NEW YORK (The Deal) -- The parent of American Airlines Inc., which will head to court next month to try to win approval for its merger with US Airways Group Inc., on Thursday, Oct. 17, reported quarterly results that show the company hitting cruising altitude flying solo.
AMR Corp. reported net income of $289 million in the third quarter, an improvement over a loss of $238 million during the same three months a year prior. The company, which is in Chapter 11 protection, said that excluding bankruptcy-related charges and other items it would have made $530 million, the highest quarterly net profit in company history.
"Continued execution on our product, network and alliance strategy, combined with cost efficiencies from restructuring and fleet renewal, creates strong momentum towards our planned merger with US Airways," company chairman and CEO Tom Horton said in a statement. AMR, according to Horton, set aside $59 million during the quarter with "expectation of making our first profit-sharing payout since 2001" to employees.
But the positive results could further complicate AMR's effort to win approval of its planned $11 billion merger with US Airways. The two companies in February announced plans to combine into what would be the world's largest carrier, but that deal was thrown into doubt in August when the Department of Justice filed suit seeking to block the combination on antitrust grounds.
The DOJ in building its case against the deal is relying in part on comments from AMR executives from prior to the merger announcement saying that the airline could survive and prosper on its own.