Jan 26, 2024 - News

American Airlines reports $53B revenue for 2023

Illustration of an airplane tail design with a dollar bill sign on it.  

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American Airlines appears to be on track for a strong 2024, after record 2023 revenue and the lowest number of annual flight cancellations in a decade.

Driving the news: The Fort Worth-based airline shared its profit figures for 2023 Thursday in its fourth-quarter earnings report.

Why it matters: The airline's $53 billion in revenue for 2023 will help offset COVID-era losses as travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

  • It posted a $19 million profit in the last three months of 2023, surpassing expectations.

The intrigue: American Airlines stock surged 10.27% yesterday, per MarketWatch.

Details: The airline says it had the lowest number of cancellations last year since merging with US Airways in 2013.

  • The airline had a strong holiday season, with its "best-ever" on-time departures and lowest mishandled baggage rate over the holidays.
  • American Airlines also reduced its total debt by around $3.2 billion last year, trimming $11.4 billion since peak levels in mid-2021.

Meanwhile: The topic of Boeing and its aircraft currently under scrutiny for safety issues also came up during American Airlines' earnings call, though the airline does not use the Boeing aircraft in question.

  • "We're a huge Boeing customer … And no matter who it is, all of Boeing needs to come together and to get back on the right track," American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said.

Flashback: The Department of Transportation fined American Airlines a record $4.1 million last year for tarmac delays between 2018 and 2021 that left dozens of domestic flights on the ground for at least three hours, without giving passengers a chance to exit the plane.

What's next: This year, the airline hopes to "finally" produce more capacity than in 2019 in part by adding new aircraft, chief financial officer Devon May said.

  • The airline plans to get 28 new mainline aircraft this year.
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