stache moves to Senior VP Marketing & Loyalty; Vasu Raja moves to VP Network Planning; Joe Mohan was hired as VP Alliances & Partnerships; and Bridget Blaise-Shamai was promoted to VP Loyalty.

News Item A-4: According to FAPA.aero, American Airlines (AAL) hired 18 pilots (FC) in July and 302 (FC) year-to-date.

News Item A-5: American Airlines retired 20 MD-80s on August 23 as it continues to wind down an airplane type that was once a fleet workhorse. (AAL) plans to have just 52 MD-80s left at the end of 2016 (at one point, (AAL) had >350 of the type in its fleet.

While the MD-80s, which have an average age of >20 years, are ultimately being replaced by newer Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s, the 20 MD-80s grounded in 1 day are not being replaced on a 1-for-1 basis.

(AAL) spokesperson Josh Freed explained that the timing was right to retire the 20 MD-80s all at once. “This follows the [MD-80 retirement] pace we’ve been planning along,” he said. “The summer flying season is wrapping up and this is the time to bring the fleet down.”

There will be at least some MD-80s in the American fleet through the summer of 2018, Freed said. He noted that 3 of the 20 MD-80s retired on August 23 were originally Trans World Airlines (TWA) airplanes that (AAL) took over when (TWA) ended operations in 2001.

News Item A-6: 737-823 (31248 N996NN) and 3 A321-231s (7013, N167AN; 7046, N986AN; 7079, N987AM) deliveries. The following airplanes were ferried to Roswell for storage: 757-223 (25731, N689AA); 757-2S7 (23321, N901AW); 2 767-323ER (24032, N351AA; 24042, N361AA); 12 MD-82 (48314, N403A; 49652, N477AA; 49654, N479AA; 49655, N480AA; 49656, N481AA; 49675, N482AA; 49678, N485AA; 49679, N486AA; 49731, N493AA; 49737, N499AA; 49897, N752OA; 49798, N70504); 10 MD-83 (49454, N436AA; 49346, N564AA; 49347, N565AA; 49351, N569AA; 49352, N570AA; 49353, N571AA; 53137, N9401W; 53138, N9402W; 53139, N9403W; 53140, N9494V).

October 2016: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) reported 3rd-quarter 2016 net income of +$737 million, down -56.5% from a net profit of +$1.7 billion in the prior-year period, and is planning conservative capacity growth through 2017.

(AAL) pointed out that pre-tax net income excluding special items was -$1.5 billion, but earnings on that basis were still -$400 million lower year-over-year. Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker told analysts and reporters that “while [earnings] are down, they’re still the 2nd-best 3rd-quarter results in (AAL)’s history after only last year’s 3rd quarter.”

Unit revenue, as measured in (RASM), was down -2.2% year-over-year in the 3rd quarter to 14.73 cents, but Parker noted that (RASM) was up year-over-year for the month of September. “The [unit revenue] trend’s good and it appears to be continuing,” he said. September marked the 1st month of positive (RASM) growth for (AAL) since November 2014.

(AAL) expects quarterly (RASM) growth to turn positive in the 1st half of 2017, and is keeping capacity growth low to help make that happen. (CFO) Derek Kerr said (AAL)’s capacity will be up +1.5% for the full year 2016, which is down -0.5 point from previous guidance. 4th-quarter capacity is expected to be flat.

While (AAL) is “still in the process of developing our operating plan” for 2017, Kerr said (AAL) expects system capacity to grow just +1% for the full year 2017, including flat domestic capacity and a +3.5% rise in international capacity driven by transpacific flying.

(AAL)’s 3rd-quarter revenue dropped -1.1% year-over-year to $10.6 billion, while expenses increased +5.2% to $9.2 billion, producing an operating profit of $1.4 billion, down -28.4% from an operating profit of +$2 billion in the 2015 September quarter. Parker said cost increases are “driven primarily by investment in our team”—pay increases from new labor contracts and profit sharing.

Parker said (AAL)’s investment in labor will pay off long term. “We’ve taken care of our people faster [than our competitors, which has] increased our costs by a good bit” in the near term, he said.

(AAL)’s 3rd-quarter system traffic decreased -1.6% year-over-year to 59.9 billion (RPM)s on a +1.2% increase in capacity to 71.9 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 83.3% LF, down -2.3 points. Yield fell -0.6% to 15.3 cents.

News Item A-2: Fiji Airways (APC) and American Airlines (AAL) are strengthening their code share agreement to include more cities in the USA, as well as a significant international connection at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The extended agreement allows for connections when flying between Fiji, across the USA and the UK. Fiji Airways (APC) will add 8 new code share departure cities to/from Los Angeles (LAX) and 7 connecting flights to/from San Francisco (SFO). This gives customers traveling on (APC) nonstop flights from (LAX) and (SFO) better access to Fiji from major USA cities such as Atlanta, Nashville, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, New York, Miami, and Phoenix. (AAL)’s customers also gain new code share service on (APC) between (SFO) and Nadi, Fiji.

News Item A-3: "Southeast USA Braced for Hurricane Matthew; Over >2,300 Flights Canceled" by (ATW) Mark Nensel mark.nensel@penton.com, October 6, 2016.

As Hurricane Matthew, a major Category 4 storm, bore down on Florida and the southeastern USA on October 6, airlines serving the region announced preemptive operational closures and flight cancellations. Nearly 2,400 preemptive flight cancellations were announced.

As of noon, October 6, Delta Air Lines (DAL) had shuttered operations at Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport, resulting in 130 total flight cancellations. Additionally, (DAL) canceled nearly 150 mainline and Delta Connection flights for Friday, October 7 to and from airports in Melbourne, Orlando, Daytona Beach, Gainesville, and Jacksonville, Florida. (DAL) said additional cancellations for flights Saturday, October 8 to coastal Georgia and South Carolina airports were made.

As of October 6, at 2:30 pm (CDT), Southwest Airlines (SWA) estimated about 60 flights were canceled systemwide, and about 130 flights were canceled for October 7. (SWA) canceled all operations at Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and West Palm Beach, Florida, for Thursday and Friday, October 6 & 7. Operations in Jacksonville were canceled October 7 and resumed at 1:30 (CDT) on October 8. Operations in Orlando were canceled October 6 and October 7. (SWA) had some delays and cancellations in Charleston, South Carolina for October 7. For the airports on the east coast of Florida, (SWA) said it adjusted its resumption of service plans as needed once the storm passed.

JetBlue Airways (JBL) canceled over >450 flights through October 8. (JBL) offered to waive change/cancel fees for customers traveling October 5 - 9 to/from Charleston, South Carolina; Daytona Beach, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Orlando, Florida (MCO); Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Savannah/Hilton Head, Georgia; and West Palm Beach, Florida.

American Airlines (AAL) canceled 65 flights for October 5, with 600 flights preemptively canceled for October 6, 475 flights canceled for October 7, 130 flights canceled for October 8 and 20 flights canceled for October 10; 1,290 flights in all.

United Airlines (UAL) said it canceled nearly 180 flights in Florida through October 8, 2016.

News Item A-4: "3 Reasons why Major USA Airlines are not Planning to Grow in 2017" by Aaron Karp in AirKarp blog, October 21, 2016.

The 3 top global USA airlines (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) appear to be bringing growth to a near halt through next year, with little-to-no growth in the domestic market and only marginal international growth expected through the end of 2017. (DAL) has already capped system capacity growth at 1% for the 2016 4th quarter and all of 2017. (AAL)’s system capacity is expected to be flat in the 4th quarter and grow just +1% in 2017, including no domestic growth next year. (UAL) will end up growing full year 2016 capacity just +1.2% to 1.4% and, while it hasn’t given specific guidance on 2017, it is unlikely (UAL) will grow much next year. If USA carriers are so healthy from a net profit standpoint ((AAL), (DAL) and (UAL)posted nearly $3 billion in combined net income in the 2016 3rd quarter) why are they forswearing growth in 2017? 3 reasons:

1. USA airlines desperately need to get unit revenue back to +ve growth. (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said recently that the USA airline industry is experiencing the “weakest revenue environment in recent memory.” Bastian said a lack of pricing power, not weak demand, is the cause of the weak revenue environment. Indeed, USA air fares are set to fall by >5% for the 2nd straight year in 2016. Since late 2014, airline unit revenue (as measured in either (RASM) or (PRASM)) has consistently declined on a year-over-year basis quarter after quarter.

Wall Street has punished airlines for this. As much as airline executives want to dismiss unit revenue as a short-term metric that isn’t very meaningful long term, sustained declines in unit revenue simply aren’t acceptable to airline shareholders. So 2017 is all about returning to +ve unit revenue growth for the major USA airlines. As Bastian said, “capacity is a significant lever” airlines can pull to affect unit revenue performance. If the airlines stop growing, a relatively strong demand environment should lead to increased pricing power, meaning higher fares and rising unit revenue. If (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) accomplish nothing else in 2017, they want to get back to +ve unit revenue growth (not growing is probably the best way to get that result).

2. Labor costs are rising. We appear to be entering a period of labor peace in the USA airline industry, but that peace has come at a cost. (AAL)’s expenses, for example, increased +5.2% year-over-year in the 3rd quarter, driven primarily by higher labor costs. New labor contracts mean carriers’ cost base is going to rise, and 2017 will be a year of adjustment in that regard. So not growing is a way to keep some control over those costs (more capacity would mean more employees are needed and those employees’ compensation would be higher than it would have been a year ago or 2 years ago).

3. There is a feeling among USA airline executives that fuel prices bottomed out earlier this year and will only keep rising. “Year-over-year fuel prices are expected to be higher for the remainder of the year,” (AAL) (CFO) Derek Kerr said on October 20. Year-over-year gains in fuel costs have probably been exhausted. Airlines’ fuel costs in 2017 probably won’t drop much compared to 2016, and may very well increase. USA airlines have achieved strong profits in a low fuel-cost environment. While USA airline industry leaders like (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker insist profitability will persist even if fuel prices rise, the carriers have to prove it. Not growing is one way airline executives can ease their nerves about rising fuel costs.

News Item A-5: INCDT: "Dramatic (GE) engine Explosion on Boeing 767-300 Poses Puzzle for Investigators" by Seattle Times Aerospace Reporter Dominic Gates, 206-464-2963 dgates@seattletimes.com

The nearly catastrophic explosion of an engine that caused a fire on an American Airlines (AAL) Boeing 767 just short of takeoff in Chicago on October 28 occurred when a specific part that had never before failed broke into pieces.

The breakup of a heavy metal disk that rotates in the engine core reveals a new risk to airline passengers that, however rare, has already spurred a scramble by engine-maker General Electric (GE) and government safety agencies to find and fix the vulnerability.

“The risk will be eliminated,” said John Goglia, a former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member with >40 years’ experience in the aviation-safety industry. “Will it be eliminated before the next one? That’s the real question. Everything relies upon the timeliness of the system to correct itself.”

(AAL) Flight 383 to Miami was speeding down the runway at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago when the 2nd-stage disk of the high-pressure turbine broke apart inside the right engine with a loud explosion that blew metal shrapnel out through the engine casing.

Hot metal ripped through the wing, igniting aviation fuel. In an update, the (NTSB) described how the pilot (FC) aborted the takeoff just seconds before reaching a speed at which he would have had to leave the ground. Slamming on the brakes as the jet reached a speed of 154 miles per hour, he brought the plane to a halt within 25 seconds and 900 yards further down the runway.

Moving quickly, the cabin staff (CA) evacuated all 161 passengers and 9 crew using the escape slides on the undamaged left side of the airplane. 20 people suffered minor injuries.

Behind them on the runway, the black smoke billowing skyward and the blaze melting the right wing into a drooping mess, testified to how close the passengers had come to a large-scale tragedy.

(GE) spokesman Rick Kennedy stresses the reliability of the (CF6) engine involved. The latest models, introduced in the 1980s, currently power about 4,000 wide body jets, including Boeing 767s, 747s and Airbus A330s, and have flown >220 million hours. “The (CF6) is the workhorse engine of jumbo jets on a level never experienced before,” Kennedy said.

Yet the danger posed by a so-called “uncontained engine failure” cannot be overstated. The disk that broke apart in Chicago (1 of 2 disks in what’s called the high-pressure turbine that drives the engine’s air compressor) is about 2 feet in diameter and weighs >100 pounds. At full power for takeoff, the temperature in the high-pressure turbine reaches >2,200 degrees.

The pod around the engine has Kevlar armor around the big fan at the front, designed to contain any blades that fly off. But the pod cannot possibly contain the enormous energy of flying metal ejected from an engine-core breakup.

The (NTSB) said 1 piece of the broken disk went through the right wing, then arced high over the airplane and came crashing through the roof of a (UPS) warehouse almost 1,000 yards away. “Any time a turbine disk fails, it’s a big deal,” said Goglia.

In 2006, a (CF6-80) engine (the same model as in the Chicago incident) on another (AAL) 767 that was powered up during maintenance, exploded on the ground in Los Angeles, with no passengers aboard. A big piece of the high-pressure turbine disk in the left engine pierced the engine casing, sliced through the 767’s lower fuselage and embedded itself like an ax-head in the casing of the right engine on the other side of the airplane. That jarring incident came after 2 other (CF6-80) high-pressure turbine-disk breakups.

In 2000, as a US Airways (USA) 767 was undergoing engine maintenance on the ground in Philadelphia, a disk rupture split the left engine clean in 2 and ignited a fire under the wing. In 2002, it happened in the air. The left engine of an Air New Zealand (ANZ) 767 blew up 6 minutes after takeoff from Brisbane, Australia, damaging the wing flaps and forcing an emergency landing. Luckily, there was no fire that time, and all 200 people on board were safe.

In all 3 of those (CF6-80) incidents, the disk that broke up was the 1st of 2 inside the turbine. Although the 2 disks look alike, the 1st stage is next to the hottest part of the engine core and must withstand the highest temperatures and air pressure.

After the 2006 incident, the government safety system kicked into high gear. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) ordering urgent inspections of these disks inside older (CF6-80) engines.

Subsequently, (GE) redesigned the 1st-stage disk to take more stress, adjusting the shape and the composition of the sophisticated nickel alloy. All planes flying today have been retrofitted with that redesigned disk, said (GE)’s Kennedy. “That’s behind us,” he said.

But the disk that exploded in Chicago was the 2nd-stage disk. This disk is subject to lower temperatures and air flow, so it undergoes relatively less stress than the 1st. “There has never been an (AD) associated with a 2nd-stage disk,” said Kennedy. “This is new.” That’s what’s raised alarm bells at the (NTSB) and the (FAA). The (NTSB) said that particular disk had been flying for 18 years and completed almost 11,000 flights, short of the limit of 15,000 cycles after which it must be replaced.

Goglia and other industry experts said the sudden breakup almost certainly stemmed from a microscopic crack, caused by a flaw in the metal invisible to the eye, that grew over years of service. Using electron microscopes, metallurgists at the (NTSB) Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC, are now scanning the pieces of the broken stage-two disk, 95% of which was recovered. “They’ll examine the metal down to the tiniest element to determine the cause,” said Goglia. The (NTSB) said the metallurgists have already found “features consistent with fatigue cracking” at a point next to the central bore of the disk. This crack was initiated at a point in the metal that differs from the composition of the material around it, referred to as an “inclusion” or flaw in the metal.

“Ongoing metallurgical examinations of the disk will focus on detailed characterization of the inclusion and the fracture surfaces,” the (NTSB) said. Such a flaw could have originated in tiny impurities in the bar of metal from which the parts were made almost 2 decades ago, or it may have been introduced during the forging or machining processes.

Metals supplied for critical aerospace use are typically melted and re-solidified 2x- to get rid of impurities. The process is meticulously recorded so that, for every part in the engine, (GE) knows exactly where the metal came from and when it was produced.

Likewise, every person with the smallest role in the manufacturing of any piece of the engine records and signs off on their work. “The investigators will look at all aspects of making and machining the disks,” said Kennedy. “There’s a whole paper trail.” Kennedy said that the company is “chasing down a very finite number of disks” made from the same billet of metal as the one that failed and has told airlines in a letter that only 1 such disk remains in an engine currently in operation.

Company investigators will inspect the disk in that engine for microscopic cracks and will likely widen their inspections to more engines as the hunt for a cause continues. If any such cracks are found, the (FAA) will demand replacement of the disks and also review routine engine-maintenance practices to ensure such cracks are detected in future.

