American Airlines is on its way to a profitable second quarter for the first time since 2007, the airline’s chief executive Tom Horton told employees on Thursday.Horton’s prediction came as the carrier’s parent company, AMR Corp., reported a $65 million profit for May in a court filing.“Great things are taking place all across our company,” Horton said. “We continue to advance our international business — adding new aircraft, enhancing alliance partnerships, strengthening our existing network and seeking out new destinations.”American has added 24 new aircraft this year and was recently awarded a route between Brazil and Los Angeles by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Horton pointed to the carrier’s growth in Latin America and new routes to Brazil, Peru and Colombia as critical to attracting new customers.Excluding $59 million in reorganization fees and other accounting items, the Fort Worth-based carrier would have posted a monthly operating profit of $124 million. The financial disclosure is part of the monthly operating reports that AMR is required to file with the bankruptcy court.The company said it spent $10 million on aircraft financing renegotiations and rejections and $15 million on professional fees during the month. It also spent $1 million on “other” reorganization items which are not detailed in the report.AMR also said that its mainline carrier, American, had passenger revenues of $1.6 billion, while its regional affiliates, including American Eagle, brought in $256 million. Total revenues for the month were $2.12 billion.The company ended the month with $624 million in cash and $3.9 billion in short-term investments for a total of about $4.5 billion on hand. That number does not include $863 million in restricted cash.AMR is expected to close its merger with US Airways in the third quarter pending government approval of the deal. US Airways shareholders will vote on the merger at the company’s annual meeting on July 12 in New York.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk