American Airlines matches Wall Street forecast

American Airlines matches Wall Street forecast
This file photo taken on February 1, 2014 shows an American Airlines jet preparing to land at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. (AFP)
Updated 29 January 2017

American Airlines matches Wall Street forecast

American Airlines matches Wall Street forecast

FORT WORTH, Texas: American Airlines’ fourth-quarter profit fell but met Wall Street expectations, and a key measurement of revenue trends rose for the first time since late 2014, further evidence that airlines are finally starting to push average prices higher.
American executives echoed officials at other airlines in reporting that demand for travel has picked up since the November election.
But the airline also reported a 17 percent spike in labor spending after new union contracts, and it warned that costs will rise sharply again in the first quarter.
Separately, American executives said that they would revive a previously rejected bid to work more closely with Australian carrier Qantas. The airlines want to work together on setting prices and schedules, which is forbidden without an exemption from antitrust laws.
The Obama administration rejected immunity for the deal, but industry officials believe that the new Trump administration will be friendlier.
“We are hopeful that the Trump administration will give the Qantas joint venture a second and more favorable look,” said Stephen Johnson, American’s executive vice president.
Johnson added that American, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are also asking the administration to re-examine whether Middle Eastern carriers Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways are violating an open-skies treaty by receiving unfair subsidies from their governments. The Obama administration did not act on the US carriers’ complaints.