So how closely scrutinized are these engine blowouts, and how challenging will it be to find and fix the cause? In 2010, (GE) redesigned and retrofitted a different part inside older (CF6-50) series engines, after an (NTSB) urgent safety recommendation that followed 4 serious incidents overseas involving failure of that part.

For the (CF6-80) engine models like the 1 in this October 28 explosion, the (FAA) in 2009 ordered additional inspections of all critical rotating parts, including the 2 high-pressure turbine disks.

Until the Chicago incident, there had been no uncontained failures of the (CF6-80) for a decade. During that time, the (NTSB) reports there were 7 other uncontained engine failures in the USA, mostly less serious ruptures, in a variety of different engines.

But 1 was similar in its outcome to the Chicago incident: The explosion of a (GE-90) engine on a British Airways (BAB) 777 jet taking off in Las Vegas in September 2015 also ignited a fearsome fire after an aborted takeoff. That was the 1st-ever uncontained failure of a (GE-90) engine, and so likewise spurred a deep investigation. Yet (GE)’s Kennedy said that despite intense scrutiny of a widening circle of similar (GE-90) engines, investigators have not been able to find a related issue in any other engine. >1 year later, the root cause of the Las Vegas blowup remains a mystery.

Before the (NTSB) and (GE) investigators drilling into the Chicago incident can recommend measures to prevent a recurrence, they need to find the origin of the hidden flaw in the metal. The Las Vegas investigation shows that’s not easy.

News Item A-6 American Airlines (AAL) named Danielle Kirgan as Senior VP People. In this new role, Kirgan will lead all global human resource (HR) functions for the airline, including talent acquisition, training and talent development, compensation, benefits, and diversity.

News Item A-7: Meanwhile (AAL)'s 1st 787-9 (N820AL) operated its 1st revenue flight (AA2401) with a "test run" from Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) at 7:20 am to Los Angeles (LAX) on October 6. These initial test runs will convert to international flights next month with scheduled flights to Madrid, Spain (MAD) and Sao Paulo, Brazil (GRU). The 787-9 has a maximum range between 8,000 nm and 8,500 nm, placing it as one of the longest range airliners in the world. (AAL) is scheduled to have 4 787-9s in its fleet by the end of this year.

(AAL) had similarly ran 787-8 test runs between (DFW) and Chicago O'Hare (ORD) before deploying them on several of its East Asian long haul routes.

November 2016: News Item A-1: "American Beats Out Delta for Los Angeles - Beijing Route Award by Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com, November 8, 2016.

American Airlines (AAL) has been chosen over Delta Air Lines (DAL) to operate daily Los Angeles (LAX) - Beijing (PEK) flights.

Both carriers had applied to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for the route rights in March, seeking to become the only USA airline operating nonstop (LAX) - (PEK) service. The (DOT) has tentatively awarded the route to Dallas/Fort Worth-based (AAL). “The (DOT) tentatively found that selecting (AAL) would add a 3rd USA carrier to the West Coast - Beijing market, in addition to (DAL)’s service from Seattle and United (UAL) [Airlines’] service from San Francisco, thereby enhancing competition,” the department said.

(AAL) will operate a Boeing 777-200 on the route. It had previously said it would begin flying the route in December, but the timing of the (DOT) selection process likely pushes the start date to next year. Objections to the tentative awarding of the (LAX) - (PEK) route to (AAL) are due to the (DOT) by November 22. The only airline currently operating the route is Beijing-based Air China (BEJ), and (UAL) code shares with Air China (BEJ) on the route. (AAL) does serve (PEK) from Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare. It also currently serves China from Los Angeles with daily (LAX) - Shanghai flights. The (LAX) - (PEK) route “further underscores (AAL)’s commitment to providing customers with a world-class global network from our Los Angeles hub,” an (AAL) spokesperson said.

News Item A-2: The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has dealt Qantas (QAN) and American Airlines (AAL) a setback in their efforts to expand their alliance on routes between the USA and Australia. On November 18, the (DOT) tentatively denied the 2 carriers’ plans for a metal-neutral joint venture (JV) between the 2 countries and New Zealand.

News Item A-3: The 1st commercial passenger flights in 55 years between the USA and Havana, Cuba, departed November 28, as Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines (AAL) and New York-based low-cost carrier (LCC) JetBlue Airways (JBL) each launched scheduled service to the island nation’s capital.

(AAL) flight 17, a Boeing 737-800, took off from Miami International Airport at 7:41 am and landed at Havana’s José Martí International Airport at 8:25 am. (JBL) flight 243, an Airbus A321, departed New York’s (JFK) International Airport at 9:45 am and landed in Havana at 12:34 pm.

The (AAL) and (JBL) flights are the vanguard of scheduled commercial passenger service to Havana from 8 USA airlines. Havana service was also awarded to Alaska Airlines (ASA), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Frontier Airlines (FRO), Southwest Airlines (SWA), Spirit Airlines (SPR) and United Airlines (UAL).

(UAL) is scheduled to begin its Havana service from Newark Liberty International Airport on November 29, with (DAL), (SPR) and (FRO) all launching Havana service December 1. (SWA) will launch Havana service December 12. (ASA) will launch its Havana service from Los Angeles on January 5, 2017.

The USA announced the resumption of commercial passenger airline service to Cuba following the signing of an agreement between the 2 countries on February 17. The 1st commercial flights between the USA mainland and Cuba began August 31, with a (JBL) flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Santa Clara, Cuba. That same day the USA Department of Transportation awarded 8 USA airlines service routes to Havana.

News Item A-4: "American Airlines Flight Attendants Report More Problems with New Uniforms" by Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2016.

When American Airlines (AAL) Flight Attendants (CA) began to complain about (AAL)'s new uniforms, (AAL) shrugged off the problem, saying it was limited to about a dozen people with allergies to wool. But a union for flight attendants (CA) with (AAL), the world's largest carrier, said the number of employees complaining about hives and headaches after wearing the uniforms had grown to >1,300.

In addition, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants had the uniforms tested and found they contained detectable levels of chemicals normally found in pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. The uniforms, produced by the corporate clothes maker "Twin Hill," rolled out in September, representing the 1st new uniforms for (AAL)'s employees in about 30 years. "We will continue to invest the resources necessary to get to the bottom of this and we fully expect the company and Twin Hill to do the same," the union told its members in an online notice last month.

(AAL) officials said the number of complaints represented only about 1% of the 70,000 employees who were wearing the new uniforms. Still, (AAL) tested the uniforms 2x- and carried out a 3rd test. "We want our employees to be happy with their new uniforms," said (AAL) spokeswoman LaKesha Brown, adding that employees have the option of wearing their old uniforms if they have a problem with the new version.

December 2016: News Itrem A-1: "Good News for USA Airlines on Unit Revenue" by (ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp, December 9, 2016.

Will American Airlines (AAL) win the race to +ve unit revenue growth? Declining year-over-year unit revenue, quarter after quarter, has been the one big negative mark for USA airlines in an otherwise extremely positive period of financial performance. (AAL) and rivals Delta Air Lines (DAL) plus United Airlines (UAL) have pledged low capacity growth next year in an effort to return to positive unit revenue growth (which (AAL) and (DAL) had been targeting for the 1st half of 2017. (DAL), which has posted negative unit revenue growth for 7 straight quarters, has been pushing to be the 1st major USA carrier to return to positive year-over-year unit revenue growth for a full quarter.

But fresh guidance released by (AAL) on December 9 indicates that (AAL) could achieve positive unit revenue growth in the current quarter. (AAL) now expects its 4th quarter 2016 (RASM) to range from down -1% to up +1% year-over-year. Prior guidance was for negative unit revenue growth of between -2.5% and -0.5%. The change in guidance is “primarily [because of] improving yields, offset in part by higher estimated fuel prices,” (AAL) said. (That implies (AAL)’s unit revenue would almost definitely be +ve in the quarter, were it not for rising oil prices.)

(AAL)’s (RASM) was down -2.2% year-over-year in the 3rd quarter to 14.73 cents, but (AAL) noted that (RASM) was up year-over-year for the month of September, marking the 1st month of positive unit revenue growth for (AAL) since November 2014.

(UAL) also on December 9, provided new guidance for an improved unit revenue performance, though it still expects a 4th-quarter decline. (UAL) now expects a 4th-quarter year-over-year decline of -4% to -3%, up from October guidance of a -6% to -5.5% decline.

As of this writing, (DAL) had not issued new (RASM) guidance, but it will hold an investors’ day on December 15, when it is likely to provide updated information on its unit revenue performance and expectations. Given what American (AAL) and (UAL) are saying, expect positive news from (DAL) too.

The stock performance of USA airlines has lagged over the last couple of years primarily because of Wall Street’s concern about carriers’ unit revenue performance. But airline stocks have ticked up since Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced in November that it is investing >$1 billion in (AAL), (DAL), (UAL) and (SWA). The unit revenue news should provide more momentum for USA airline stocks. Perhaps that Buffett fellow is on to something!!!

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) plans to cut back flights from Miami to 3 outlying Cuban cities beginning February 16, 2017.
(AAL) which on November 28, 2016 launched the 1st scheduled commercial passenger route from the USA mainland to Havana, Cuba in 55 years, will trim its scheduled flights from Miami to Holguin, Santa Clara and Varadero from 2x-daily to 1x-daily.

“These adjustments are part of the regular evaluation of our network,” (AAL) spokesperson Matt Miller said “And the changes were loaded into our schedule the 1st weekend of November (before the USA government election).”

For 2 other Cuban cities, Camaguey and Cienfuegos, (AAL) now intends to utilize regional jets instead of mainline aircraft, Miller said. Pending regulatory approval, the daily Camaguey and Cienfuegos flights from Miami will be operated with 76Y-seat Embraer E175s flown by Republic Airways. (AAL) has been utilizing 144-seat Airbus A319s on these routes since service to the cities began in September.

(AAL) operates 5 additional daily flights to Cuba, including 4x-daily service between Miami and Havana and daily service between Charlotte, North Carolina and Havana.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has been awarded $5.1 million by a USA federal jury in an antitrust lawsuit against global distribution system provider Sabre, a total that will be tripled to $15.3 million under the terms of USA antitrust law.

The case stems to a lawsuit filed in 2011 by Phoenix-based US Airways ((AMW)/(USA), which merged with (AAL) in 2013. In the lawsuit, filed in April 2011, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) said Sabre had “engaged in a pattern of exclusionary conduct to shut out competition, protect its monopoly pricing power, and maintain its technologically obsolete business model.” Following the verdict in New York on December 20, (AAL) said it was pleased the jury agreed with its position. “We have long contended that the contractual provisions at issue (provisions that Sabre has made a condition to participate in its global distribution system (GDS)) have reinforced Sabre’s market power, stymied competition, and harmed us and the travelers we serve,” (AAL) said, adding, “Now that the jury has agreed with us, we hope to see changes in the way our services are sold, and we expect technology and innovation will create even better and more transparent ways for us to distribute our products.”

Southlake, Texas-based Sabre plans to appeal the verdict. It said that the jury had “sorted through a complicated case that involved hypothetical economic theories, intricate technology discussions, and months of testimony,” adding, “We continue to believe we operated fairly and lawfully in an extremely competitive marketplace as Sabre provides efficient distribution, innovative technology and transparency that benefits suppliers, travel agents and consumers alike.” Sabre has asked the court to set aside the verdict pending an appeal. “Sabre believes it acted lawfully and fairly, and we do not anticipate any impact to existing offerings,” the company said.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) said it has received the paperwork it needed to begin service between Miami and the Mexico city of Merida.

January 2017: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) has topped $10 billion in combined net profits for 2015 and 2016, earning net income of +$2.7 billion in 2016 following a net profit of +$7.6 billion in 2015.

Though net income was down -64.8% in 2016 compared to 2015, significant non-cash income tax provisions related to valuation in each year, skews year-over-year (Y-O-Y) comparisons. (AAL) reported a non-cash tax charge of $1.6 billion in 2016, while it gained a +$3 billion tax benefit in 2015. On a pre-tax basis, (AAL) posted a profit of +$4.3 billion in 2016, down -6.9% from +$4.6 billion in 2015. (AAL)’s 2016 revenue was $40.2 billion, down -2% (Y-O-Y), while expenses were essentially flat at $34.9 billion. Operating profit was +$5.3 billion, down -14.8% from operating income of +$6.2 billion in 2015. (AAL)’s consolidated system traffic rose +0.2% (Y-O-Y) in 2016 to 223.5 billion (RPM)s on a +1.7% increase in capacity to 273.4 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 81.7% LF, down -1.3 points. Yield fell -2.8% to 15.5 cents.

(AAL) noted that the final US Airways (AMW)/(USA) mainline airplane has been painted in (AAL)’s livery, and it plans to complete the painting of all US Airways Express-branded regional aircraft in 2017.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) has been named the recipient of the 2017 (ATW) Airline of the Year, taking the top honor of the 43nd annual (ATW) Airline Industry Achievement Awards.

(AAL) was selected by (ATW)’s editorial board in recognition of the phenomenal achievements by (AAL)’s leadership and employees this past year. The integration of (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) was practically flawless despite it being the largest, most complex airline merger in history, editors noted. And throughout the integration process, (AAL) has maintained a close eye on delivering profitability and shareholder return while also investing >$3 billion in new customer products and services that include greater onboard connectivity, new entertainment and dining choices, upgraded lounges and new city pair services. (AAL) is also spending billions more to upgrade its fleet with hundreds of new airplanes.

“The creation of the ‘New American’ has been a remarkable journey for employees, customers and investors. (AAL) has never been in better shape to deliver more to all of its stakeholders and that is because of the leadership skills of (AAL)’s executive team and the dedication and hard work of its employees around the world,” (ATW) Editor-in-chief Karen Walker said. “It was another phenomenal year for (AAL), and all the credit goes to our team,” (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker said. “Our 120,000 team members completed several crucial integration milestones, launched 67 new routes, took delivery of 115 new airplanes, and much more (all while running a solid operation and taking great care of our customers). While we still have much to accomplish, we’re incredibly proud of the work these men and women are doing every day to restore (AAL) as the greatest airline in the world.”

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) will discontinue its code share agreement with Germany’s 2nd largest carrier, airberlin (BER) from March 26. “An interline agreement will further exist between the 2 airlines. Passengers can use (AAL) connecting flights in combination with (BER) transatlantic flights.”

Passengers who have already booked (BER)/(AAL) code share flights from March 26 onward will be issued a new ticket. (BER) flights will have separate American flight numbers; frequent flyer miles can still be earned and redeemed. In addition, (AAL) flights can also be booked on airberlin (BER)’s website.

(BER) began 1st code share flights with (AAL) in 2010 before it joined the Oneworld (ONW) alliance. (BER) is expanding its Germany - USA network for the summer 2017 season by >50%, the spokesperson said, adding, “The number of weekly flights will rise from 55 to 84 to a total of 8 USA destinations.”

Starting April 13, frequencies will increase from 10X-weekly to 2x-daily from Berlin-Tegel to New York (JFK); 3x-weekly Berlin-Tegel - Miami services will become 5x-weekly. (BER) will also launch 5x-weekly Düsseldorf - Orlando services. Starting in May, 3x-weekly Berlin - San Francisco and 4x-weekly Berlin - Los Angeles flights will be added to the network.

Airberlin (BER) also operates USA flights to Boston Logan (Massachusetts), Fort Myers (Florida) and Chicago O’Hare.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) is calling for the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) not to renew Air China (BEJ)’s route authority for a Beijing - Houston flight until the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) gives (AAL) slots for its planned Los Angeles - Beijing flights. In a regulatory filing to the (DOT), (AAL) noted Beijing-based Air China (BEJ)’s application is not wrong, and within the bounds of the law.

News Item A-5: "Delta, American Swap Gates at (LAX) in Ramp-up to Terminal Upgrades" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, January 31, 2017.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) swapped 4 gates with American Airlines (AAL) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on January 31, the 1st visible element of (DAL)’s infrastructure upgrade at (LAX). (DAL) is moving temporarily to Terminal 6 (T6) gates 60 - 63; (AAL) will acquire 4 gates in T5 as part of the swap.

