Message From The CEO

Message from Tom Horton, Chairman, President and CEO of AMR Corporation
and American Airlines

Tom Horton

2011 was a year of major transformation — and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of American Airlines.

On November 29, 2011, after much deliberation, the AMR Corporation Board of Directors moved to pursue a restructuring of the company. This was a difficult but necessary first step to restore American to industry leadership, profitability and growth as America's Flag Carrier. While the restructuring process will necessitate some painful decisions, I believe that it will leave us in a stronger position going forward and create the best outcome for the greatest possible number of people. American's goal is to complete a successful restructuring and put us on the path to renewal and growth as quickly as possible. Our confidence is rooted in the fact that, even before we began the restructuring process, we had the foresight to put into place several important building blocks for long-term success.

We have:

  • Refocused our network on five cornerstone markets in the United States, with hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami serving as gateways to hundreds of domestic and international locations and links to the networks of our global partners.
  • Solidified American's alliances and partnerships with leading airlines around the world, which has allowed us to launch new routes, expand our reach and broaden our customer offerings.
  • Announced in July 2011 the largest aircraft order in the history of the industry — one that promises to revitalize our fleet. We made a deal to take delivery of 460 Airbus and Boeing narrowbody jets between 2013 and 2022 — with options for 465 additional aircraft — putting us on track to have the youngest, most fuel-efficient fleet among our U.S. industry peers in roughly five years.
  • Continued to introduce a host of innovative products and services to enhance the travel experience for our customers and position American as the premier airline of high-value travelers.

Despite laying these important building blocks for our future growth, we were unable to fully overcome the challenges of achieving a competitive cost structure and restoring American to a position of profitability. Quite simply, we have had a substantial cost disadvantage compared to our major competitors, who have used the restructuring process to overhaul their companies and become more competitive in every aspect of their businesses. This cost disadvantage, along with an uncertain economy and revenue picture, intense competition and volatile fuel prices, proved to be an insurmountable obstacle in meeting our strategic objectives.

Over the coming months, we will be moving quickly to implement major changes to our business to become a more flexible and efficient airline that better delivers for customers. This process has already begun and I invite you to review our business plan and follow our progress at

While we go through reorganization and renewal, there will be significant changes at American. But one thing that will remain the same is our unwavering commitment to the values that have always defined American Airlines. We remain devoted to the highest standards of customer safety, security and satisfaction; energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction; working to foster diversity and greater inclusion; maintaining strong relationships with all of our employees; and having a positive impact in the communities where we work, live and play.

We are humbled and honored to see our efforts receiving outside recognition. For the second year in a row, we were named the "Greenest" U.S. airline in the prestigious Newsweek Green Rankings. We also recycled over 10 million pounds of waste and cut our fuel use by 141 million gallons. For the 10th consecutive year, we achieved a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. We launched numerous customer experience enhancements and reinvested in our fleet. Our commitment to communities was exemplified by a tremendous outpouring of employee and customer support in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami as well as by our continued contributions to a number of charitable organizations and our company-wide initiatives in support of veterans and military service members.

Finally, the safety of customers and our people is our most basic responsibility as an airline. We are more committed than ever to eliminating serious injuries and the potential for harm in our day-to-day operations. That's why we are redoubling our efforts to instill a safety culture at American and American Eagle through our Partnership for Safety and Safety Starts with Me initiatives.

For more than 80 years, American has fostered a proud tradition of serving not only the flying public, but also our employees and the communities that we call home. We have sought out the latest innovations, the best economic opportunities and the customer offerings that make flying on American a unique and memorable experience. We've always done so with a firm belief that these basic business principles must go hand-in-hand with an ironclad set of values and responsibilities. It is the continued adherence to these principles and values that points the way forward to a brighter future for American Airlines and all of its stakeholders.