American Airlines to retire 4 aircraft types amid $2.2 billion Q1 net loss

`American Airlines has officially announced its intention to retire 4 aircraft types from its fleet after it reported a net loss of US$2.2 billion for the first quarter of 2020. This includes the Embraer E190, Boeing 767, Boeing 757 and Airbus A330-300.

American Airlines Boeing 757-200 registered N939UW. Photo by Cole McAndrew | AeroNewsX

This comes amid a 'significant challenge', according to American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. The public health crisis has forced a number of airlines into heavy, unsustainable losses with many now on the brink of bankruptcy.

The airline has officially confirmed that the Boeing 767s and Embraer E190s will not be returning to service post-coronavirus with the Boeing 757 and Airbus A330-300 retirements being 'accelerated'. The aircraft affected by these changes include 20 Embraer E190s, 34 Boeing 757s, 17 Boeing 767s and 9 Airbus A330-300s, totalling 90 planes. Costs associated with the write-off of these aircraft types amounted to US$68 million.

American Airlines says a small number of regional plane retirements will be accelerated as well, including Embraer E140 aircraft. Furthermore, all 19 CRJ200 aircraft (operated by PSA Airlines) will be retired. Both aircraft withdrawals costed the airline $88 million in non-cash write-downs as part of its Q1 2020 operating special items costs.

Delta Air Lines has also announced that it will be retiring 76 aircraft based on February numbers comprising of MD88s and MD90s. This just demonstrates the substantial effect the pandemic has had on aviation - while governments have been urged, notably from the International Air Transport Association, to provide financial aid to the aviation industry, other sectors are often being prioritised.

American Airlines has also recorded a net loss of US$2.2 billion. The airline is looking to 'maximise liquidity' during these tough times, after it received US$5.8 billion in financial aid from the government as part of the Payroll Support Program.

American ended the first quarter with US$6.8 billion in liquidity and anticipates US$11 billion in liquidity by the end of the second quarter.

American Airlines Embraer E190. Photo by Matt Lino | AeroNewsX

"We have a lot of difficult work ahead of us. And while there is still uncertainty in what’s to come, we are confident that through the dedication of the American Airlines team and our swift actions, we will get through this for our team, our customers and our shareholders," explained American Airlines CEO and Chairman Doug Parker.

In terms of operating revenue, American Airlines achieved US$8.5 billion, which, combined with the US$11.1 billion in operating expenses, made it difficult for the carrier to report a profit for the quarter.

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