American Airlines - airline information
American Airlines is considered to be the World's biggest passenger air transporter.
The company is rather old, it was created in 1930, under the name "American Airways".
Throughout the time it has expanded its destinations and increased its fleet and has become the World number one.
British Airways and American Airlines were negotiating a possible merger between he 2 carriers. This would have meant the creation of the biggest airline in the World. The deal was given up due to the scandals that revolved around it, other airlines protesting against the possible threat of a gigantic British-American airline company that could have dwarfed the other competitors on the market.
In 2006, American Airlines (abbreviated "AA") has had well over 700 aircraft, since then numerous obsolete machines were taken out of circulation, which dropped the number of aircraft to 685. New orders have been placed, which will increase the fleet with at least 54 new aircraft.
The company stood at the basis of creating the Sabre online booking system and was the first air carrier to offer online airline ticket purchase possibilities, back in 1998 already.
AA primarily serves the Americas. It flies to more Latin American destinations than any other US airline. It is the only US air carrier operating scheduled flights between Anguilla, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
American Airlines is putting more accent on new destinations, the company is intensifying its presence in new and old markets as well, wherever they find there is potential. The top 3 places where their presence is expected to intensify are India, Ireland and China.
The total number of destinations served in early 2007 was of 167. An increase is expected with the further addition of Chinese, Indian and Latin American destinations.
AA is one of the few major air carriers that doesn't operate 747s since 1994. Long range aircraft are the following types: Boeing 757, Boeing 767 and 777s.
The Boeing 747 fleet was gradually taken out of service, due to its age. American Airlines was one of the first carriers to introduce this major airplane (back in 1971 already).
In the 2001 September 11 attacks, AA has lost 2 aircraft.
American Airlines still operates relatively old McDonnell Douglas aircraft, these, in 2007 made up about 40-45 % of its fleet.
Most aircraft operated by American Airlines do not have First Class. In 2007, only the Boeing 777s were left with this possibility.
Due to AA's One World membership, travelers can gather frequent flyer points and use them with other airlines. This usually happens when you fly on routes where the other airlines doesn't operate. You can gather points/miles on domestic USA flights, operated by American Airlines and use them with other member airlines within the alliance.
However, if the flight originates in destinations located in countries where the member airlines don't have bases, then it's possible to use the credits. For instance, when flying from Toronto with British Airways to London, you can accumulate points and use them with AA. But if you fly between the USA and the UK with either AA or BA, you cannot use the points with the other airline, only with the one that you have flown with.
Activity & market position
The company is the second in the World in terms of revenue per passenger mile, right after Air France-KLM.
The September 11th attacks have hit the company hard, it had one of the biggest losses in the industry. It has also lost 2 aircraft and staff in the terror attacks.
After staff number reductions and after taking drastic measures to reduce costs, the airline seemed to revive towards 2005.
Today, American Airline sis again amongst the most profitable ones in the World.
India and China are important emerging markets, therefore deeper penetration into them is expected in the coming years.
Partnerships & alliances
American Airlines is the biggest member of the One World Alliance, which is considered the second largest air carrier alliance.
British Airways, the carrier that wanted to merge with AA is the second major "player" present in this strategic alliance.
American Airlines' AAdvantage frequent flyer loyalty program is harmonized with those of other airlines within the alliance, as described above under the Frequent flyer program section.
American Airlines has multiple agreements with regional carriers and other partners in order to be able to serve as many areas around the World as possible..
Take a look at the complete list of airlines that have code-sharing agreements with AA:
Cathay Pacific Airways
China Eastern Airlines
JAL - Japan Airlines
SN Brussles Airlines
The company also has agreements with non-air carrier companies, such as rail companies in Europe, like the French SNCF, DB (Deutsch Bahn) in Germany. American Connection operates at Saint Louis' Lambert International Airport and also has agreements with American Airlines.
Current activity and perspectives for the future
Extension into further markets
Asia will see more AA "metallic birds" in the skies, as the company is planning to extend deeper into the area. Especially the emerging Chinese and Indian markets are expected to contribute to AA with new destinations.
So far, American Airline sis not on the list of those carriers who are spending a lot on modernizing their fleet.
Most of the aircraft operated by AA is old. In order to obtain more modern aircraft, the company should replace at least 30-40 % of its planes, which is less likely to happen in the near future. The McDonnell Douglas planes are obsolete and have reduced reliability.
American Airlines had a multitude of crashes and various technical failures due to poor maintenance and obsolete aircraft.
Fleet modernization is important to the company, but replacing over 300 MD planes won't happen too soon.
The Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" and the Airbus A380 "Super Jumbo" haven't been ordered yet by the airline, perhaps due to major financial difficulties between 2000 and 2005.
Recently, 47 Boeing 737-800s and 7 Boeing 767-200ERs were ordered by the company.
Last modified/updated: March 22, 2007