FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines, which has grown to become the world’s largest airline, today unveiled a plan to preserve its legacy of network strength, providing customers with the services they value and ensuring its long-term competitiveness.
“With $4 billion in the process of being removed from our cost structure, American Airlines is going to be a leaner, stronger and more agile competitor,” American president and chief executive officer Gerard Arpey told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting.
He used this year’s event, as the new CEO of the airline, to unveil a four-pronged approach to accelerating the company’s return to profitability.
American’s “Turnaround Plan” derives its strength from four key principles:
Lower costs to compete
* Fly smart by giving customers what they value
* Pull together, win together
* Build a financial foundation for American’s future
The airline’s leadership team wanted to “crystallize our strategic vision into a crisp, easy to understand plan,” Arpey said, that puts “some context around all of our activities and more importantly, to provide a framework for the decisions we make going forward.”
The $4 billion in cost savings serves as the foundation of American’s Turnaround Plan, enabling the carrier to compete more effectively in the new aviation marketplace.
Arpey said that a number of initiatives - some large in scale, some a little less grand - will be rolled out as the airline puts the Turnaround Plan into action.
Wasting no time, American announced two initiatives designed to compete more effectively with low-cost carriers and to more closely tailor American’s wide range of premium services to the markets that value them.
The first initiative falls under the first tenet of the plan: “Lower costs to compete.”
Effective immediately, American is charging no more than $299 for coach seats on nonstop flights between New York’s JFK airport and selected California cities.
“The $299 coach fare is the highest coach fare that our customers are paying for tickets bought today on nonstop flights from JFK to Long Beach, Orange County and San Jose,” Arpey said. “What’s more, our first class fare is now $599 on the nonstop flights.”
He said the carrier is making it “crystal clear” that customers can find both low fares and substantially more service - first class seating, AAdvantage® miles, Admirals Club® facilities, more flights at convenient times and more connection opportunities - on American Airlines.
New print advertising rolling out the $299 fare will begin appearing tomorrow in the New York City metropolitan area, the Los Angeles metropolitan area and in California’s Bay Area. A television advertising campaign will follow shortly.
Further details at www.amrcorp.com