From data outages over the summer, to a Warren Buffet vote of confidence and even a recent Donald Trump tweet, it has been a busy six months for the airline industry. American Airlines (AAL) - Get Report CEO Doug Parker is one person in the sector looking ahead and learning from the past.
Regarding the current turnaround in the industry, "the Berkshire Hathaway investment is as good as any validation for that," Parker said Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."
While noting the many comments Buffet has made regarding the sector in the past, one in particular stands out in Parker's mind.
"My favorite quote he has is 'you get the shareholders you deserve' and the reality is we didn't deserve shareholders like that in the business we had before," Parker said.
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Parker stated that it had become increasingly challenging to get shareholders, especially long-term investors, when the industry's future seemed in doubt.
"So, as we have been saying for quite some time now, this is a whole new business. We certainly are thinking long-term; we think about our people and our customers long-term," Parker contended.
Furthermore, Parker said that the old business was "not good" for the consumer. "You could not count on your airline being there, you didn't have one airline that could take you all around the world," he said.
The efforts the industry has made are the result of turning the "dysfunctional" into the "functional" he added.
"I think it is much better for consumers; consumers have tremendous choice in the airline business, it is intensely competitive. But, you also know that your airline will be there, and our employees know that they have continued employment," Parker said.
Shares of American Airlines were higher in mid-morning trading on Wednesday.