Once a Great Airline

Once on Top, American Now Fights to Keep Up


Most airlines found a way back to profitability in the last few years by shedding costs through bankruptcy, reducing capacity and merging with one another. But American lost passengers to newly merged carriers like Delta Air Lines and United Airlines as well as low-cost competitors like Southwest Airlines. It retrenched around fewer hub airports. It struggled with older, jet fuel-guzzling planes and delayed renewing its fleet.

So American’s decision to file for bankruptcy this week highlighted both the industry’s remarkable transformation over the last decade and the distance now separating this airline from its peers. While other airlines have found ways to remain profitable even with elevated fuel prices and slowing passenger demand, American has been losing about $100 million each month. American was once the nation’s leading domestic and international carrier; now it is a distant third.

Comment: I worked for American for 2 years as a Campus Sales Representative at the University of Cincinnati. Pay was $ 50 per month plus I received 2 round trips anywhere ever year. The second year I received three. Once I flew from Cincinnati to New York and then flew first class on a 747 to LA.

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