(DAL), (LAX) operator, Los Angeles World Airports and the city of Los Angeles co-announced in July 2016 a 7-year $1.9 billion infrastructure project to modernize, upgrade and connect (LAX)’s T2 and T3 terminals, and build a secure connector to the north side of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

In addition to the new 4 new temporary gates, (DAL) will continue to operate out of 3 additional gates at T6 and 9 gates at T5.

(DAL) said it has placed additional check-in positions closer to T6 and will have 2 baggage claim positions for passengers arriving into the terminal. The underground tunnel inside the secure area will remain open for passengers with connecting flights between T5 and T6. Flights to Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle will depart from T6, (DAL) said.

(DAL) plans to move out of T5 and T6 and into T2 and T3 in May this year, prior to commencement of construction.

By relocating from T5 and T6 to the T2 and T3 complex, (DAL) will consolidate operations alongside partners Aeromexico (AMX), Virgin Atlantic (VAA) and Virgin Australia (VOZ). The eventual secure connection to (TBIT) will connect (DAL) to additional partners Air France (AFA) - (KLM), Alitalia (ALI), China Eastern (CEA), and China Southern Airlines (GUN).

“Airport infrastructure is a major driver of economic growth, and Delta has experience managing major infrastructure projects around the country,” (DAL) VP Sales, West Ranjan Goswami said. “Prior to the proposed project, we will be executing a move involving 22 airlines at (LAX) to enable co-location with our partners, which is unprecedented, so we’re putting all our resources into planning, preparing, communicating and executing this move as flawlessly as possible.”

(DAL)’s upcoming construction project complements the $8.5 billion (LAX) modernization program started in 2009, which to-date has seen the renovation of (TBIT), airfield and roadway improvements and motivated airlines to invest >$2 billion in renovations to the airport’s 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 terminals.

News Item A-6: 737-823 (31257, N306PB; 31258, N309PC), 2 767-323ER
(24035, N354AA; 24046, N39365), 2 787-9 (40643, N824AN; 40644, N8254AA), (Charleston's #157 & #160), A321-231 (7349, N997AA; 7509, N998AN), ex-(F-WZMS) and (D-AVZQ), deliveries.

February 2017: 737-823 (31259, N314PD), ex-(N1787B), 787-8 (40635, N817AN) delivery (Charleston #181), 4 A321-231 (7515, N928AM; 7525, N929AA; 7539, N930AU; 7541, N931AM), ex-(D-AYAT; D-ATAD; D-AVZW; D-AVZY).

March 2017: News Item A-1: "American Airlines, the 2017 (ATW) Airline of the Year, Puts its People 1st; Customers and Investors See the Benefits" by Karen Walker (ATW) Plus, March 24, 2017.

In bringing together American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) as a single carrier, the company’s leadership knew they were creating the world’s biggest airline. But that was not the end game. The ambition was to be the best. And from the top, it was recognized that the path to becoming the best was through the team of 120,000 people who daily work for (AAL), the mainline carrier and its regional affiliates. Putting your people 1st is not a new industry phenomenon. See - "AAL-2017-03 - (ATW) 2017 Airline of the Year.jpg."

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) is in negotiations to buy a stake in China Southern Airlines (GUN) in an effort to strengthen both carriers’ position on Sino - USA routes.

According to news reports, (AAL) plans to buy Guangzhou-based China Southern (GUN)’s "H" shares, released by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, via a $200 million investment. (GUN) is worth about $10 billion at market value. As a stakeholder, (AAL) would be able to nominate an observer without voting rights on to (GUN)’s board. However, industry sources said that since a final agreement had not yet been reached, specific details of the deal could still change or ultimately fail.

China Southern (GUN) suspended stock trading March 23 because it was “planning an important strategic cooperation deal.” However, (GUN) went on to say it would “reveal the important strategic cooperation deal within 5 working days and resume stock trading.” At its annual meeting in January, (GUN) said it would “focus on conducting cross shareholding with global leading players or set up a joint subsidiary with them to promote the reforms of diversifying its ownerships [required by Beijing] in 2017.”

Industry analysts pointed out both carriers could enhance their positions on the fiercely competitive Sino - (USA) routes.

“(GUN) is the largest airline in China and is the ideal carrier for (AAL), the largest airline in the world, to build a relationship within this critically important market.” (AAL) President Robert Isom added, “(GUN)’s extensive network within China touches developing and thriving markets that only a Chinese carrier can reach. We are 2 of the biggest carriers in the world, and our networks are highly complementary, with the potential to offer (GUN) and (AAL) customers an unmatched range of destinations in 2 critical markets for business (C) and leisure (Y) travelers.”

(AAL) flies to Beijing and Shanghai from Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth, and to Shanghai from Los Angeles.

(AAL) said the 2 carriers are expected later this year to begin code share and interline agreements. “(AAL) customers will be able to access nearly 40 destinations beyond Beijing and >30 destinations beyond Shanghai. China Southern (GUN) customers will gain access to almost 80 destinations beyond [Los Angeles], San Francisco and [New York JFK] in North and South America.” The code share routes are expected to include reciprocal loyalty program benefits, through-bag checking and the ability to book travel on a sing ticket.

According to China Merchants Securities, Beijing-based Air China (BEJ), which holds a 20% market share of Sino - (USA) routes, has a strategic cooperation deal with fellow Star (SAL) Alliance member United Airlines (UAL), which has a 22% market share. Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines (CEA), which finalized an expanded partnership agreement with Delta Air Lines (DAL) in 2015, has a 17% market share, while SkyTeam (STM) member (DAL) has a 10% market share.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) named Rick Elieson as President Cargo.

April 2017: News Item A-1: INCDT: An American Airlines (AAL)_Boeing 777-223ER (Trent 892-17) (277-30010, /00 N787AL) performing flight AA-63 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Miami, Forida, USA, was enroute at FL340 over the Bay of Biscay about 240 nm north of Santiago de Compostela, Spain when the crew reported smoke in the cabin and diverted to Santiago de Compostela for a safe landing about 45 minutes later.

The 777-223ER is still on the ground in Santiago de Compostela about 4 hours after landing.

News Item A-2: "USA Regional Republic is Poised to Emerge from Chapter 11" by Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com, April 21, 2017.

A USA federal bankruptcy judge in New York has approved the re-organization plan of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings, paving the way for Republic to exit Chapter 11 protection. The regional airline operator said it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of April.

The company entered Chapter 11 in February 2016, saying it was the only way it could renegotiate contracts with major USA airlines for which it operates regional flights. The re-negotiations were necessary in part because of a “nationwide pilot (FC) shortage,” President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said.

During the bankruptcy reorganization process, Republic has renegotiated and extended capacity purchase agreements with American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL). It also trimmed flying by about 100 flights daily from the 1,000 flights per day it operated at the start of 2016. It additionally removed 50-seat jets from its fleet; it now operates a fleet of 170 Embraer E170/E175 aircraft.

The 2 airlines that operated as Republic subsidiaries prior to the company’s Chapter 11 filing (Republic Airlines and Shuttle America) will now operate as a single carrier called “Republic Airline.” Republic will no longer be a publicly traded company.

“With the work of restructuring complete, we’re ready to come out of Chapter 11 laser-focused on reclaiming our leadership position in the regional airline industry by delivering outstanding operational reliability to our major airline partners, excellent customer service to our guests on board our aircraft, and maximizing future value for all our stakeholders,” Bedford said.

May 2017: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) has boosted its 2nd-quarter unit revenue forecast after a strong traffic performance in April. (AAL) reported consolidated traffic of 18.6 billion RPMs in April, up +3.1% over April 2016. Capacity for the month was up just 0.8% year-over-year (YOY) to 22.6 billion ASMs and load factor was 82.2% LF, up +1.8 points.

(AAL) said it now expects its 2nd-quarter unit revenue, as measured in (RASM), to be up +3.5% to +5.5% (YOY), an increase from its previous forecast of a +3% to +5% gain. (AAL) also said its pre-tax margin excluding special items in the quarter will be +12% to +14%, up from previous guidance of +11% to +13%.

For the 1st 4 months of 2017, (AAL)’s consolidated traffic was down -0.3% (YOY) on a -0.6% cut in capacity.

News Item A-2: "Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Boosts American Airlines, Southwest Airlines Holdings" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, May 16, 2017.

Berkshire Hathaway bought more shares of American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) in the 2017 1st quarter. USA airlines have pointed to Berkshire’s investments in the industry as evidence of its newfound strength, citing Berkshire (CEO) Warren Buffett’s past criticism of airlines as investment vehicles.

According to a USA Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, during the 1st quarter, Berkshire raised its stake in (SWA) by +10% to 47.7 million shares and in (AAL) by +8.2% to 49.3 million shares.

It also lowered its stake in Delta Air Lines (DAL) by -8.3% to 55 million shares. (DAL)’s investment in United Airlines (UAL), in which it holds 29 million shares, did not change from the previous quarter. Berkshire now holds stock in the 4 largest USA airlines valued at a total of $9.2 billion.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) commenced 3 new transatlantic links from 2 hubs (Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)). The former is now connected to Barcelona (BCN), while (AAL)’s Texas hub is linked to Amsterdam (AMS) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO). All launched on May 5, and flown at a daily frequency, none of (AAL)'s routes will face direct competition.

European customers can connect on (AAL) at Dallas/Fort Worth to >160 domestic destinations, as well as dozens of important business and leisure markets throughout Canada, Central and South America.”
Flights on the 7,895 km link to Amsterdam will operate on (AAL)’s 767-300s, while the 9,009 km sector to Fiumicino will be flown on its 777-200s. The 7,089-km airport pairing of O’Hare and Barcelona will be served by (AAL)’s 787-8s. With these 3 launches, (AAL) now offers 52 routes between the USA and Europe on >450 weekly flights this summer, with the busiest routes being from (JFK) and O’Hare to London Heathrow (both flown 4x-daily).

737-823 (31265, N335PH; 31268, N338PK; 33345, N337PJ), A321-231 (7519, N902AA; 7566, N903AA), ex-(F-WZMA; F-WZMC) deliveries.

June 2017: News Item A-1: "American Airlines Tests (CT) Scanning to Keep Laptops in Carry-Ons" by Mary Schlangenstein, Alan Levin, Bloomberg News, June 15, 2017.

The American Airlines Group Inc on June 15 began the first USA test of new airport-security scanners that provide a more detailed view inside carry-on luggage and may allow travelers to keep laptops in their bags. The (CT) scanner, using technology borrowed from the medical world, is being used in a security checkpoint lane at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, (AAL) said. The testing, at Terminal 4, is being conducted with the Transportation Security Administration.

The experiment comes as the USA Department of Homeland Security considers whether to expand a ban on electronic devices in airliner cabins that began on some international routes in March. (CT) scanners are better than existing X-ray devices at detecting explosives, meaning that at some point they could enable passengers to leave laptops, other electronics and possibly even liquids in their bags, vastly simplifying airport security. "We already use this type of technology for checked baggage, and we expect these smaller checkpoint-sized machines will provide the same high level of security," (TSA) Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia said.

A widespread rollout could take some time. Following previous failed introductions of new equipment, the Transportation Security Administration requires many layers of tests. Also, Congress hasn't appropriated funds for large purchases of new devices, which cost several hundred thousand dollars apiece and would require US$1 billion or more to install at thousands of security lines in the USA.

* High Definition

The machines use computed tomography scanning to create a high-definition, 3-dimensional view inside a bag. The image can be rotated for a thorough study and bags can be examined layer by layer. The scanner tested by (AAL) was manufactured by (L3) Technologies Inc.

The March ban, covering flights from 10 Middle East and North Africa airports to the USA, followed concern that terrorists had devised ways to hide explosives in laptops or other electronic devices larger than a mobile phone. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has considered expanding the ban to Europe.

The (TSA) has sanctioned a 2nd test at Boston's Logan International Airport, using a (CT) scanner made by Integrated Defense & Security Solutions Inc, Joseph Paresi, the company's (CEO) said by email. That machine was installed earlier this month and (TSA) screeners are being trained to use it, Paresi said. The device already is undergoing tests in Amsterdam.

If the tests are successful, (AAL) and the (TSA) may deploy (CT) scanners to other checkpoint locations, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) will begin migration of its website, customer mobile app and airport check-in kiosks to (IBM)’s cloud network in early July.

In November, (AAL) signed a long-term partnership deal with (IBM) to utilize its (IBM) Cloud data-storage and management platform, joining other aviation industry customers Etihad (EHD), Bombardier (BMB) and Pratt & Whitney (PRW).

In addition to the migration of the main aa.com website, (AAL) plans to move its cargo customer website aacargo.com to the (IBM) Cloud platform. “We wanted to ensure the [cloud] provider would be a champion of Cloud Foundry and open-source technologies so we don’t get locked down by proprietary solutions,” (AAL) VP Customer Technology & Enterprise Architecture, Daniel Henry said. “ We also wanted a partner that would offer us the agility to innovate at the organizational and process levels and have deep industry expertise with security at its core. [IBM will] not only provide the public cloud platform, but also enable our delivery transformation.”

The migration is set to begin next week, (IBM) said June 27.

News Item A-3: The 737 MAX joined a fleet of 294 737s as of June 30th at American Airlines (AAL). In the coming months, (AAL) will take delivery of their last 737 NextGens as (AAL) begins its transition to the 737 MAX.

A320-232 (2405, N675AW) returned to (AWAS) (AWW).

July 2017: News Item A-1: "Etihad Said American Code Share Decision is ‘Anti-competitive" by Karen Walker karen.walker@penton.com, July 14, 2017.

Etihad Airways (EHD) said it is “disappointed” by American Airlines (AAL)’s decision to terminate its code share relationship and views it as “anti-competitive and anti-consumer.”

(AAL) announced July 12 that it notified (EHD) and fellow Oneworld (ONE) alliance member Qatar Airways (QTA) at the end of June that the code share arrangements with each carrier would end in March 2018. (AAL) said its decision was made as a protest against what it alleges to be government subsidies of the major Gulf carriers.

Responding to the announcement, an (EHD) spokesperson said its code share, begun in 2009, has been “mutually beneficial” and provided passengers flying to and from the USA with more and better flight options to points in the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and other destinations that historically have not been served by USA airlines.

“We view the decision by (AAL) as being anti-competitive and anti-consumer. This action will reduce choices for consumers and may result in higher fares for travelers to and from the USA.”

“We are committed to the US market and American consumers, and are taking all possible measures to ensure that the flying public is not harmed by this decision. We will continue our interline relationship with (AAL) to help ensure continued connectivity to secondary markets. We are committed to working with all airlines, including all USA carriers, to offer passengers more competition, more destinations, and an overall better flying experience.

(EHD) added that its 6 daily flights to the USA “in no way threaten (AAL), which together with its regional partner American Eagle, operates 6,700 flights daily to 350 destinations in 50 countries.”

August 2017: News Item A-1: The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted a request from American Airlines (AAL) for an extension to begin daily Los Angeles - Beijing flights. The flights will now start November 5.

The (DOT) awarded (AAL) the coveted frequencies in 2016, but also granted (AAL) an extension to 6 months after the original March 16 startup date, or September 16. It granted the extension despite objections by Delta Air Lines (DAL).

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) will soon add several transatlantic routes from its Philadelphia hub while making large cuts to its international network at New York’s (JFK). Today, (AAL) announced routes from Philadelphia to Budapest (BUD) and Prague (PRG).

Both routes will begin May 4th, 2018 and will be operated by the 767-300. They will be the 2nd and 3rd international 767 routes from Philadelphia since (AAL) retired the 767-200 several years ago. Currently, all long-haul flights from Philadelphia are operated by the Airbus A330. This also marks the 2nd time legacy (AAL) wide body equipment is swapping to legacy US Airways (USA) hubs. Shortly after the merger between (AAL) and (USA), an (AAL) 767-300 briefly operated to Zurich from Philadelphia.

As Philadelphia sees transatlantic growth, (AAL) will be making serious cuts to its (JFK) hub. (AAL) will cut 1 of 2 daily flights to Paris (CDG), cease service to Manchester, and move its Zurich route to Philadelphia. These cuts signify American betting on Philadelphia over (JFK) and surrendering the international New York market to Delta Airlines (DAL).

