American Airlines Files For Bankruptcy Protection

The third-largest airline in the U.S. has more to worry about than delays and baggage fees. Earlier today, American Airlines announced that it and its parent company are filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and that its CEO has stepped down.

The airline claims that the filing will not have an impact on travelers who have already booked with American and that AA’s frequent flier program is not going to be affected.

But the new CEO explains that the company’s necessary restructuring will “modestly” reduce the number of flights AA offers and that there will be job cuts.

From the AP:

Speculation about an AMR bankruptcy grew in recent weeks, however, as negotiations with pilots and other workers over cost-saving labor contracts seemed to stall. The company said that labor-contract rules forced it to spend at least $600 million more per year than other airlines.

In the last three years, the expansion of Delta and the merger of United and Continental has pushed American from the front of the airline pack to the number three spot. The airline has reported losses in 14 of the last 16 quarters.

American was the only major airline that didn’t restructure in the years since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The last major to file for protection was Delta in 2005.

American Airlines parent files Ch. 11 [Chicago Tribune]