American posts $10.7 million loss


July 22--AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, posted a second-quarter loss of $10.7 million, or 3 cents a share, as fuel costs rose to $1.65 billion, 24.1 percent higher than 2009's second quarter. In the second quarter last year, AMR had a loss of $390 million, or $1.39 per share.

AMR's second-quarter loss, reported Wednesday, is in contrast to net profits reported by most major U.S. airlines.

Delta Air Lines, the nation's largest carrier, reported second-quarter net income of $549 million, or 65 cents per share.

UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines, posted $273 million in net profit in the second quarter.

US Airways had a second-quarter net profit of $279 million.

Southwest Airlines will report its results next week.

Including the impact of fuel hedging, Fort Worth-based AMR paid nearly $334 million more for jet fuel in the second quarter, at an average of $2.37 per gallon, than it would have paid at second-quarter 2009 prices of $1.90 a gallon, company officials said.

Second-quarter revenue was $5.67 billion, up 16 percent from the same quarter last year. "Other revenue," which includes fees for excess baggage, reservation changes, onboard food and other amenities, totaled $625 million in the second quarter, up 10.2 percent.

Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey said the company expects its revenue trend to continue to improve during the third and fourth quarters as it realizes the benefits of its joint business agreements with British

Airways and Iberia. On Tuesday, the Department of Transportation gave final approval of trans-Atlantic antitrust immunity to the three carriers, clearing the way for greater global cooperation on scheduling, routes and fares.

"Though increased fuel prices added dramatically to our expenses this quarter, we made substantial progress improving our financial performance comparatively, both year-over-year and in sequential quarters," Arpey said. "As we move forward, we remain focused on our primary goals of driving revenue growth, controlling costs and returning to sustained profitability."

Arpey and Tom Horton, the former chief financial officer who has been promoted to president of AMR and American, said they expect $500 million in cost savings and enhanced revenue as a result of American's trans-Atlantic partnerships and the realignment of capacity at its "cornerstone" cities of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami.

"Our future depends on the power of our network," Horton told industry analysts in a conference call. "It offers more choices for our corporate customers and more opportunities for use of frequent-flier miles."

Second-quarter expenses increased 7.1 percent, to $5.48 billion. Wages, salaries and benefits -- the largest expense item -- were $1.7 billion in the second quarter, up 0.9 percent from 2009's second quarter.

American flew 32.2 billion revenue passenger miles in the second quarter, a 2.1 percent increase from the same months last year, on a 0.4 percent decrease in capacity.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile in the second quarter was 11.14 cents, a 16.8 percent improvement over the second quarter a year ago.

AMR ended the second quarter with total debt of $16.08 billion, a 13.5 percent increase compared with 2009's second quarter debt of $14.17 billion.

AMR had $5.5 billion in cash and short-term investments on June 30 compared with $3.3 billion on the same date last year.

AMR ended the second quarter with 78,300 employees, down from 79,200 a year ago.

American Airlines employs 7,000 in Tulsa, primarily at its Maintenance and Engineering Center.

AMR shares closed Wed-nesday at $6.62, down 23 cents or 3.36 percent.

D.R. Stewart 581-8451