In addition to these routes, (AAL) will add additional service to Venice (VCE) from Chicago with the 787 Dreamliner. This route will also start on May 4th, 2018. All 3 routes will be seasonal and last until October 27th, 2018. (AAL) already serves Venice from Philadelphia.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has expanded its operations from Charlotte Douglas (CLT) this month with 2 new domestic routes to Shreveport (SHV) in Louisiana and Toledo (TOL) in Ohio. “This historic inaugural flight provides Toledo travelers with connectivity to (AAL)’s 2nd largest hub, and to a multitude of world wide destinations,” said Paul Toth, President & (CEO) of the Toledo - Lucas County Port Authority.

“This flight represents a significant commitment to the Toledo market by (AAL) and demonstrates the continued growth of the Toledo economy.” Both launched on August 22, the 1,226- and 752-km sectors will each see a 2x-daily rotation flown on CRJ200s, with neither route facing any direct competition. As stated by Toth, Charlotte Douglas is indeed (AAL)’s 2nd largest hub after Dallas/Fort Worth, with it offering >540,000 weekly one-way seats this summer on 4,980 flights.

News Item A-4: "Dueling Dallas Views of USA Airline Industry" by (ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp, August 18, 2017.

There were 2 schools of thought prominent during the recent round of USA airlines’ 2nd-quarter earnings calls: 1) Yes, net profits and margins are down year-over-year, but look at the long-term picture: the USA airline business is absolutely fundamentally changed and will be strongly profitable, despite some temporary dips here and there, for years to come—so investors should get on board quickly and unhesitatingly. 2) Well, maybe the business is different than it used to be, but maybe not. Airlines (and investors) need to be prepared for some rough patches and airlines need to be prudently managed under the assumption there will be difficult times.

You don’t have to leave Dallas to find perhaps the biggest proponents of each view. American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker is repeatedly pounding view number 1. Southwest Airlines (SWA) Chairman & (CEO) Gary Kelly is the more cautious voice, expressing view number 2. Both men, of course, are coming at things from different perspectives.

Parker took over the merged American (AAL) -US Airways (AMW)/(USA) just as American was emerging from Chapter 11, and he believes consolidation, fundamental changes made during Chapter 11 restructuring and a reformed view by airline management regarding capacity discipline insulate the industry from the disastrous sea of red ink USA major airlines swam in during the previous decade. Kelly’s (SWA) has always been profitable (net profits every year, without exception, for the last 44 straight years) and that is because it never assumed things would always be rosy and planned accordingly. It’d be great if airlines writ large are now perpetually profitable businesses, Kelly believes, but (SWA) won’t assume that’s the case and will make sure it stays profitable, even if the rest of the industry nose dives again.

Is Parker too optimistic? Is Kelly too cautious?

The half-year financial results for the 9 publicly traded mainline USA airlines released this month by Airlines for America (A4A) include some numbers that certainly provide grist for Kelly’s wait-and-see caution.

USA airlines’ expenses grew at >2x- the rate of revenue in the 2017 1st half, leading to a -23.3% year-over-year (YOY) decline in pre-tax profitability. Higher expenses included increases in fuel (+19.9% (YOY)), labor (+9.1%), maintenance (+8.3%), aircraft (+6.8%) and airport rents and landing fees (+3.1%).

What if those kinds of expense jumps become common? Parker and proponents of the fundamentally changed view believe the cost hikes are not going to be repeated over and over (the spikes are themselves a sign of a maturing, healthy industry that needed some corrections). Labor costs needed to match airlines’ new level of profitability and now they do, so the jumps being experienced now are just short-term course corrections, the proponents of this view say. Fuel was so low it had to rise somewhat. New aircraft may be costly upfront, but they represent huge leaps in fuel efficiency and so operating costs will decline over time.

I don’t think Kelly would necessarily disagree with the above sentiments, but I’ve heard him in the past discuss fuel volatility. (“I don’t think we’ve ever anointed ourselves the czars or seers of what the future is,” he once said when discussing fuel prices.)

How does anybody know fuel prices won’t skyrocket again? They probably won’t, but they could (and nobody really knows).

What if labor now believes its pay raises should be perpetual and the current round of labor cost hikes are not just one-time course corrections? What if there is some global event outside of airlines’ control that leads to a significant drop in air travel demand?

Wall Street is clearly in the cautious camp, something that has frustrated Parker. “It feels to me that [investors] can’t just believe that the industry has gotten well, almost like this is too good to be true,” he said during American (AAL)’s call.

Kelly appears to be among those who believe it may be too good to be true. “The philosophical point to argue here is we are still going to manage the company under the assumption that there will be very difficult times again,” Kelly told analysts. “I’ve heard comments [along the lines of] things are different now. Maybe. But we’re going to make sure that (SWA) is very well positioned to weather the storm.”

News Item A-5: American Airlines (AAL) is responding to transatlantic low cost carriers (LCC)s with an unbundled “basic economy” product, an executive for the carrier said. Speaking at the Boyd International Aviation Forecast Summit, (AAL) Senior VP Revenue Management Don Casey said the effect of transatlantic (LCC)s such as Norwegian (NWG) and (WOW) Air has been “material.” In response, (AAL) has unbundled fares on some routes in the market.

September 2017: News Item A-1: American Airlines is confident it will continue to produce annual profits averaging $5 billion and will never again lose money, Chairman and (CEO) Doug Parker said September 28. At a briefing in Dallas/Fort Worth for reporters and analysts, Parker stressed the company’s strategy of forward thinking and being focused on the long game. But he also emphasized that long-term planning did not mean investors must wait to see returns.

News Item A-2: "Analogic Checkpoint (CT) Machines to be Tested in 3 Countries this Fall (Autumn)" by Aaron Karp (ATW) Plus, September 8, 2017.

Around 10 computed tomography (CT) airport checkpoint screening machines produced by Boston-based technology firm Analogic will be tested in major airports in 3 countries: Japan, the Netherlands and the USA; in the coming months. These include machines purchased by American Airlines (AAL) that will be deployed to checkpoints in USA airports chosen by the USA Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The trials will also take place at Amsterdam Schiphol and Tokyo Narita.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has announced the 1st commercial flight for its upcoming Boeing 737 MAX 8. The flight, from Miami to New York Laguardia Airport, will operate on November 29th.

The 737 MAX will enter service over a month before (AAL) previously reported it would. (AAL) previously stated that the 737 MAX would enter service in early 2018.

The 1st 737 MAX for (AAL) began final assembly in Renton, Washington. Now, the airplane has completed final assembly and will soon begin flight testing. The airplane (6315, N324RA) will be the 1st of 4 737 MAXs (AAL) expects to take delivery of in 2017. After the 1st 4 deliveries in 2017, (AAL) will take delivery of 20 737 MAXs per year until their 100 airplane order is complete.

The 737 MAX joined a fleet of 294 737s as of June 30th at American Airlines (AAL). In the coming months, (AAL) will take delivery of their last 737 NextGens as (AAL) begins its transition to the 737 MAX.

News Item A-4: (AAL) expects to make a final decision on its order for 22 Airbus A350-900s within 6 months and possibly by the end of 2017. American Executive VP & (CFO) Derek Kerr, speaking on the sidelines of the company’s media & investor briefing day in Dallas/Fort Worth on September 28, confirmed (AAL) wants to make a decision on the wide bodies sooner rather than later.

(AAL)'s order for 22 Airbus A350-900s is too small to make sense for the Dallas/Fort Worth-based carrier, (AAL)’s top 2 executives said. In April 2017, (AAL) and Airbus (EDS) reached an agreement to defer (AAL)’s 1st A350-900 delivery to late 2020 from 2018 and put all 22 A350-900s American has on order on a deferred delivery schedule, with an average deferral of 2 years per aircraft.

October 2017: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) said it lost an estimated $75 million in pre-tax earnings from the 3 hurricanes that struck the Caribbean and USA mainland in August and September; (AAL)’s +$624 million net profit for the 2017 3rd quarter was a -15.3% drop from the (3Q) 2016.

(AAL) group’s pre-tax income totaled $1 billion, down -15.6% year-over-year (YOY), producing a 9.2% pre-tax margin, which met (AAL)’s post-Hurricane Irma revised guidance issued September 12. (AAL)’s 1.1% 3rd-quarter (TRASM) growth exceeded its guidance forecast by +0.1 point. In a conference call with analysts and reporters October 26, (AAL) (CEO) Doug Parker and President Robert Isom acknowledged the impact of the hurricanes as well as the Mexico City earthquake, and lauded American’s employees for their disaster relief efforts. (AAL) canceled >8,000 flights as a result of the hurricanes and at the peak of the storm activity canceled all flights at nearly 30 airports.

(AAL)’s operating revenue for the quarter was $10.9 billion, up +2.7% over $10.6 billion in the year-ago quarter, attributable, the company said, to strong passenger demand and improving yields. (AAL)’s combined mainline and regional yield increased +1.6% during the quarter to 15.51 cents. The company said yield grew in every geographic region for the 1st time since (2Q) 2014, particularly in Latin America. Cargo revenue reached $200 million during the quarter, up +17% (YOY).

Operating expenses totaled $9.6 billion, up +5.3% (YOY), largely attributable to a +13.3% increase in consolidated fuel expenses and an +8% rise in personnel salaries and benefits. (CASM), excluding fuel increased +4.5%. The group’s 3rd-quarter operating income was down -13.9% (YOY) to $1.2 billion.

(AAL)’s combined mainline and regional passenger traffic was up +0.9% for the quarter to 60.5 billion (RPM)s, on +1.6% capacity growth to 73.1 billion (ASM)s, producing an 82.8% LF passenger load factor, down -0.5 point (YOY).

During the 3rd quarter, (AAL) took delivery of 5 Airbus A321ceos, 5 Boeing 737-800s and 2 787-9s, as well as (AAL)’s 1st 737 MAX 8.

(AAL) rolled out its basic economy fare program September 5 on its domestic USA operations, a seating and fare structure meant to compete with Ultra (LCC)s. “Performance [of basic economy] has been in line with expectations with about 50% of customers who received a basic offer choosing to buy up to the main cabin product,” Isom said, adding the revenue impact of the new program is not reflected in (AAL)’s (3Q) earnings, because of its late rollout in the quarter. (AAL) estimates that approximately 1.5% of its total system revenue comes from fares selling at (ULCC) price levels.

In its 4th-quarter guidance, (AAL) expects (TRASM) to increase approximately +2.5% to 4.5% and its pre-tax margin excluding special items to be between 4.5% and 6.5%.

During the call, Parker responded to the (NAACP)’s travel advisory issued October 24, in which the civil rights organization called on African Americans “to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on (AAL) could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.” The advisory referenced several recent instances on board (AAL) flights the organization said reflected racial bias, and called for “meeting with airlines to discuss troublesome issues.”

“That announcement was obviously a disappointment to our team. We at (AAL) pride ourselves on inclusiveness and diversity,” Parker said. “[But] we realized this is a great opportunity: discrimination, exclusion, unconscious biases are enormous problems that no one’s mastered, and we would never suggest that we have it all figured out. What we know is, we want to keep learning and we want to get even better, and if organizations like the (NAACP) can help us, we welcome the opportunity to work with them. We are enthusiastic to sit down and learn together. We’ve reached out, and we expect to be working together in the very near term.”

News Item A-2: North American airlines are facing headwinds in 2017 that are lowering operating margins compared to 2015 and 2016, but air travel demand in the region remains strong and the overall industry outlook remains stable, according to "Fitch Ratings." In a new report issued October 23, Fitch analysts said higher wages, higher jet fuel prices and “intense competition” are leading to “weaker operating margins and deterioration in credit metrics for North American carriers.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) opened 2 new automated security screening lanes at Miami International Airport (MIA) Terminal D on October 24, (AAL)’s 4th USA rollout of the technology deployed in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

(AAL) has previously opened automated security screening lanes at its hubs at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth and New York (JFK).
“Airports in the future must be about moving passengers from reservation to destination, through an almost invisible yet integrated ecosystem of distributed security, with less stress and frustration for both passengers and the officers who screen them,” (TSA) Miami Federal Security Director Daniel Ronan said. “These new, innovative automated screening lanes enable us to do that by automating several of the functions previously conducted manually, thereby increasing security effectiveness and enabling passengers to move more swiftly and efficiently throughout the checkpoint.”

(AAL) funded the new screening lanes, which feature automated belts that draw bags into X-ray machines and then return empty bins back to the queue after screening is completed. Bags tagged as potential threats are directed to a separate area, allowing subsequent bags and bins to proceed through the system unimpeded. Other features include property bins 25% larger than bins in regular screening lanes; radio frequency identification (RFID) tags attached to each bin; and cameras that photograph the outside of the bag, which are linked to the X-ray image of the bag’s contents.

(AAL) trialed the automated screening lanes previously at 5 USA airports in 2016, also including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

In June, (AAL) and the (TSA) partnered to demonstrate computed tomography (CT) technology built by (L3) Technologies at a checkpoint lane at Phoenix Sky Harbor International’s Terminal 4. That same month, (AAL) agreed to buy $6 million worth of Boston-based manufacturer Analogic’s ConneCT screening systems. As described by Analogic, (CT) Technology’s 3-dimensional scanning capability makes it possible to allow passengers to leave liquids, gels, aerosols, and laptops in their carry-on bags. For security screeners, the technology offers the ability to more clearly identify potential threat items, including those concealed within personal electronic devices. (TSA) certified Analogic’s (CT) scanners in September, paving the way for the screening system’s rollout at USA airports. Analogic is also testing its (CT) machines at Amsterdam’s Schiphol and Tokyo’s Narita airports.

Other USA airlines are pursuing automated baggage checkpoints as well. In March, United Airlines (UAL) opened a fully automated baggage screening lane checkpoint, built by UK-based (L3) MacDonald Humfrey, at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal C. (UAL) also has automated screening lanes in operation at (ORD) and (LAX). Delta Air Lines (DAL) partnered in the testing of automated screening lanes at Atlanta (ATL) last year.

News Item A-4: "American Asks Investors to Believe its Wealth is Sustainable" by Victoria Moores (ATW), ATWOnline October 20, 2017.

USA airline history is littered with bankruptcies, furloughs and broken hearts. The only certainty about an airline’s great financial quarter, or even a good year, was that sooner or later an awful one would follow.

American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker believes those days are over. He is confident (AAL) will continue to produce annual profits averaging $5 billion and will never again lose money.

November 2017: Etihad Airways (EHD) will suspend its Abu Dhabi toDallas/Fort Worth (DFW) route from March 25, 2018. (EHD) said November 2 the route would become commercially unsustainable following American Airlines (AAL)’s decision to terminate the code share agreement between them. (EHD) hinted that further action could be taken to adjust its USA services.

(AAL) announced in July it would end code shares with both Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) because of its long-running complaint that the major Gulf carriers receive government subsidies that do not comply with the "Open Skies" agreements with the (UAE) and Qatar. The last day of the (EHD) code share operation will be March 24, 2018.

“The unfortunate decision by (AAL) to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left (EHD) with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth,” (EHD) (CEO) Peter Baumgartner said. Dallas/Fort Worth is (AAL)’s home hub.

“We are open to (AAL) reversing its decision to cancel our code share agreement so that Etihad Airways (EHD) can continue the route and together protect and support American national interests and global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines.”

The efforts of the USA majors to review the air access agreements between the USA on the one hand and the (UAE) and Qatar on the other, largely failed to gain traction with the Obama administration, but have been ramped up again this year, apparently in the belief that President Trump will be more receptive to their claims of unfair competition.

On November 2, Etihad (EHD) said it had invested heavily in the (DFW) route since its launch in December 2014. The service commenced on a 3x-weekly basis and was upgraded to daily in February 2017. (EHD) had added that half of its (DFW) customers connected on USA code share flights operated by (AAL).

“The cancellation of the Dallas route is 1 of several adjustments that we are making to our USA network in 2018 in order to improve system profitability. Further changes are possible as we monitor the full impact of the (AAL) code share cancellation on summer 2018 bookings,” said Baumgartner.

In October, Baumgartner said this was a “sad situation” that “destroys mutual value. The "Open Skies" debate and the impact we see at Etihad (EHD) redefines our footprint in the country. That partnership has brought tremendous incremental value to (AAL) and to us,” he said.

(EHD) operates 42x-weekly nonstop flights to 5 USA gateways: Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York and Washington. Additionally, Etihad Cargo operates 2x-weekly Boeing 777F freighter services to and from Columbus, Ohio; and Tucson, Arizona.

