American Airlines orders jets, posts Q2 loss, closes a call center and prohibits primates

As widely reported, American Airlines announced an industry record aircraft order yesterday for 460 jets spread across Boeing and Airbus. American’s tweets came alive in the morning and I clicked through one and watched part of the live stream from a Dallas Admirals Club where American’s Chairman & CEO Gerard Arpey made the formal announcement with Airbus & Boeing executives flanking his sides. The carrier will introduce Airbus A319 and A321 aircraft beginning in 2013 along with adding additional next generation Boeing 737s to their fleet. In addition to eliminating MD80s, the eventual retirement of American’s 757s and 767-200s was also mentioned, and for a more descriptive breakdown of the order, check out AAdvantageGeek’s posting today.

Also yesterday, American announced a $286 million loss for the second quarter of 2011, worse than analysts had anticipated and an unfavorable signal pointing to dismal full year results. According to an article by Terry Maxon appearing in the Los Angeles Times on July 1st, airline analysts claim AMR Corporation “will lose more than $600 million in 2011 and more than $100 million next year.” This while Delta and United are predicted to post profits of $1.2 & $1.3 billion respectively this year, with both carriers likely earning $1.7 billion in 2012. How long can American continue to hemorrhage money like this? No wonder they were first at bat in the attempt to shake up the distribution model whose annual expense for an airline is near the top after direct operating costs.

Next up, the Irish Times reported yesterday that American is planning to close its Dublin Ireland reservations center where approximately 130 employees currently man the facility that has been around for the past 15 years. The carrier informed the Irish Communication Workers Union and is now in “a period of consultation to discuss a proposal to outsource the work to an offshore location.” No disrespect, but I’m hoping offshore from Ireland means those jobs will come back to the U.S.

Finally, according to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), American Airlines has clarified its policy on transporting non-human primates (monkeys) to outright ban the acceptance of such animals intended for “laboratory research, experimentation or exploitation purposes.” Very welcome news and how sad to think that some airlines still accept monkeys for this purpose. Only one U.S. airline remains on BUAV’s list of carriers that “do or would” fly primates destined for the research industry. Eh hem… paging Continental Airlines. I will follow up this post with a direct inquiry to United to see if they’re even aware Continental is on the list.


  1. As great as not transporting primates on airplanes may sound, this will simply mean they get shipped overseas on boats, taking many times longer in conditions that are worse. Not all primate research involves cruelty to them. My lab as an undergraduate did work with primates and we always made the utmost effort to treat them humanely.

    • Thanks Helix,
      I’m happy you’ve chimed in for a different perspective. So far, United has been silent after my direct inquiry of them, so perhaps this is the reason. I’m happy to hear your lab treated the animals with humanity, but I support the overall premise of BUAV’s cause.

  2. just FYI … Im one of those EU employee … in Dublin … and I have done a pretty good job at helping people regardless of which side of the Atlantic they were from … just so you guys have the fact rights … the center is going to be in South Africa … so not one job created in the US … but after more than a decade of helping passenger … from September 11th to the crazy Iceland volcano … my American dream is over

    • Hello Anna,
      I am so very sorry for your situation and thank you for posting a comment. American’s statement claimed they’d be working with your union and I suppose they did to a degree, but the offshore in this case ended up being to neither of our likings. My sincerest wishes that you’re taken care of and secure even better employment. Thank you again for adding some insight.
      Incredibly warm and sincere regards,

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