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American Airlines Files for Bankruptcy: Offical Statement from Derek DeCross, Vice President of AA Global Sales

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The bad news: American Airlines filed for bankruptcy this morning. The good news: At this time it looks like "business as usual" for travelers during the Chapter 11 process. Here is the official statement our flight partners received from Derek DeCross, American Airlines Vice President of Global Sales. I'll keep you updated on changes -- or check out more information on the restructuring on American Airlines website.
November 29, 2011

Dear Valued Travel Partner,

As you may know, American Airlines today took a necessary and responsible step to secure the future success of our company by filing for reorganization under Chapter 11. We took this action in order to become a more efficient, financially stronger, and competitive airline that is even better positioned to deliver for customers and the communities we serve. It will be business as usual at American during the Chapter 11 process.

In recent years, we have built the foundation for our future growth and long-term success. We strengthened our domestic and global network; fortified our alliances with the best partners around the world; launched a transformational fleet deal that will give us the youngest and most efficient fleet in the industry; and invested in our product, service and technology to build a world class customer experience.

However, to capitalize on these foundational strengths, we must address our very substantial cost disadvantage compared to our larger competitors, all of which restructured their costs and debt through Chapter 11. We are committed to working as quickly and efficiently as possible to appropriately restructure American Airlines so that we can emerge well-positioned to compete effectively in the marketplace for the long-term.

The Chapter 11 process lets us continue normal business operations while we restructure our debt, costs and other obligations. American's $4.1 billion in unrestricted cash and short-term investments, as well as cash generated from operations, is anticipated to be more than sufficient to assure that all vendors, suppliers, and business partners will be paid timely and in full for goods and services they provide us during the Chapter 11 process in accordance with customary terms.

Our relationship with you is paramount to us, and we look forward to continuing it well into the future. Please be assured that our sales agreement with you remains in full effect.

During the reorganization, American Airlines will also continue to:

  • Provide safe and reliable service. Our customers remain our top priority and will continue to enjoy the quality service they know and expect from us.

  • Operate our regular flight schedule. There are no immediate changes to our service or schedules as a result of the Chapter 11 filing. We intend to maintain a strong presence in domestic and international markets, including our cornerstones in Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles, while using the flexibility of our fleet renewal program to remove less-efficient aircraft in our fleet.

  • Honor tickets and reservations as usual. Policies regarding exchanges and refunds remain the same.

  • Maintain the AAdvantage program and ensure all miles and elite status earned by members remain secure and intact.

  • Remain an integral member of the oneworld Alliance, of which American is a founding member, and continue our relationship with our codeshare partners.

If you have any questions about the reorganization process, please contact your American Airlines sales representative. Further information can also be found at AA.com/restructuring.

American Airlines has a proud history, and we will have a successful future. Through this process, we will enhance our reputation as a global leader known for excellence and innovation, a travel partner customers seek out, and a carrier that serves communities throughout the world. All of us on the American team appreciate your support, loyalty and business, and look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship well into the future.

Best regards,
Derek DeCross
Vice President - Global Sales

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