December 2017: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) reached an agreement with its pilots (FC) union to avoid having to cancel thousands of flights during the Christmas holiday season because of a glitch with the pilot's (FC) schedules.

The 2 sides had disagreed on how to overcome the glitch, which had left thousands of flights scheduled without a captain, a co-pilot or both between December 17 and December 31 at dozens of airports. (AAL) said that the 2 sides "have put that worry to rest to make sure the flights will operate as scheduled."

(AAL) the world's biggest airline, has about 15,000 active pilots (FC) and plans >200,000 flights in December.

News Item A-2: "Editorial: Gulf "Open Skies" Decision is Right Call" by Karen Walker karen.walker@informa.com in (ATW) Editor's Blog December 15, 2017.

Despite a renewed campaign against the hub Gulf carriers, the 3 USA major airlines ended the year with essentially nothing gained. The USA will not reopen negotiations on its Open Skies agreements with the (UAE) and Qatar, nor freeze the traffic rights of Gulf airlines to the USA under those aviation treaties. Those were the core requests of the USA majors, and while talks will continue on Open Skies compliance, the fundamentals remain in place.

This was the right call. American (AAL), Delta (DAL), United (UAL) and USA airline labor groups have joined forces in what has become an increasingly shrill and at times low-ball attack on Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA), even attacking the (CEO) of 1 of those airlines when he was honored with an industry award.

What they failed to do was demonstrate that the Gulf carriers have materially harmed the businesses of the USA carriers, which have generated more than half of world airlines’ profits in the past 3 years and are forecast to again produce the strongest financial performance in 2018 with an expected net profit of +$16.4 billion.

Indeed, the only harm that the USA majors suffer is self-inflicted. (AAL) intends to end its code shares with 2 of the Gulf carriers in 2018 (1 of them, (QTA), a Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner. That will hurt revenues on all sides and reduce service choices for (AAL)’s customers. It’s also hypocritical. (AAL) has deep partnerships with airlines such as British Airways (BAB), where (QTA) has a 20% stake in (BAB)’s parent company, (LATAM) (LAN)/(TPR), in which (QTA) has a 10% stake, and Qantas (QAN), which has a joint venture with (EAD). So (AAL) will continue to benefit indirectly from the Gulf carriers through its closest airline partners.

The truest fact of the modern airline industry is that it is a network. Neither the smallest nor the largest carrier can stand alone. Airlines seek out alliances, joint ventures, code shares and liberalized aviation agreements so they can deliver global connectivity. These arrangements, unique to aviation, are the patches the industry applies to work around ownership and cabotage rules that protect home markets. The USA has some of the most draconian airline protectionist rules, while Europe now has some of the most liberal.

But what the USA did gift to the world of commercial aviation was Open Skies; a concept that has spread globally and which has allowed airlines to grow and be more creative, while giving passengers choices in their international travel plans.

The greatest threat in what the USA majors might have achieved with their anti-Gulf carrier campaign was a “two-tier” Open Skies system in which some arrangements were less “open” than others. It would have raised the question: when will restrictions be sought on other Open Skies agreements so the USA majors can return to an international market that more closely reflects the consolidated US market, with its single-carrier dominance in hub cities?

The Open Skies system is safeguarded, at least for now, and the USA majors on a healthy financial footing to compete well and prosper. That’s a New Year resolution worth pursuing in 2018.

News Item A-3: The American Airlines (AAL) Boeing 767-300 that experienced an uncontained engine failure during a takeoff roll on October 28, 2016 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport was “substantially damaged,” according to the USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

“The 767-300 will not be flying again,” an (AAL) spokesperson said. The incident marked the 1st-ever failure of a 2nd-stage high-pressure (HP) turbine stage on a (GE) Aviation (CF6-80C2) engine.

The (NTSB) has a set a January 23, 2018 hearing to determine the probable cause of the incident, which caused a fire. (AAL)’s 767-300 was operating as American flight 383 bound for Miami.

According to the (NTSB), the 767-300’s right (CF6-80C2) engine failed about 6,550 ft from the O’Hare (ORD) runway 28R threshold. The pilots (FC) aborted takeoff and the airplane came to a full stop, but a fuel leak led to a fire breaking out.

During the ensuing emergency evacuation, 1 passenger suffered “serious injuries,” according a media advisory issued December 4 by the (NTSB). “The 767-300 was substantially damaged as a result of the fire.”

(AAL) has been participating in the (NTSB) investigation. “(AAL) is confident that once the investigation is complete, any safety recommendations issued by the (NTSB) will enhance aviation safety worldwide.”

There were 161 passengers and 9 crew aboard the 767-300.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) has consolidated its New York’s LaGuardia Airport operations at Terminal B, bringing together legacy US Airways services from another terminal and existing ones for Dallas/Fort Worth-based (AAL).

The move, which occurred last weekend, puts all (AAL) ticketing, check-in, lounges and flights in one terminal. It involved moving 450 to 500 employees and 75 to 85 daily flights, including legacy US Airways East Coast Shuttle operations, spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said.

News Item A-5: Embraer (EMB) delivered to American Airlines (AAL) its 1,400th E-Jet, an E175, which will be operated by its wholly owned subsidiary Envoy Air.

January 2018: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) provided upbeat guidance for the upcoming release of its 4th quarter 2017 results, projecting higher unit revenue growth than previously projected. (AAL) said its (4Q) RASM will be up +5% to +6% year-over-year, up from previous guidance of 2.5% to 4.5% (RASM) growth. (AAL)’s (4Q) (RASM) performance may indicate the difficult revenue environment USA airlines have faced in recent years is easing.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker vigorously defended (AAL)’s plans to grow system capacity +2.5% year-over-year (YOY) in 2018 and encouraged investors to distinguish between different kinds of airline growth. Parker’s comments came after Wall Street punished Chicago-based United Airlines (UAL) and the broader USA airline industry after (UAL) earlier this week revealed plans to grow capacity +4% to +6% (YOY) in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) is taking its NE USA shuttle product and placing it on the New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) route from April 4 in what airline executives said could be a precursor to more shuttle offerings.

(AAL) currently operates a shuttle service—inherited from US Airways (USA), which merged with (AAL) in 2013 (on 3 routes: Washington National (DCA) to (LGA), (LGA) to Boston (BOS) and (BOS) to (DCA). The service aimed at frequent business travelers is characterized by hourly flights, dedicated airport gates, dedicated check-in locations and other perks, such as beer and wine for no added fee.

(AAL) is already operating 15 daily flights on the (LGA) to (ORD) route and VP Network & Schedule Planning Vasu Raja conceded to reporters on a conference call that “for the last 3 to 4 months we’ve actually been quietly operating [(LGA) to (ORD)] as if it were a shuttle without the branding” to ensure smooth operations when the service is officially rolled out in April.

While no new flights will be added on the route, “the shuttle for us is a very specific product,” Raja explained. “It is a regular, recurrent schedule pattern. There are dedicated gates and dedicated check-in plus free beer and wine as well. It caters to the last-minute business (C) traveler and makes it as easy as possible for them. We’ve had a lot of demand [for an (LGA) to (ORD) shuttle] for a long time.”

Delta Air Lines (DAL), which also operates USA NE shuttle flights, already offers an (LGA) to (ORD) shuttle service. Though (AAL) will go head-to-head with (DAL) on the (LGA) to (ORD) shuttle, Raja said (AAL) plans “our network based on long-term profitability. This is not a competitive reaction by any means.”

He noted New York-based business (C) passengers in particular pushed (AAL) for a Chicago shuttle service. He added that 1 reason (AAL) is starting an (LGA) to (ORD) shuttle is to determine if the concept is viable outside the USA NE.

“This is the 1st time we’re taking the shuttle product out of the NE corridor, and it gave us a lot of pause when we decided to do it,” Raja said, noting there is “conditioning in those markets” (Boston, New York and Washington DC) among business passengers for a shuttle service. “Part of what we’re testing here is” whether the shuttle can work outside of the USA NE, Raja said. If the (LGA) to (ORD) shuttle service is successful, “potentially there could be other shuttle markets as well,” he added. “We certainly daydream about that. The 1st step is making Chicago to LaGuardia as successful as it can be.”

News Item A-4: "The Open Skies ‘Big Deal’ That Isn’t" by Karen Walker (karen.walker@informa.com) in (ATW) Editor's Blog January 30, 2018.

American (AAL), Delta (DAL) and United (UAL) still have little to show for the millions of dollars they’ve spent on publicity campaigns and legal work aimed at curtailing the growth of Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA).

While the USA airline (CEO)s and (ALPA) have issued press statements akin to victory claims, the reality is that the new USA - Qatar “understandings on civil aviation” pact, announced this month by USA Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, changes nothing about the "Open Skies" agreement between the 2 countries or Qatar Airways (QTA)’s operations to the USA.

To summarize, in return for not renegotiating the "Open Skies" deal, the Qatari government has agreed that (QTA) will release an audited financial statement within a year and assured Washington that the Doha-based airline has “no current plans” to operate 5th freedom flights to the USA.

How useful that audited statement will be to the USA carriers is anybody’s guess, but there seems to be a wide margin for interpretation of how to deliver that concession. And (QTA) does not operate 5th freedom flights to the USA (although it could do so under the "Open Skies" agreement, if it wished), so nothing changes there and the Qatari government’s assurance on this is even vaguer than the financial transparency pledge.

Tillerson’s statement was also cloaked in diplomatic assurances, emphasizing that Qatar was “a strong partner and a longtime friend of the USA,” with whom the USA is keen to deepen its strategic ties and cooperation in areas that include trade, security and counter-terrorism.

The most important part of today’s statement, however, is what wasn’t mentioned: the (UAE), Emirates (EAD) and Etihad (EHD). The USA is apparently hopeful of reaching the same type of amicable handshake with the (UAE), which is unquestionably as important a strategic partner as Qatar. But the (UAE) is in a diplomatic standoff with Qatar, so there’s no reason to believe that where Qatar goes, so will the (UAE). Even more problematic, Emirates (EAD) (the world's largest international airline) does operate 5th freedom flights (via Italy and Greece) to the USA. Would a USA “civil aviation understanding” with the (UAE) require (EAD) to give those up?

Even if the (UAE) and (EAD) were to make such a concession, would they do so while still permitting USA cargo carriers to operate 5th freedom flights out of Dubai?

But let’s hypothesize that an agreement is forged with the (UAE) similar to Qatar’s. What, in reality, have (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) achieved for their money? The "Open Skies" agreements will remain intact (a good thing, in this editor’s view); the Gulf carriers will maintain their current direct schedules to the USA; and, if they wish and if slots are available, those airlines can continue to expand their USA destination networks.

Meanwhile, the consolidated USA majors will continue to control some 80% of the USA domestic market (into which foreign carriers, including the Gulf carriers, cannot venture because of USA cabotage laws) and will maintain their dominant, anti-trust protected positions in the transatlantic market with their European partners, Air France (AFA) - (KLM), British Airways (BAB), Lufthansa (DLH) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA).

3 years on, with millions of dollars and a lot of rhetoric spent, (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) seem to have achieved only 1 thing: securing the status quo.

February 2018: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) has commenced flights from 3 different hubs, all launched on February 15. New A320 services from (AAL)’s 2nd-largest operation at Charlotte Douglas (CLT) were started to Tucson (TUS).

Additionally, (AAL) kicked off a 2,403 km link between Philadelphia (PHL), its 5th-biggest base in terms of weekly seats, and San Antonio (SAT), which is flown by its 128-seat A319 fleet. “Approximately 120,000 travellers fly between San Antonio and Philadelphia each year, so this new service answers the need for many travellers and is a highlight to our economic progress,” said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio.

Finally, again on the same day, (AAL) began the airport pair from Washington Reagan (DCA) to Tallahassee (TLH), operated by its CRJ900 aircraft. None of the new route trio has any direct route competition, and all will be operated on a daily basis.

News Item A-2: "American Airlines is Changing its Safety Video after Complaints from Delayed Passengers that it is Too 'Loud & Celebratory'
by Jennifer Newton for MailOnline, February 27, 2018.

(AAL)'s safety video was updated in 2016 and was given a modern makeover. The end of the clip shows a group of staff and passengers cheering and clapping. But some passengers complained the video was too 'loud and celebratory.' (AAL) has taken the decision to edit the video and tone down noise

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5440187/AA-change-safety-video-cheery-complaints.html#ixzz59mwRJNG0
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

March 2018: News Item A-1: "American Airlines will Bring Basic Economy to Transatlantic Routes" by Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg News, March 01, 2018.

The American Airlines Group Inc will introduce its basic-economy (Y) fares to select flights across the Atlantic as it competes with a growing number of discount carriers flying between Europe and the USA.

The international version of the bargain-basement fare will launch in April, (AAL) said. Travelers will be charged for their 1st checked bag, instead of getting 1 free. Seats won't be assigned until check-in, but can be assigned earlier for a fee. Passengers will be allowed to carry on a personal item and a bag, while domestic basic economy (Y) allows only a personal item that fits under the seat.

The initiative puts (AAL) in a race with Europe's biggest long-distance carriers to counter Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG)'s rapidly growing discount trans-Atlantic operation. British Airways (BAB) owner (IAG) is expanding 2 of its newest discount brands quickly, while Air France (AFA) - (KLM) Group and Lufthansa (DLH) are preparing low-cost offerings. (AAL) and other USA carriers created basic economy to compete better with discounters at home.

(AAL)'s move is in conjunction with joint-venture partners British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Finnair (FIN), meaning that customers will be able to buy the discounted fare on flights by all 4 carriers. Delta Air Lines (DAL) already offers basic-economy (Y) fares across the Atlantic.

(AAL)'s basic-economy (Y) tickets (domestic and trans-Atlantic) are nonrefundable, don't allow upgrades and can't be changed on the day of flight. The international tickets will allow changes before the travel day for a fee; the domestic offering doesn't allow such adjustments.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) will boost its service to the Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America region to nearly 270x-daily flights with the launch of 6 new routes from the USA, (AAL) said March 29. Beginning December 19, American will begin Boeing 787-9 flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport (EZE), becoming the 1st airline to offer non-stop service between the 2 cities. Also on December 19, nonstop flights between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Oaxaca, Mexico will commence, with (AAL) flying Embraer E175s on the route.

2 new flights from Miami International Airport (MIA) will launch the next day, December 20, to Georgetown, Guyana; and Pereira, Colombia; (AAL) plans to fly Airbus A319s on each route.

Additionally, from April 2, 2019 (AAL) will start a new route originating in Miami flying to Cordoba, Argentina; (AAL) plans to utilize 767-300s on the flights. The 5 new routes come on top of (AAL)’s recently announced service, set to launch July 5 this year, between Philadelphia (PHL) and Mexico City (MEX). (AAL) is looking to promote the (MEX) to (PHL) service in Latin America as a means for transatlantic connectivity from Philadelphia. New seasonal routes from Philadelphia to Prague and Budapest are set to operate between May 4 to October 27 this year.

April 2018: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) reported a -45.2% year-over-year (YOY) drop in 1st-quarter net income from $340 million to $186 million as soaring fuel costs overwhelmed an otherwise positive business environment for (AAL). (AAL)’s 1st-quarter revenue rose +5.9% (YOY) to $10.4 billion, while expenses increased +9.8% to $9.97 billion, including a +25.8% rise in fuel costs.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) said it is ordering 47 of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners for long-range flying, expanding its 787 fleet and dealing a blow to Airbus (EDS)’s ambitions to expand its wide body airplane sales in the USA. The Boeing deal is worth $12.3 billion at list prices. With standard industry discounts, the actual value is estimated to be $6.3 billion. Adding more of the 787s will allow (AAL) to simplify its fleet and shed some of its oldest long range jets. In a related move, (AAL) canceled an order for 22 of Airbus (EDS)' twin-aisle A350 jets, from a purchase placed by (AAL) predecessor US Airways (USA).

The 787 deal marks the 2nd time this year that Boeing (TBC) has persuaded an Airbus wide body customer in the USA to switch to the 787. Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), the sole customer for Airbus' A330-800, decided in March to order 10 787s instead.

