Sky Talk

American CEO: Q2 profits may be highest of any airline ever

American Airlines jets are parked at Terminal D at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)
American Airlines jets are parked at Terminal D at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison) Star-Telegram

American Airlines’ second quarter operating profit of $1.9 billion was not only its best ever, but possibly the best ever for any airline, according to chief executive Doug Parker.

On a conference call with Wall Street analysts and investors on Friday, Parker said the second quarter earnings were the best in American’s history and possibly for all commercial airlines.

“While we’re not the keepers of all industry data, we think since it was the highest earnings of any airline this quarter, we think it’s the highest quarterly earnings that any commercial airlines has ever reported in a quarter,” Parker said. “We’re quite proud of that, given the fact that this company was in bankruptcy about 18 months ago to be producing the highest earnings any airline has ever produced.”

Here’s a few other items of note from the investor conference call.

On the U.S. Department of Justice’s collusion investigation

“As you all know, American and some of our competitors have received a civil investigative demand from the Department of Justice,” Parker said. “We are compliant in the investigation and are confident it will result in no findings against American.”

On the performance of its hub airport, DFW

“We’ve been quite pleased with the results of the rebanking at all three of our hubs and Dallas in particular. If you look at Dallas performing in line with the system average with the huge increase in capacity in the Dallas market, it is a pretty clear indicator that rebanking has been successful and we’re really pleased with it,” American president Scott Kirby said.

“Within the Love Field markets, we are actually carrying more local passengers than before but at lower yields,” he said. “Overall we are carrying more connecting traffic,” since the airport was rebanked in March.

On whether or not American is considering fuel hedging contracts if fuel prices rise

“We’re still in the no hedging category because we think it is the best answer for American Airlines,” Kirby said.

On where the airline is seeing weak travel demand

“Where we see the most weakness is the international connecting flows. Miami is the weakest but it has nothing to do with the Miami domestic network. It has to do with the Brazilian and Venezuelan connecting traffic,” Kirby said. “We’re quite pleased with [the performance of] Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth...Charlotte is doing quite well...New York was our best hub year over year over year and Charlotte was no. 2.”