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For 87 years, American Airlines has served both the flying public and the communities we call home. We've adapted to changes in the marketplace, developed new technologies to improve air travel, responded to adversity and perhaps, above all, served as a bridge between cultures and people from every corner of the globe.
But in our long history we've never quite experienced a period of change like the past year and a half.
We entered 2012 with the unique opportunity to restructure and renew our business; to restore profitability; and to put American on the path to future success. Over the year, we have executed that restructuring plan. We revived our fleet as we took delivery of 30 brand new aircraft, including Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 777-300ERs - the first of hundreds more to come that will help American to meet its long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals These new planes are packed with the latest technologies, like Wi-Fi on every plane and the finest amenities, such as lie-flat seats and extra legroom, that will keep our customers connected and comfortable, anywhere they fly. We revived our terminals and our lounges and devoted greater attention to a truly premium experience for our highest value customers. We expanded our network both in the United States and overseas with the addition of 20 new flight routes and the introduction of new alliances with 13 airlines. And we renewed the iconic American brand with a new livery for our planes.
We also successfully completed new agreements and contracts with our labor unions, restructured debt and negotiated more favorable lease and supplier contracts. These improvements contributed to a record-breaking revenue performance of $24.9 billion in 2012.
The path to a new American was, however, not always a smooth one. We made workforce reductions and re-optimized our fleet and facilities, renegotiated leases, supplier contracts and achieved more competitive labor contracts. Taken together, these efforts put American's house in order and positioned us well for the future. We thank all of our employees and our other stakeholders for their dedication to the difficult task of restructuring, but also for their confidence in the future of the New American Airlines.
The final piece of the puzzle came in February, 2013. After months of reviewing a range of options we concluded that a merger with US Airways was the best next step for our company.
This new American Airlines will combine the best of US Airways and American to create value for our owners but also a better flight experience for our customers and new opportunities for our partners and our people. We expect the merger to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals, approval by US Airways shareholders, other customary closing conditions and confirmation and consummation of the Plan of Reorganization.
With the largest, best connected global network, strong hubs, the top alliance partners, one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry, a solid financial foundation and the finest team of people in the industry, we will be the leading global airline, worthy of the name American Airlines.
With a sound cost structure and balance sheet, unmatched network scale, and important flexibility in our network and fleet, this new merger will give us the opportunity to leapfrog the competition and return to a position of industry leadership.
We have no illusions that this will be easy or painless. Both the U.S. domestic airline industry and international marketplace will remain extremely competitive. There will be significant challenges in merging the operations and people of both our airlines. This transition will be long and at times difficult. However, working alongside colleagues from US Airways I believe we will be able to put the pieces in place to create a more successful and effective new American.
Even during this period of extraordinary and unprecedented change, our devotion to the values that have always defined American Airlines will remain constant.
This means a continued dedication to guaranteeing that safety remains our number one priority; to further reducing greenhouse gas emissions; to ensuring that our commitment to diversity and inclusion is manifested in all of American's workplaces; and to giving back to the communities in which our 80,000 employees work and live.
We will be building off a strong foundation. In 2012, we met or exceeded many of our key company-wide goals. On the issue of safety, our company-wide safety management system (SMS) achieved Level 4 Certification from the FAA—the highest level of achievement with respect to completeness and integration into operations and one that far surpassed our goal of advancing beyond Level 2 certification.
We also updated our standard safety training for all employees and piloted a job hazard analysis program at our Tulsa maintenance facility in order to minimize health and safety risks for our people.
Our focus on environmental protection resulted in decreased greenhouse gas emissions and improved energy efficiency in 2012. This year we set a goal of achieving a 146 million gallon annual rate of fuel savings through our Fuel Smart program – a total that we were able to outdo. These achievements come at a time when the price of fuel continues to rise and the challenge of climate change is becoming even more urgent. In recognition of these efforts, American received — for the third consecutive year — the best rating among U.S. airlines in the annual Newsweek Green Rankings. While we have still not fully reached our emission targets, ongoing efficiency measures as well as American's new energy-efficient fleet have put us on the right track to achieving them.
Finally, through our Global Giving priorities we have maintained our commitment to the communities we serve. In 2012 our customers donated nearly $7 million and our employees contributed an additional $750,000 and logged more than 38,000 hours of service to a series of charitable efforts, including Kids In NeedSM initiatives; military and veterans programs like our annual Sky Ball fundraiser and Snowball Express, which assists the children and spouses of fallen military heroes; breast cancer awareness and research; and disaster aid and relief.
No matter what the future holds, American Airlines will continue to uphold the highest standards of corporate responsibility. It is, and has been, core to our company since American was founded.
For nearly 90 years, American has sought to be the most successful airline in the world; but also one that marries its business goals to a basic set of values and corporate responsibilities. Indeed, as we've learned over the years no company can have one without the other. By remaining true to our values we have put American in a position to enjoy many more years of success – and I can assure you that things will remain that way as the new American prepares to take flight.
Tom Horton, Chairman, President and CEO of AMR Corporation and American Airlines