In March, Bloomberg News reported that (AAL) had ruled out a competing Airbus bid for the A330neo. "This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo," Robert Isom, (AAL)'s President said. "In the end, our goal of simplifying our fleet, made the 787 a compelling choice." With the plan, (AAL) will reduce the number of wide body airplane types it flies to 3 from 5, reducing maintenance and training costs. (AAL) previously said the number of A350s it had ordered was too small for it to operate profitably. (AAL) had delayed taking the A350s in both 2016 and 2017. It already plans to shed another small fleet of 20 Embraer (EMB) E190 jets.

The new deal includes 22 787s (more than doubling (AAL)'s fleet of 787s, Boeing's current most advanced airplane). All of the 787s will will be powered with General Electric's (GEnx-1B) engines. The 787-8s will begin arriving in 2022, followed a year later by the 1st of the 787-9s, (AAL) said. (AAL) will use the 787s to replace aging Boeing 767-300s and later, its A330-300s and the oldest of its 777-200s.

(AAL) also deferred delivery of 40 737 MAX narrowbody airplanes to between 2025 and 2026. The airplanes originally were to arrive in 2020 to 2022.

Airbus has said it has a series of sales campaigns for the A330neo with >100 airlines that currently operate the older version of the aircraft. The 250-seat A330-800 is on track for its 1st flight in the middle of this year, with the bigger A330-900 variant set to enter into service around the same time with launch operator (TAP) Air Portugal.

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) plans to equip 320 Airbus A321s to display nearby air traffic on the flight deck via automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast In (ADS-B In), spearheading the industry’s next step after the 2020 mandate to equip for (ADS-B Out) position reporting. (AAL) and avionics manufacturer (ACSS) are working toward obtaining (FAA) supplemental type certification (STC) of a system that makes use of existing navigation displays, plus a small (ADS-B) Guidance Display (AGD).

May 2018: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) Regional Jet Order:
(AAL) split a $1.4 billion order of regional jets between Bombardier (BMB) and Embraer (EMB), extending a push to update its short-range fleet. (AAL), the world's largest carrier air is buying 15 (BMB) CRJ900 aircraft and 15 (EMB) E175 jets.

The purchase boosts (AAL)'s shift to bigger regional jets with room for 2 passenger classes, which better match the offerings of (AAL)'s
larger single-aisle aircraft.

News Item A-2: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) launches a major rehabilitation project on May 24, closing part of its Runway 17-Center/35-Center (17C/35C) and beginning work on replacing the center 3rd of the 13,400 ft runway.

(DFW) is replacing a section of the runway that measures 6,000 ft by 50 ft, including the sub-base. The airport plans to keep part of the runway open for at least 2 months, which will allow the southern portion of the strip to be used during the day. Full closure is planned for August as the project expands. Work is slated for completion by year end.

The new runway will include special pavement sensors to help monitor weather. The project also includes building connections to a planned NE airport perimeter (or end-around) taxiway. (DFW) has a perimeter taxiway at the southern end of 2 east-side parallel runways, including 17C/35C.

Built in 1984, the runway handles the most arrivals at (DFW). But the airport expects operational impact to be minimal thanks to the airport's 6 other runways.

The $135 million project is being funded in part by a $49.5 million (FAA) Airport Improvement Program grant. "This runway work is a critical need for the (DFW) Airport, and the 1st major step in our 10-year plan to modernize infrastructure across the airport," (DFW) Executive VP of Infrastructure & Development Khaled Naja said. "We've taken a long look at our 44-year old facilities and have developed a comprehensive plan to address the upcoming work on runways, taxiways, aircraft ramps, roadways and bridges over the next few years."

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL)’s new flight crew (FC) program has attracted >2,000 applicants for its just-launched "Cadet Academy" pilot pipeline program, and plans to accept 200 candidates this year.

The program, launched in April, gives aspiring pilots (FC) a slot to train at 1 of (AAL)’s 3 flight schools for up to 18 months. The next step would be the chance to join one of (AAL)’s regional subsidiaries: Envoy Air, Piedmont Airlines, or (PSA) Airlines. Crucially, the program provides access to financing to pay for training.

(AAL)’s regional affiliates have pipeline programs, but those focus primarily on connecting candidates in college aviation programs with jobs, (AAL)’s pilot (FC) Recruitment Director David Tatum said. Speaking on American’s internal podcast, Tatum said candidates in the regionals’ programs have already solved the financing challenge and are focused on building flight time. The new academy’s goal is to develop more cadets for that pipeline, and help ensure (AAL) has a steady stream of pilots (FC) to help support growth and offset retirements.

“We had a great need to launch this program,” Tatum said, adding that (AAL) is not experiencing a shortage of pilots (FC), but wanted to find a way to minimize the roadblock that the cost of flight training presents for an otherwise ideal pilot (FC) candidate. “Our main goal is to make flight training more accessible.”

Applicants undergo “a thorough selection process” that includes an organizational-fit assessment, computer-based pilot (FC) skills tests, and interviews with a variety of (AAL) staff, Tatum said. Candidates who complete the program will land interviews with an (AAL) regional carrier, although a job is not guaranteed.

News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) introduced 9 new routes to its network this month, 3 of which were transatlantic services to Budapest (BUD), Prague (PRG) and Venice Marco Polo (VCE). The Hungarian and Czech Republic capitals are now connected to Philadelphia (PHL) daily, while the Italian city sees a 6x-weekly link from Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Along with these long-haul services, (AAL) has also inaugurated several intra-North American links. Of the 9 routes added to the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member’s network this week for summer 2018, 4 face direct competition.

June 2018: 2 737 MAX 8 (44450, N316RK; 44452, N321RL), and 737 MAX 9 (40655, N835AN) deliveries.

July 2018: News Item A-1: "American Lowers (2Q) (RASM) Guidance on Reduced Domestic Yields" by Sean Broderick (sean.broderick@aviationweek.com) July 11, 2018.

Falling domestic yields and several one-time items will hit American Airlines (AAL)’s bottom line this quarter, (AAL) revealed July 11.
(AAL) updating investors ahead of its 2nd-quarter earnings release on July 26, said total revenue per available seat mile will go up +1% to +3% year-over-year (YOY), rather than +1.5% to +3.5% per its April guidance. “This change from previous guidance is due to lower-than-anticipated domestic yields,” (AAL) said.

Elsewhere, the crew-scheduling problems that disrupted regional subsidiary (PSA) Airlines cost the company $35 million in pre-tax income. The issue forced PSA to cancel about 3,000 flights in mid-June. (AAL) said its 2nd-quarter (CASM) increase is expected to be 2.5% (YOY), or -1% lower than expected. Lower-than-projected maintenance costs and higher-than-expected airport rent returns helped keep costs down.

News Item A-2: "American Airlines Cuts Profit Outlook after 'Most Challenging Quarter' Since 2013" by Leslie Josephs, (CNBC), July 26, 2018.

American Airlines (AAL) posted lower 2nd-quarter profits and cut its earnings outlook for 2018 after fuel costs surged during what (CEO) Doug Parker called (AAL)'s "most challenging quarter" since it merged with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) 5 years ago.

(AAL), the world's largest airline by traffic, and its competitors have been grappling with a >50% rise in fuel during the past year, which has crimped their bottom lines. (AAL) expects to earn an adjusted per-share profit of between US$4.50 and US$5 a share in 2018, down from an earlier full-year estimate of US$5 to US$6 it forecast in April.

(AAL) said it plans to defer some aircraft deliveries and slow its growth in the 2nd half of the year to reduce costs. (AAL)'s stock is down -24% in 2018, more than its closest competitors, but it was up +3.8% on July 26 as investors welcomed the cost-cutting plan.

Strong travel demand helped grow revenues nearly +4% to US$11.64 billion from a year ago, which was slightly below Wall Street's expectations of close to US$11.7 billion. (AAL) earlier this month lowered its revenue forecast for the 3 months ended in June, citing weakness in the domestic market. Net income fell >-34% from the year-earlier period to US$566 million, or US$1.22 a share.

After adjusting for one-time items, (AAL) earned US$1.63 a share, above the estimated US$1.59 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected.

Like other carriers, (AAL) has been grappling with strong demand for travel but higher costs to fuel its planes. It said its fuel bill rose >41% in the quarter. Another challenge in the quarter was a computer problem at (PSA) Airlines, a regional subsidiary of (AAL), led to the cancellation of >2,000 flights in June.

(AAL) is trimming its growth plan for the 2nd half of the year after costs rose, a move that was widely expected by analysts. In the 3rd quarter, it plans to grow capacity, or the number of seats and the distance it flies them, by +3.3% and 1.6% in the 4th quarter, down -1% point from its previous growth estimate.

(AAL) is deferring the delivery of 22 Airbus A321neo aircraft it planned to start receiving next year through 2021, which it said will reduce aircraft capital expenditures by -US$1.2 billion over the next 3 years.

(AAL) is also changing its no-frills basic economy product to allow those passengers to bring a carry-on bag on board, starting in September.

August 2018: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) is expanding its international network with new flight offerings out of Philadelphia International Airport to a handful of European destinations. Starting next summer, (AAL) will add a total of 9 European routes to its offerings, 4 of which will be available out of Philadelphia.

News Item A-2: (AAL) will launch daily, Edinburgh to Philadelphia Boeing 757 service from April 2, 2019.

News Item A-3: "(USA) Senator John McCain" by Karen Walker
(karen.walker@informa.com) in (ATW) Editor's Blog, August 27, 2018.

Heroes are born, idols are made, they say. Senator John McCain had no time for idolism, but he was a hero in the truest sense because of his actions and values. Senator McCain died at the weekend.

Among the many tributes that have been paid from around the world, American Airlines (AAL) posted a statement on its site in which (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker said “As a former Navy pilot and Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator McCain had great respect for the USA commercial aviation industry and the hard-working professionals who serve within it. We are extremely grateful for the work Senator McCain did on behalf of our team members, most notably in the aftermath of "9/11," both for (AAL) and a predecessor airline, America West (AMW). (AAL) would not be what it is today without the principled support of Senator McCain and our 130,000 team members are forever grateful.” Parker also noted that the Senator was a friend, and that his son, Doug McCain, is a Captain with American Airlines (AAL). While his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam forever changed and shaped the young John McCain, it was as a USA Senator that his stature was confirmed. As Chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee, which also oversees Transportation, Senator McCain was an imposing presence. He could show irritation, even flashes of temper. He did not suffer fools or the unprepared, and he grilled those giving testimony. But he was always prepared and well informed on the subject at hand. He listened intently to testimonies. He knew the Senate was a theater and he played up to that, but under his leadership, it was a dignified court and all sides were granted a fair hearing.

Many of those Commerce Senate hearings were covered in the 1990s. Among the big air transportation issues of the day was whether to grant (AAL) and British Airways (BAB) an immunized alliance. US Airways (USA) (this was well before the merger of (AAL) and (USF)) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA) were among those opposing the alliance. (VAA) had “No Way, (BAB)/(AAL)” painted on the tails of its airplanes. Big industry names ((AAL) (CEO) Bob Crandall, (USA) (CEO) Stephen Wolf, Virgin Founder and boss Sir Richard Branson) knew to be deferential to the Senator as they explained their positions. But (BAB) (CEO) Bob Ayling, perhaps believing a UK citizen was not under the same obligations to give testimony at a USA hearing, failed to show for 1 of the (BAB)/(AAL) hearings. Senator McCain was furious. When Ayling turned up for a following hearing, he was greeted by the Chairman with a pointed “thank you for showing up this time Mr Ayling.”

1-on-1, Senator McCain was gracious and generous. He would give time to reporters after hearings. He was funny. In an interview for "Airline Business," there were no aides or (PR) staff; he just sat in his office and answered all questions fully. He was very knowledgeable not just on the USA airline industry, but also the global airline industry and how it was changing. He was genuinely interested in the industry and seemed to enjoy learning about it and potentially shaping it. Senator McCain was a hero, in part, of course, because of his war experience. But he took the fighter spirit and humanization he learned in the hardest possible way and applied it to his civil leadership.
That’s a hero made.

News Item A-4: American Airlines President Robert Isom was brutally blunt in a "Town Hall" meeting this month with employees. He called the past 3 months a “long, hot, hard summer” as he tried to explain why (AAL)’s on-time performance has suffered so badly. Isom also hinted at what the future holds for (AAL) and how $75-a-barrel oil will affect that future for better and worse.

* Just how bad has it been for (AAL)?

In July, (AAL) the world’s largest airline finished dead last in on-time arrival performance among the 4 largest domestic carriers, which also include on-time leader (DAL), (UAL) and (SWA). What Isom described as near constant weather problems in key markets throughout the domestic route system caused thousands of delayed or cancelled flights, a situation that pushed many (AAL) flight crews (FC) to the allowable work limits for weeks on end and hugely depleted reserve ranks. Still, some employees who listened to Isom at the "Town Hall" questioned whether the (AAL) President was right to blame weather for (AAL)’s problems. “While weather has certainly been an issue, it hits everyone. How you're prepared for it is what matters,” said 1 veteran (AAL) employee. As Isom noted, the problems went well beyond the weather. The prolonged (PSA) Airlines (an (AAL) regional carrier) crew staffing software outage at (AAL)’s 2nd-largest hub at Charlotte International Airport “really hurt us.”

As did the urgent (and unexpected) rush to inspect fan blades on some 600 engines on (AAL)s 737 airplanes in the wake of the fatality related mid-flight engine explosion aboard a (SWA) jet in April. "There’s a lot of stress out there,” Isom acknowledged. Isom addressed another stress: rising fuel costs, caused in large part by oil rising from $45 to $75 a barrel. “And it’s just sitting there,” Isom said. That costly reality has forced (AAL) to start aggressively cutting unprofitable routes, with Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) ground zero for those cuts. This fall (autumn) (AAL) will eliminate all service from (ORD) to China, 1 of the world's fastest-growing travel markets, and >half the flights to Tokyo.

Isom said in his "Town Hall" remarks, however, that (AAL) is gung-ho about growth at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC; Charlotte International Airport, where (AAL) is adding 6 gates over the next couple of years; and especially Dallas Ft Worth International Airport, where (AAL) will add a whopping 15 gates. He said the 3 aforementioned markets make the most money, so they will get a lot of attention. Still, there is no getting around the severe operational problems that afflicted (AAL) in recent months. He confessed “we haven’t executed as well as I would like.” Rank and file (AAl) employees, however, said the blame for that failure of execution is squarely on management.

Noted 1 (AAL) veteran employee: “They must figure out how to reliably schedule (AAL) and provide front line employees the tools and staffing to properly serve our passengers.” But (AAL) management is confronting thousands of employees upset anew about an attendance policy unveiled this last week and set to go into effect on October 1, another in a growing list of issues causing a drop in morale. Noted 1 veteran cabin attendant (CA): “The attendance policy is another blow to our work force in conjunction with the uniform debacle, fume events, payroll errors, an overhaul of the schedule bid system, etc. Morale has never been so low. Mergers are never easy, but most of us feel the (AAL) brand is being destroyed.”

News Item A-5: 2 737 MAX 8 (44454, N324RN; 44456, N326RP), Willmington Trust leased and 787-9 (40658, N837AN) Wilmington Trust leased.

September 2018: News Item A-1" American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker is confident (AAL) can ride out the current rise in fuel prices and its effect on profits. He told attendees at the Airlines for America (A4A) 2018 Summit in Washington, DC on September 12: “The reality is you need to adapt. We need, as oil prices rise, to do everything we can to make sure that our earnings stay at the same levels.”

News Item A-2: "(APEX): American (CEO) Defends 737 MAX Seat, Lavatory Sizes" by Bill Carey (bill.carey@aviationweek.com), September 24, 2018.

American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker defended seat and lavatory sizes on (AAL)’s new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX airliners during an opening presentation on September 24 at the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo in Boston, Massachusetts.

(AAL) was criticized last year for its plan to install seats with 29-in of pitch on the 100 new Boeing 787-8s it started receiving last September. The reaction caused (AAL) to change course and install economy (Y) seats with 30 in seat pitch, still <31-in. seat pitch on its 737-800s. Commonly called leg room, airline seat pitch is the distance between a point on 1 seat and the same point on the seat directly in front of it.

In a one-on-one conversation with Parker, (APEX) (CEO) Joe Leader observed that (AAL) has “gotten all this attention about how it’s a step back, because people look at the one-inch less of pinch. We had a team take the [Rockwell Collins] Meridian seat and actually look at it against your old seats—there’s one inch of added room up top at eye level, and then it’s net neutral at the bottom because you have less obstruction at your knees and you have more space in the back. Why do you think you’re getting this bad rap? Your seats are actually wider as well.”

Parker, who recently flew on the 737-8 for the 1st time, acknowledged that (AAL) could have done a better job describing the new seat dimensions. But he also believes the concept of seat pitch is not well understood by passengers. “That 30-in pitch, having done it myself, is much more comfortable than our existing 31-in pitch on an MD-80. It feels like a much better product,” he related. “I think the whole definition of pitch needs to be better understood. The fact is that a seat is an inch [narrower] and more comfortable. The traditional measure of simply pitch, and comparing pitch to airplane that have very different seats, doesn’t really give the customer what they need to know about the amount of space they have.”

Leader also brought up smaller lavatory dimensions, saying, “(AAL) has been treated like you personally designed these bathrooms.” Parker responded: “In this case, Boeing did a nice job of designing a bathroom that is a couple inches narrower than the one we’ve had in the past. Real estate inside the cabin is incredibly valuable. Our customers care greatly about that, so if we can give them 2 more inches inside the cabin by having our bathrooms 2 inches narrower (as Delta (DAL) has done, as (SWA) has done) I think that’s a good thing. We haven’t had complaints about it) we’ve had some [negative] press about it.”

Speaking with reporters afterward, Parker said (AAL) is confident that a provision of pending (FAA) re-authorization legislation that would require the (FAA) to study whether there should be a minimum distance between seating rows will find that current seat dimensions are safe.

“We’re always somewhat reluctant to see the government get involved in customer-type issues,” he said. “But this is a safety issue for our customers (one that we’re certain is not an issue at (AAL) today and any sort of study will bear that out.”

October 2018: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) saw a major reduction in operating and net profit in the 3rd quarter as its fuel costs increased steeply. But while (AAL), unlike United (UAL) and Delta (DAL), was not able to compensate most of the additional cost by increased revenues, (CEO) Doug Parker stressed his optimism that the earnings picture will become much more positive again soon. (AAL) spent $750 million or 42.6% more on fuel in the quarter compared to a year ago. Its operating profit (excluding special items) dropped from $1.17 billion to $688 million, a reduction of $485 million. The operating margin contracted from 10.7% to 6% as revenues increased +5.4%. (AAL)’s net income reached $341 million, compared to $661 million in the 3rd quarter of 2017.

(AAL) increased capacity +2.7% in the quarter, as demand in rpms rose +2.3%. Yield improved +2.2%. 2018 system capacity growth will come in at around 2%, significantly below the 3% (AAL) expected to reach at the beginning of the year. (AAL) now expects to spend 33% or $2.5 billion more on fuel in 2018 than it did last year. Capacity planning for 2019 has not yet been finalized but (CFO) Derek Kerr said “we continue to expect our (ASM) growth in 2019 to be in line with or below estimated (GDP) growth and amongst the lowest in the industry.” Any growth will be primarily incremental flying from Dallas/Fort Worth.

* Low Growth Plans For 2019

According to Parker, (AAL) has not been able to recover as much of the fuel price increase as (UAL) and (DAL) “because our revenues have not gone up as much as those of our competitors. (DAL) is doing a better job of making sure up-sell activity is available to customers. They have products that are there where people are buying and they are available on channels we don’t have available.” Parker views (AAL)’s opportunity to catch up to (DAL) in up-sell activity as “an upside” for 2019. The unit revenue shortfall versus (DAL) has been “narrowing nicely about 2 years in a row and started to widen,” Parker said. (AAL) had a difficult summer operationally. “In summer, we fell short of our targets,” (AAL) President Robert Isom said. “ We know that we must do better.” (AAL) initiated “immediate short-term action” and has launched a comprehensive review of operations to ensure further improvements can be made and stick. “The good news is that we are extremely bullish about the future of (AAL) and for good reason,” Parker said. He cited revenue initiatives that would drive up to $1 billion in additional sales in 2019. “This is value that will happen as we simply execute against known projects, such as project segmentation, fleet reconfiguration and international network restructuring.” In addition, (AAL) expects $300 million in cost improvements as a result of the “1 airline project.”

One of (AAL)’s most important internal efficiency projects has been the move to 1 scheduling system for the 27,000 flight attendants (CA), a project completed in October. Parker also pointed out that for now (AAL) has the lowest growth plans in the industry for 2019, but “the best growth prospects.” In early 2019, (AAL) will open 15 additional gates at Dallas/Fort Worth, (our largest and most profitable hub.) New routes there will “immediately generate higher than average profitability versus the marginal profitability that airline growth usually generates,” Parker said.

In 2020, (AAL) will add 7 gates in Charlotte, which will allow it to add 75 daily departures. A year later, the new regional terminal at Washington Reagan National Airport will open, allowing (AAL) to operate 76-seat regional jets at 14 gates instead of the 50-seaters today. Profitability will also be supported by declining capital expenditure.

During the past 5 years, (AAL)’s capital expenditure has been at an average of $5.3 billion per year as (AAL) went through a massive fleet renewal program. Investment is going down as the program is slowly coming to an end and as (AAL) delayed deliveries of 22 A321neos. For 2019, (AAL) still plans to spend close to $5 billion, but it will decline to $2.9 billion in 2020 and $2.2 billion in 2021. The only reason why that might change, would be if (AAL) decided to grow faster than currently foreseen and if it opted to replace 50-seat regional jets with larger aircraft, a move (AAL) has been considering for some time.

News Item A-2: "American to Boost Services from (DFW); Add Mexico, Cuba flights" by Sean Broderick (sean.broderick@aviationweek.com), October 3, 2018.

American Airlines (AAL) plans to add new service to Mexico and Cuba, increase frequencies to several other destinations, and bolster regional flying from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) as part of its summer 2019 schedule. (AAL) plans to add a new daily flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Antonio Maceo Airport in Santiago de Cuba on May 3, 2019. (AAL) also plans to start new service between (DFW) and Mexico’s Durango International Airport on June 6. (AAL) will be the only USA carrier to serve both destinations. “We have had a robust schedule of flights between the USA and the Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America region for years from our (DFW) and (MIA) hubs,” American VP Network & Schedule Planning, Vasu Raja said. “As we work to deliver the best network, these new routes reinforce our commitment to the region and provide new options for customers.”

Other planned international additions include more frequencies between (DFW) 3 markets: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as well as Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It also will add frequencies to its Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) to Santo Domingo market, as well as between New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Aruba. The international route additions are subject to government approvals.

Domestically, (AAL) plans to use 15 new gates being freed up through (DFW)’s Terminal E renovation to boost feed into its main hub. (AAL) will start new service between (DFW) and 8 markets: Augusta, Georgia; Flagstaff, Arizona; Gainesville, Florida; Harlingen, Texas; as well as Bakersfield, Burbank, Hollywood and Monterey, California. The (DFW) routes are part of (AAL)’s push to increase peak daily departures at the airport from 800 this summer to about 900 in Summer 2019.

Elsewhere, (AAL) also is adding new daily service between Washington National Airport and Knoxville, Tennessee, (LGA) and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; New York (JFK) and San Antonio; and Los Angeles International and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Seasonal service between (CLT) and Traverse City, Michigan.

News Item A-3: The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun an investigation into the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement, a transatlantic partnership between (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Finland flag carrier Finnair (FIN). “This case is at an early stage and no assumption should be made that the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement infringes competition law,” the (CMA) said on October 11.

November 2018: News Item A-1: "American Orders +15 More Embaer E175 Regional Jets" by Jack Wittman (wittmanj@gmail.com), November 5, 2018.

American Airlines (AAL) has placed a firm order for 15 additional Embraer (EMB) E175s valued at $705 million at list prices. The aircraft, to be delivered in 2020, will be operated by Irving, Texas-based Envoy Air, an (AAL) wholly owned regional subsidiary, under the (AAL) Eagle brand.

(AAL) has been pulling more feeder flying back into (AAL)’s regional subsidiaries (which also include Dayton, Ohio-based (PSA) Airlines and Salisbury, Maryland-based Piedmont Airlines) as contracts with partners ExpressJet Airlines and Trans States Airlines are set to expire in 2019.

The new aircraft will be configured with 76 seats: 12F in first class and 64Y in economy.

Since 2013, (AAL) has ordered 104 E175s from the (EMB). With this latest contract, (EMB) said it has sold >435 E175s in North America since January 2013.

News Item A-2: See video:


December 2018: "American Airlines plans Boeing 787 Philadelphia Service in (W19)" By Jim Liu routesonline, December 12, 2018.

American Airlines (AAL) in recent schedule updates filed Boeing 787 operation from Philadelphia, currently scheduled for winter 2019/2020 season. Preliminary 787 operation at Philadelphia includes the following:

Philadelphia to Manchester, November 03, 2019, 787-8 replaces A330-200 (767 operates from 03 October 03, 2019 to 02 November 2019)
Philadelphia to Zurich, November 03, 2019, 787-8 replaces 767-300ER.

Additional changes remain highly possible in the next few months.


Click below for photos:
AAL-737 MAX - 2017-10.jpg
AAL-737-800 - 2013-07
AAL-757-200 - 2015-05.jpg
AAL-757-223 989-32392 5FH 2016-10.jpg
AAL-767 AND 777 ONEWORLD-2014
AAL-767-300 - 2017-08.jpg
AAL-767-323ER ONW 2009-11
AAL-777 2017-08.jpg
AAL-777-200 - 2016-08.jpg
AAL-777-200 N722AN-2017-01.jpg
AAL-777-223ER N751AN 2018-10 -A.jpg
AAL-777-300ER - 2011-01
AAL-777-300ER - 2013-01
AAL-777-300ER - 2013-03
AAL-777-300ER - 2013-04.jpg
AAL-777-300ER - 2013-10
AAL-777-300ER - 2013-11
AAL-777-323ER - 2013-07
AAL-777-323ER N732AN LAX 2018-06.jpg
AAL-787 - 2015-05.jpg
AAL-787 2018-05.jpg
AAL-787-8 - 2015-12.jpg
AAL-787-8 2018-02.jpg
AAL-787-8 N807AA LAX 2018-06.jpg
AAL-787-9 - 1ST 2015-01.jpg
AAL-787-9 - 1st 2015-05.jpg
AAL-A300 ADIEU-2009-08
AAL-A319 - 2013-07
AAL-A319 - 2014-06
AAL-A319 - 2014-12
AAL-A330-323 - 2014-10
AAL-E175 - 2014-01
AAL-E175 - American Eagle - 2017-04.jpg
AAL-MD-80 N9405T

December 2018:

0 727-223 (JT8D-9/-9A/-15). 10 WFU 2001-09. 8 WFU AT MOJAVE 2002-02. ALL WFU 2002-04.

0 727-227 (JT8D-9), ALL 727'S RETIRE BY END OF 2003. 2 SOLD TO (AFD).

100/40 ORDERS (2013-02) 737NG (CFM56-7B):

100/60 ORDERS (2013-02) 737NG (CFM LEAP-X):

5 OPTIONS 737-823 (CFM56-7B27), (DEA) LEASED:

15 (2014-12) 737-800 (CFM56-7B27), (ILF) LEASED:

304 737-823 (CFM56-7B27) (184-29503, /98 N901AN; 1019-29550, /01 N977AN - - W/O - - SEE ARTICLE - - "AAL-2009-12 ACCDT 737-800;" 29554, N865NN, 2010-12; 29556, N851NN, 2010-09; 1022-30100, /01 N978AN; 31105, N853NN, 2010-09; 30111, N864NN, 2010-12; 30903, N863NN, 2010-12; 31149, N895NN, 2012-07; 31163, N916NN*; 31229, N980NN, 2015-11; 31230, N981NN, 2015-11; 31265, N335PH, 2017-05; 31268, N338PK, 2017-05; 33224, N896NN, 2012-07; 3050-33519, N809NN, 2009-10; 3056-33207, N810NN, 2009-10; 3063-31079, N811NN, 2009-10; 3070-33520, N812NN, 2009-10; 3077-30918, N813NN, 2009-11; 29560, N823NN, 2010-02; 3085-29562, N814NN, 2009-11; 30916, N924NN, 2010-02; 31087, N825NN, 2010-02; 31089, N826NN, 2010-02; 3094-33208, N815NN, 2009-11; 3102-31081, N816NN, 2009-11; 3107-29558, N817NN, 2009-12; 30906, N843NN, 2010-07; 3112-30910, N818NN, 2009-12; 3118-31083, N819NN, 2009-12; 3125-29559, N820NN, 2009-12; 3137-30912, N821NN, 2010-01; 3149-31085, N822NN, 2010-01; 3193-33209, N827NN, 2010-03; 3200-33210, N829NN, 2010-03; 3209-31091, N830NN, 2010-03; 3217-33211, N882NN, 2010-03; 33212, N844NN, 2010-07; 33214, N854NN, 2010-09; 3228-33521, N832NN, 2010-04; 3244-29576, N843NN, 2010-04; 3252-29577, N835NN, 2010-04; 31093, 31093, N833NN, 2010-04; 3260-31095, N836NN, 2010-05; 3268-30908, N837NN, 2010-05; 3276-31097, N838NN, 2010-05; 3282-29557, N839NN, 2010-05; 3481-30903, N863NN, 2010-12; 3487-31111, N864NN, 2010-12; 3493-29554, N865AN, 2010-12; 3499-40584, N866AN, 2010-12; 29575, N848NN, 2010-08; 31101, N846NN, 2010-08; 31103, N848NN, 2010-08; 31259, N314PD, 2017-02; 33345, N337PJ, 2017-05; 33518, N840NN, 2010-06; 30914, N841NN, 2010-06; 31099, N842NN, 2010-06; 31131, N877NN, 2011-10; 33213, N849NN, 2010-08; 40579, N845NN, 2010-08; 40580, N850NN, 2010-08; 40581, N852NN, 2010-09 40585, N866NN, 2010-12; 40767, N876NN, 2011-10; 3892-31137, N883NN, 2012-02; 31139, N885NN, 2012-02; 31171, N927NN, 2013-06; 31172, N928NN, 2013-06; 31200, N956NN, 2014-08; 31217, N971NN, 2015-05; 31218, N970NN, 2015-05; 31248, N996NN, 2016-08; 31257, N306PB, 2017-01; 31258, N309PC, 2017-01; 3914-33222, N884NN, 2012-02; 33322, N929NN, 2013-06; 33487, N930NN, 2013-06), * 31163, RE-PAINTED IN "RENO AIR" HERITAGE COLORS 2015-11. 20F, 114Y.

8 +92 ORDERS 737 MAX 8 (6315, N324RA, 2017-06; 44450, N316RK; 44452, N321RL; 44454, N324RN*, 2018-08; 44456; N326RP*, 2018-08), *WILMINGTON TRUST LEASED.

0 757-2Q8 (PW2037) (721-28160, /96 N701TW; 741-28163, N704X), EX-(TWA) 2003-10, (ILF) LEASED. 27620, RETURNED 2007-05; 28162; RETURNED 2007-01; 27624; WFU 2007-08. 21625; 28163; 28165; 28168; 28173; RETURNED 2007-09 & LEASED TO (DAL). 24F, 146Y.

0 757-2Q8 (PW2037) (757-28169, N710TW; 760-27624, N712TW); EX-(TWA), RETURNED 2007-10, LEASED TO (DAL). 24F, 146Y.

8 757-223 (RB211-535E4-B) (234-24486, /89 N610AA; 25295, N661AA; RTS 2012-02 AFTER STORAGE; 979-32386, N192AN 2017-09; 994-32395, N176AA 2017-09; 1012-32400, /02 N172AJ), WITH WINGLETS. 24F, 154Y.

20 757-223ET (RB211-535E4-5) (862-29593, /99 N183AN; 578-26972, /93 N692AA; 32398, N178AA, 2013-06), (ETOPS) EQUIPPED. 24F, 154Y.

3 757-231 (PW2037) (742-28479, N705TW; 758-28481, /97 N711ZX, 2003-10; 854-28485, N717TW; 874-29954, N721TW; 893-29385, N722TW; 901-30840, N727TW), EX-(TWA). 29378; WFU AT ALLIANCE 2007-07. 28479; & 28485; RETURNED, LEASED TO (DAL) 2008-02. 30340; RETURNED TO (PSS) 2008-04. 24F, 146Y.

