American operating profit jumps in Q1

Washington DC
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American Airlines Group reports a $730 million operating profit in the first quarter, a more than four-fold increase from the $173 million operating profit a year ago.

Operating revenues increased 5.6% to nearly $10 billion and operating expenses fell 0.3% to $9.27 billion at the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier, which owns both American and US Airways.

Net profit was $480 million in the first quarter compared to a $297 million net loss during the same period in 2013. American benefitted from a $78 million gain from special items, which includes $137 million in proceeds from the sale of 43 slot pairs at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport.

Reorganisation and merger-related expenses totalled $493 million in the quarter.

“We are very pleased to report a record profit in our first full quarter as a merged company," says Doug Parker, chief executive of American, in a statement. "Our team of dedicated professionals did an excellent job of taking care of our customers despite particularly difficult weather conditions throughout the quarter.”

The airline cancelled more than 34,000 flights due to severe weather in the first quarter.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) rose 2.9% to 13.67 cents. Pacific PRASM was the strongest with an 8.6% increase while Atlantic PRASM was the weakest with a 2.4% decrease.

Costs per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and special items rose 3.7% to 9.76 cents.

American spent an average of $3.10 per gallon for fuel during the quarter.

Traffic increase 1.7% on a 2% increase in capacity.