American announces Q3 loss
Two major US carriers, American Airlines and Continental Airlines announced mixed results for the third quarter.
While American posted a $359m loss, Continental announced an $18m loss but a marginal $2m net profit, if special charges were excluded, for the three months to the end of September.
This compares with a $31m profit for AA and a $230m loss for Continental for the same period in 2008.
American said it had suffered a year on year drop in revenue of 20.2% to $5.13bn.
The carrier cited reduced capacity and reduced demand because of the recession for the fall.
The airline's loss included a one off $94m charge relating to sold and grounded aircraft.
American has now made a net loss of loss $1.12 billion in the first nine months of 2009, compared with a $1.77bn deficit for the same period last year.
Gerard Arpey, its chairman, said: "A difficult revenue environment driven by the weakened global economy continues to overwhelm the benefit of significantly lower fuel prices.
"We believe the strong vote of confidence we received from our strategic partners and investors reflects our long track record of meeting our obligations and belief in our ability to address the many challenges the industry faces."
Continental said its results continued to be hit by "significant declines in high yield traffic as business travellers are flying less and purchasing lower yield economy tickets due to the global recession".
Larry Kellner, who retires as the Houston-based carrier's chairman and ceo at the end of the year, said Continental was "well-positioned to take full advantage of improvement in the economic environment."
But Jeff Smisek, currently chief operating officer but who will succeed Mr Kellner in January, said the airline needed to do better.
He said yield was down 21.7% and the airline had "no idea" how long the fall off in high yield traffic would last.