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.
American has the option of buying an additional 130 aircraft as part of its deals with Bombardier and Embraer.
American’s former CEO, who led the airline through bankruptcy, will receive $12.7 million in cash and 170,722 shares of stock.
In an interview, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says the airline’s new management team hasn’t studied selling regional carrier and has not made a decision on whether to stick with the new livery design for its planes.
Investors send shares of the new American Airlines Group higher in first day of trading on the NASDAQ exchange.
Executives say travelers will not notice any changes during the holiday travel period from the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, which becomes official Monday.
It could take two years for American’s new executive team, composed of leaders from US Airways, to pull the two airlines together.