AMR Reports $414M Loss

American Airlines parent AMR Corp. lost $414 million in the third quarter, a period when two of its jets were hijacked and crashed in last month's terror attacks. 

The world's biggest airline company said Wednesday that high fuel prices and weakness in the travel industry even before the Sept. 11 attacks also contributed to its largest quarterly loss ever that amounted to $2.68 a share for the July-September period. 

AMR had earned $322 million, or $1.96 per share, for the same period a year ago. 

Revenue fell to $4.82 billion from $5.26 billion a year earlier. 

Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, with each building struck by one American jumbo jet, the airline has eliminated the equivalent of 20,000 jobs throughout its system. 

``With the economy weak and fuel prices still relatively high, we and the rest of the industry were experiencing a very difficult financial quarter even before the Sept. 11 attacks,'' said Don Carty, AMR chairman and chief executive. ``But the attacks and their aftermath further weakened traffic and had a staggering effect on our overall financial performance, producing the largest quarterly loss in our long and proud history.'' 

Excluding a $508 million emergency federal bailout including government financial-aid payments associated with lost revenue and special charges totaling $397 million, AMR lost $525 million, or $3.40 a share, for the quarter. The special items included aircraft impairment and grounding costs associated with the terrorism that killed 156 American passengers and crew members. 

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected a loss of $2.61 by Fort Worth-based AMR. 

In early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, AMR shares were up 35 cents at $20.30. 

As air travel shriveled up following the nationwide airport shutdowns and has been slow to revive, Carty said he and the entire AMR board of directors executives would take no compensation for the rest of 2001, and that every senior officer and officer of the company had taken voluntary pay cuts. 

``We are in the midst of the worst financial crisis in the history of the industry,'' said Carty, ``and yet we have many formidable strengths as we manage our way through the crisis and look to the future. 

``All this gives us a solid base for winning back our customers, which in the end will be the key to resolving our financial challenges,'' he said in a prepared statement. 

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, AMR lost $964 million, or $6.26 a share, compared to earnings of $766 million, or $4.77 a share, in the year-ago period. Nine-month revenue was $15.16 billion versus $14.85 billion in the year-ago period.