Years of economic instability, rising fuel costs, and mounting labor costs have caught up to American Airlines as it became the last of the major US legacy airlines to file for bankruptcy protection over the last decade the Los Angeles Times reports.
While the airline has struggled to remain profitable in the post 9/11 world, the company reassured passengers and investors today that bankruptcy is not the end of the road for the company.
“American Airlines remains open for business,” said Craig Kreeger, the airline’s vice president for customer experience. “It’s business as usual.”
The move will help American re-position itself, most likely by trimming costs and cutting back capacity in order to regain profitability. While the airline does not appear to be in long term jeopardy of shutting down, many of its employees stand to lose the most due to the bankruptcy filing.
Several American flight attendants and a pilot, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of losing their jobs, said they were worried that the bankruptcy filing could lead to staff cuts, but most were not surprised by the news.
“I’ve been expecting this for 10 years,” said the pilot based in Los Angeles, who has flown for American for 26 years. “It doesn’t surprise me at all.”
The employees said they were bracing for pay cuts, layoffs and possible changes in their pensions.
“We have no way of knowing what the future holds, but I am nervous,” the pilot said.
It is unclear what the costs will look like and how many potential jobs may be lost as the company restructures. American’s shares stock was down nearly 84% closing at .27 at the end of the trading day on Tuesday.