Events outside American Airlines' control ultimately pushed the Fort Worth-based carrier into bankruptcy, but it was decisions by company executives that paved the way by leaving American outmaneuvered, analysts and experts say. Here are three turning points on the way to the Nov. 29 filing.
Market forces: Higher labor costs, a global economic slowdown, high fuel prices and a credit downgrade were factors in the board's decision to declare bankruptcy.
Executive pay/morale: "Pull Together -- Win Together" dissolved amid millions in stock bonuses that destroyed good will between executives and rank-and-file employees.
Strategic decisions: American delayed upgrading to a newer, more efficient fleet, and declined to pursue a merger, even as other airlines did.
Negotiators for the union and the airline met Friday and hope to reach a contract agreement without going to arbitration.
The airline will transfer at least 50 planes away from Envoy Air as it downsizes a unit where pilots rejected a cost-cutting contract this year.
American CEO Doug Parker says the company is in preliminary talks about a possible new headquarters but may decide to stay at its current complex in east Fort Worth.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker meets with flight attendants and says recent contract rejection reflects history of distrust between workers and management.
The two sides will continue contract negotiations after the pilots union board sent a counterproposal to the company Friday.
The Allied Pilots Association said the proposed contract does not provide enough compensation and would allow for more regional jet flying.
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