April 19 American Airlines parent AMR Corp
, which is operating under Chapter 11 protection,
posted a first quarter loss as fuel costs rose and it had big
expenses tied to its reorganization.
The company, which sought bankruptcy protection last
November, had a net loss of $1.7 billion in the first quarter,
compared with a loss of $436 million a year earlier. Excluding
reorganization and special items, AMR said its loss was $248
million in the latest period.
"While the continuing loss underscores the need for us to
move quickly to complete our restructuring, I am encouraged by
the improvement," Chief Executive Tom Horton, who was named to
the top job as AMR filed for bankruptcy, said in a letter to
staff on Thursday.
Quarterly revenue rose 9.1 percent to $6 billion, aided by
higher airfares. Passenger revenue per available seat mile, an
important measure called unit revenue, gained 10.3 percent on a
AMR said international results improved, with unit revenue in
the Atlantic region up 9.7 percent in the quarter. Latin America
had a unit revenue increase of 10.8 percent.
"Our network strategy to focus on the key business markets
is paying dividends and notably, we are seeing increasing
positive momentum from our Atlantic joint business with British
Airways and Iberia," Horton wrote.
The quarter included about $1.4 billion in expenses tied to
the reorganization. Fuel costs were about $3.24 a gallon in the
first quarter, up nearly 18 percent from the year-earlier
period, AMR said.
AMR has said since its bankruptcy filing that it needs to
trim at least 14,000 jobs, including 1,200 nonunion positions,
as part of its plan to cut costs.
The company has sought permission from the court to void
union contracts, including those covering pilots, flight
attendants and ground workers. A hearing on that motion is
scheduled for next week.
"While we follow this (court) process, of course, the
ultimate objective will be to achieve consensually negotiated
new contracts, and company and union negotiators will be
encouraged to this end," Horton's memo said.