3 757-200 (RB211-535E4) (N936UW). 28482 RETURNED 2005-05. 30340 RETURNED TO SERVICE 2005-02. 28165; WFU 2007-06; 27625; RETURNED (ILF) 2007-08. 29378; 29385; RETURNED TO (ILF) 2007-12.

0 767-223 (CF6-80A). 8-22307 STORED AT ALLIANCE 2003-01. 22309; & 22312; WFU 2003-03. 22307; 22308; 22309; 22310; 22311; 22312; 22313; PARTED OUT 2005-07. 9F, 30C, 121Y.

0 767-223ER (CF6-80A2) (111-22318 STORED AT ALLIANCE 2003-02. 22315; 22316; 22317; WFU AT ALLIANCE 2003-03, SOLD TO (CCA) FOR CONVERSION TO FREIGHTER. 22311; 22313; 22314; WFU AT ROSWELL 2003-09. 22320 REMOVED FROM STORAGE 2004-08. 22318; 22319; SOLD TO (CCA) 2004-12. ALL 767-200s RETIRED. 9F, 30C, 119Y.

24 767-323ER (CF6-80C2B6) (24035, N354AA, 2017-01; 24046, N39365, 2017-01; 748-29605, N398AN, 2018-02; 752-29606, /99 N399AN; 896-33081, /02 N342AN), 27449; LEASED TO (APB) 2008-02. 30C, 182Y.

48 +7/3 ORDERS 777-223ER (TRENT 892-17), (N751AN, "Azriel "Al" Blackman" 75 Years of Service" SEE PHOTO; 266-29586, /99 N781AN; 270-30003, /00 N782AN; 271-30004, /00 N783AN; 274-30005, /00 N785AN; 272-29588, /00 N784AN; 276-30250, /00 N786AN; 277-30010, /00 N787AL; 321-30012, N797AN, 2016-09; 555-33539, N767AJ, 2006-03; 566-33540, N764AN, 2006-05), 16F, 37C, 194Y.

20 +2 OPTIONS 777-323ER (GE90-115BL2), (31543, N717AN, 2012-12; 1083-31546, /13 N721AN; 1095-31547 /13 N722AN; 31548, N724AN, 2013-06; 1103-33125, N723AN, 2018-05; 41665, N718AN - - SEE PHOTO - - "AAL-777-323ER - 2013-07;" N732AN; N733AR), 16F, 37C, 194Y.

1 777-300ER (GE90-115BL2), (ILF) LEASED 2013-03.

20 787-8 DREAMLINER (40620, N802AN, 2015-05; 40621, N603AL, 2015-05; 40624, N806AA, 2015-07; 40625, N807AA, 2015-07; 40629, N811AB, 2015-11; 40635, N817AN, 2017-02).

17 +68/11 ORDERS 787-9 DREAMLINER (GEnx-1B) (N820AL, 2015-01; 40643, N824AN; 40644, N8254AA; 40655, N835AN; 40658, N837AN,* 2018-08) *WILMINGTON TRUST LEASED.

0 MD-82 (JT8D-217A) (53017 RTND 2000-08). 49932 WFU 2001-09. 49326; WFU IN STORAGE 2005-02. 16F, 115Y.

9 MD-82 (JT8D-217C). 49889 RT LESSOR 2002-01. 49160 RETURNED 2005-01. 49825; 49925; WFU ROSWELL 2005-08. 49245; 29266; 49267; WFU AT ROSWELL 2005-12. 49154; WFU AT ROSWELL 2006-01. 49155; 49174; 49175; 49273; 29297; 49300; 49306; 49182; 49183; 49230; 49368, WFU AT ROSWELL 2006-04. 49161; 49167; 49172; 49272; 49307), WFU AT ROSWELL 2006-05. (48012; 48014; 49100; 49156; 49169; 49184; 49185), SOLD TO JET MIDWEST 2006-06 FOR PARTS. 49298; 49701; 49702; 49703; 49704), WFU AT ROSWELL 2006-06. 49145; 49667; RETURNED, LEASED TO (WJE) 2007-08. 49154; 49166; 49170; 49356; 49357; 49358; 49369; PARTED OUT AT JET MIDWEST (2007-08). 49311 WFU AT ROSWELL 6/08. 49178; 49179; 49180; 49256; 49258; 49299; 49321; 49322; 49326; 49327; 49351; & 53246, WFU AT ROSWELL 2009-01. 49340; DONATED TO "MIGUEL SUCH VOCATIONAL SCHOOL" 2009-04. 49253; WFU AT ROSWELL 2009-05. 49176; 49245; 49329; 2009-06. 49158; SCRAPPED 2009-07. 49171; 49307; 49308; WFU AT ROSWELL 2009-07. 49173; 49255; 49319; 49324; 49331; WFU AT ROSWELL 2009-08; 49255; 49306; 49307; 49308), RETURNED TO LESSOR 2009-08; 49259; 49266; 49351; RETURNED TO LESSOR 2009-09. 49328; 49335; WFU AT ROSWELL. 49253; 49257; 49258; RETURNED (TCI) 2009-12. 49181; DONATED TO GEORGE T BAKER AVIATION SCHOOL MIAMI 2010-04. 49288; 49563; WFU AT ROSWELL 2010-12. 16F, 115Y.

33 MD-83 (JT8D-219) (1656-49793, RETIRED 2000-04). 49788; 53044; 53045; 53046; 53124 WFU 2001-09. 49788; 53045; RETURNED 2004-05. 16F, 115Y.

10 MD-83 (JT8D-219). 16F, 115Y.

0 MD-83 (JT8D-219), EX-(TWA) (49395; 49567; 49657; 49663), WFU ROSWELL 2005-08. 49529; WFU ROSWELL 2008-05. 16F, 115Y.

0 MD-87 (1670-29979, RETIRED 2000-04), EX-(RNO), ALL RETIRED.

0 MD-90-30, TRADED IN TO (TBC) FOR 757-200'S.

0 DC-10-10 (CF6-6K), 17 SOLD TO (FED).

0 DC-10-30 (CF6-50C2), ALL GONE BY THE END OF 2000, (46714 PARTED OUT 2000-03) (46914 RETIRED 2000-11).

0 MD-11 (CF6-80C2D1F), 48554 RETIRED 2000-08 (504-48527; TO (AAL) 2000-12), 48491 RETIRED 2001-02. ALL BY 2001-11.

00 A300B4-605R (CF6-80C2A5). 420 DESTROYED W/O 2001-11. 513 WFU AT ROSWELL 2003-01. 461; 469; & 639; WFU AT ROSWELL 2009-02. 509; SCRAPPED 2009-03 AT GREENWOOD. 514; 645; WFU AT TULSA 2009-03; 512; 643; WFU AT ROSWELL 2009-04. 516; SCRAPPED 2009-05. 626; 2009-06. 474; 506; 507; 508; 510; 511; 513; 517; 610; 612; 675; WFU AT ROSWELL. ALL A300's WFU 2009-10. 16F, 235Y.


118 A319-100.

1 A319 WITH SHARKLETS, 2013-07 SEE ATTACHED - - "AAL-A319 - 2013-07."

1 A319-112 (0929, N705UW), (BCI) AIRCRAFT LEASED 2015-08.

5 A319-115 (5678, N8001N; 5745, M9004F; 5753, N4005X; 5810, N9012; 5842, N3014R), 2014-08.

1 A319-115 (6595, N8031M), EX-(D-AVYF) 2015-05.

0 A320-232 (2405, N675AW) RETURNED TO (AWAS) (AWW).

48 A320-200.

20 +110 ORDERS A320neo (LEAP-1A).

219 A321-231 (4935, N975UY; 5235, N976UY; 5374, N982VJ; 6100, /14 N579UW - - SEE PHOTO - - "AAL-A321-231 - 2014-05;" 6222, /14 6321-231; 6227, /14 N120EE; 6238, /14 N121AN; 6252, /14 N122NN; 6656, /15 N141NN, 2015-07; 6667, /15 N140AN, 2015-07; 6687, /15N139AN, 2015-07; 6711, /15 N142AN, 2015-07; 6828, N150AN, 2015-11; 6840, N151AN, 2015-11; 7349, N997AA, 2017-01; 7509, N998AN, 2017-01; 7515, N928AM, 2017-02; 7519, N902AA, 2017-05; 7525, N929AA, 2017-02; 7539, N930AU, 2017-02; 7541, N931AM, 2017-02; 7566, N903AA, 2017-05).

14 A330-200.

1 A330-243 (1041, N281AY), WELLS FARGO BANK LEASED 2015-07.

9 A330-300.

0 (2017-12) A350 XWB-900 (TRENT XWB), (USA) ORDER FOR 22 CANCELED 2018-04. 315 PAX.



20 EMBRAER E190-100AR.


0 F 100 (TAY 650-15), ALL TO RETIRE BY THE END OF 2004. 11434 WFU MOJAVE 2003-01. 11361; 11434; 11448; 11501; 11507; 11520; WFU AT MOJAVE 2002-12. 11417; 11437; 11466 WFU MOJAVE 2003-03; 11447; 11480, 2003-04. 11359; 11483; 11490; WFU AT MOJAVE 2003-08. 11352; 2003-09. 11385; 11405; 11436; 2003-10. 11501; 11520 SOLD TO AIRFLEET CREDIT 2003-10. 11459; 11490; 11498; SOLD TO (PEB) 2003-11. 11415; 11435; 11464; 11466; 11478; WFU 2003-12. 11340; 11414; 11426; 11465; 11469; 11482; 11502; 11515; WFU 2004-02. 11340; 11352; 11359; 11361; 11395; 11403; 11434; SOLD TO (ROY)/(JTG) 2004-03. 11369; 11370; 11396; 11467; WFU 2004-05. 11369; 11396; 11437 SOLD TO (ROY)/(JTG). 11355; 11413; 11479; 11499; WFU 2004-04. 11468; 11456; WFU 2004-06. 11368; 11406; 11408; SOLD TO (JTG)/ROY) 2004-07. 11367; 11377; 11416; WFU 2004-07. 11354; 11412; 11483; 2004-08. 11385; 11447; 11448; 11480; PARTED OUT 2004-08. 11353; 11367; 11506; 11514 2004-09. 11397; 11404; SOLD TO (JTG)/(ROY) 2004-09. 11360; 11428; SOLD TO (JTG)/(ROY) 2004-12. 11379; 11376; 11377; 11412; 11413; 11417; 11418; 11425; 11435; 11436; TO OCEANAIR 2005-07. 8F, 79Y.


Click below for photos:
AAL-1-TOM HORTON - 2011-12
AAL-2-DOUG PARKER - 2012-06
AAL-3-SCOTT KIRBY - 2014-09.jpg
AAL-4-David Seymour 2018-01.jpg
AAL-4-WILL RIS - 2015-05.jpg
AAL-7-Craig Barton 2018-01.jpg
AAL-7-John Beavers 2018-01.jpg
AAL-8-Craig Harry 2018-01.jpg

Doug Parker’s airline management experience spans >3 decades, 4 carriers and 3 (CEO) positions. From Northwest Airlines (NWA) he went to American Airlines (AAL), then became (CEO) at Phoenix-based America West (AMW) just 10 days before the 2001 "9/11" attacks. He oversaw the merger of America West (AMW) and US Airways (USA), where he was Chairman & (CEO), then engineered the acquisition-merger of US Airways (USA) and (AAL), where he has been Chairman & (CEO) since 2013. American Airlines (AAL) is the "2017 (ATW) Airline of the Year."

The integration of (AAL) and (USA) was text book. What were the biggest factors in that achievement? 1st and foremost, it was an attitude. We recognized that it was a different merger than some. A lot of us were coming in from a smaller airline and into an airline with a really proud history. We had seen what happened to United (UAL) and Continental (CAL) in a similar situation, but where that didn’t seem to pull together too well.




















David Seymour is Senior VP Integrated Operations, with responsibility for all aspects of (AAL)'s Integrated Operations & Technical Operations. He oversees the Integrated Operations Center where (AAL)'s daily operations are managed, crew resources and operations performance functions, as well as (AAL)'s Flight & Flight Safety Operations. He is also responsible for line and base maintenance, plus Engineering, Planning and Production Support for airframes, engines and components, as well as aircraft Reliability, Regulatory Compliance and aircraft Supply Chain Operations.

David served as an infantry officer in the US Army and then held numerous management positions in Purchasing, Inventory Management, Distribution and Finance. He is an executive sponsor for (AAL)'s Veteran/Military Employee Business Resource Group, an employee-led organization that supports our veterans, current military service members and their families.

David holds a Master of Management degree in Marketing & Transportation from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Science of Operations Rresearch from the US Military Academy.




In this new role, Kirgan will lead all global human resource (HR) functions for American Airlines (AAL), including talent acquisition, training and talent development, compensation, benefits, and diversity.

It's assumed Denise has been replaced by Danielle (immediately above)?


Jim formerly worked for (AAL) between 1987 and 1995. He also spent seven years at Continental Express AS President. New responsibilities include overseeing operations at (AAL)'s Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) bases in Fort Worth (TEXAS), Tulsa (Oklahoma), and Kansas City (Missouri).










Craig Barton was named VP Technical Services in 2015. He is responsible for Maintenance Planning & Supply Chain within Tech Ops, including Workload Planning for Line Maintenance, Aircraft Routing, strategic readiness for aircraft modification projects, procurement, materials planning and materials logistics.

Prior to that, Craig served as Managing Director Fleet Operations/Powerplant Engineering, and Managing Director Tech Ops Integration with US Airways (USA).

Craig joined (AAL) in 1995, after spending 7 years with Rockwell International.

Craig earned a Master of Science in Engineering from California State Polytechnic University and a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

John Beavers was named VP Engineering, Quality & Training in March 2017. He is responsible for Aircraft Maintenance & Fleet Management including Engineering, Quality Control/Inspection, Quality Qssurance, Technical Training and Reliability.

Since 2008, John served as Managing Director Powerplant, (APU) & Component Engineering, responsible for engineering specifications, reliability and operation of (AAL)'s engines, auxiliary power units and components, as well as tooling. Prior to that, he served as senior manager of 737 Systems & Structures Engineering. John began his career in 1975 with (TWA) as a senior engineer, and he has held many technical and leadership roles within the Maintenance and Engineering organization.









(olivermartins@aa.com) (2005-01).


(william_culhane@aa.com) (HDQMNAA),










Loral is from the Seabury Group and served for >10 years with Airtran Airways (CQT) as Senior VP Human Resources (HR) & Administration.

Internally promoted, Bruce oversees all Intellectual Property, Commercial Litigation and Antitrust matters for (AAL).



Vasu was previously Managing Director International Revenue Management. His responsibilities include overseeing the Atlantic joint business alliance with British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Finnair (FIN), as well as (AAL)’s Pacific joint venture (JV) with Japan Airlines (JAL).



(mark_boes@aa.com) (2001-10).




















(frank_sitterly@aa.com) (2001-10).

Craig Harry is Managing Director of Technical Operations Supply Chain for (AAL). Craig began his career at America West Airlines (AMW) in 1989. He held several positions in the Accounting and Finance groups before moving to Technical Operations. In 2002, Craig assumed responsibility for the Technical Operations Materials team at (AMW) and then the US Airways (USA) Technical Operations Supply Chain group in 2006 after the merger with (AMW).

Following the merger of (AAL) and (USA) in 2013, Craig was selected to lead the Technical Operations Supply Chain team for the combined airline. The AAL supply chain group includes technical procurement, management of outsourced component, landing gear and engine maintenance vendors, material planning, and warehousing and distribution.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree and an (MBA) from the W P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.





















May 2015: Jim Dees has been the Fleet Captain for 9 years. Prior to this he was the Chief Pilot at (AAL)’s home (DFW) hub, and has been with (AAL) since January, 1986. Jim has been a check airman on the 727, and Captain on the 757/767, and MD-80. He still flies line trips, as does his wife, who is a Captain for Southwest Airlines (SWA).



















Top of Page


Since you are not logged in, we can show you only live Airtran Airways data. This page will demonstrate the depth of data we have for every airline. Close and View Airtran Airways ›