American reports strong full-year profit for 2018

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American Airlines has today reported in 2018 it achieved a full-year net profit of $1.4 billion, or $2.1 billion excluding net special items as strong demand and a growing network helped it overcome higher fuel prices.

In the fourth-quarter (Q4) 2018 it recorded a better than forecasted net profit by analysts of $319 million, or $481 million excluding net special items. In Q4 in 2017 it made a loss of $583 million.

American chairman and chief executive officer, Doug Parker said: “We enter 2019 with great momentum. We are intent upon running the most reliable operation in our post-merger history, pursuing high margin growth opportunities at our most profitable hubs, and executing on a number of valuable revenue and cost saving initiatives.

“We expect our total revenue per available seat mile to grow faster than our network competitors, and to deliver strong pre-tax earnings growth in 2019. At the midpoint of our guidance, 2019 diluted earnings per share excluding special items would increase approximately 40 percent versus 2018.”

In 2018, American launched service on 86 new routes including 14 new destinations, such as Reykjavik, Iceland; Budapest, Hungary; and Prague, Czech Republic. In 2019, American will become the only US carrier to travel non-stop to Bologna, Italy and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

In 2019, American said it is focused on growing revenue, implementing cost improvements and running the “most reliable operation in its post-merger history”.

The airline is forecasting in 2019 it will achieve $1 billion of revenue improvements this year from network optimization, merchandising and product segmentation.