Air Transport World

U.S. majors. (air line statistics) (23rd Annual Market Development Report)

U.S. majors

American: Expansion continued apace during 1985 at American Airlines as it prepared three new hubs for opening this year and next. Net profit for the airline and its parent AMR Corp. was a strong $345.8 million last year, up from $233.9 million in 1984. The corporation's net for the past three years has been a resounding $807.6 million.

Boardings rose 20.7% to 41.2 million, RPKs increased 20.3% to 71 billion and freight ton-kilometers decreased 37.3% to 431 million due to sale of the freighter fleet. A 16.4% capacity increase pushed American's system load factor up two points to 64.6%.

Operating income for the airline amounted to $506.5 million, up from $339.1 million in 1984. Airline operating revenues increased 15.2% to $5.86 billion while expenses rose just 12.7% to $5.35 billion.

Last month American opened its third hub at Nashville, joining its other hubs of Dallas/Ft. Worth and Chicago O'Hare. An East Coast hub at Raleigh-Durham, N. C., is set for a mid-1987 opening, and a Caribbean hub at San Juan, Puerto Rico, will open this fall.

Supporting this expansion is a growing list of American Eagle commuter partners --Air Midwest signed to feed the Nashville hub--and a growing fleet that in March topped 300 aircraft with the delivery of the 65th McDonnell Douglas MD-80. American has 55 more MD-80s on order and another 80 on options that likely will be exercised. By the end of 1991 it plans a fleet of 454 airplanes.

American has started transactlantic service with its first two Boeing 767ERs. The carrier has five more 767ERs on order along with 10 767-200s.

Continental: Continuing to expand and earn profits during Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, Continental in 1985 earned a company record net profit of $60.9 million. This profit, plus all the following statistics, include the results of Continental West, a low-fare carrier based in Los Angeles that Texas Air Corp. established to use Boeing 737-300s ordered by TAC for Continental after delivery to Continental was blocked temporarily by the bankruptcy court. That block has been lifted and Continental West has been absorbed into Continental. The 737-300s have been replaced on the former Continental West routes by DC-9s.

Continental's 1985 expansion is reflected in the 45.7% capacity increase over 1984. Traffic, however, outpaced capacity, increasing 50.4% to 26.4 billion RPKs. Load factor was up 2.1 points to 64.8%. Cargo traffic, controlled through a new subsidiary company, CDG, rose 26.9% to 273 million FTKs. Meanwhile, the airline's employment rolls increased 20.6% to 12,800.

Operating revenue was up 41.7% to $1.7 billion, producing an operating profit of $156.7 million. The net was of record proportions despite a $17.8-million severance payment to former striking pilots, $17.5 million set aside for employe profit sharing and $15.7 million in Chapter 11 reorganization expense.

Speaking of reorganization, the company finally has submitted its reorganization plan to bankruptcy court, where it was favorably received by creditors. As part of the plan, Continental Airlines Corp. would become wholly owned by Texas Air Corp., with TAC buying up the outstanding 20% of CAC shares. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.