AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., reported a net loss of $340 million for the fourth quarter of 2008. For all of 2008, AMR recorded a net loss of $2.1 billion. Excluding special charges, the fourth quarter loss was $214 million and AMR lost $1.2 billion for the year.
“Our fourth 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,” said AMR Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey. “We believe these actions and our fleet renewal efforts have put us on sounder footing as we face continued economic uncertainty, slower travel demand, and fuel price volatility in 2009. We intend to continue managing our business— from capacity and fleet planning to balance sheet repair, fuel hedging and revenue initiatives— conservatively and with discipline. While significant hurdles remain, I am guardedly optimistic we can regain momentum in 2009.”
Historically high and volatile jet fuel prices continued to challenge the airline, Arpey said. AMR paid a record $3.03 per gallon for jet fuel for all of 2008 compared to $2.13 for all of 2007, an increase of 42 percent. As a result, the airline paid $133 million and $2.7 billion more for fuel in the fourth quarter and for all of 2008, respectively, than it would have paid at prevailing prices from the corresponding prior-year periods.
Arpey added that American expects to enhance its global network in 2009 by achieving regulatory approval of its antitrust immunity application with fellow oneworld members, which will pave the way for American’s planned joint business agreement with British Airways and Iberia and help oneworld compete more effectively with other global alliances. AA also hopes to build on the beginning strides it made last year to improve dependability and the customer experience, Arpey said.