American Airlines CEO Quells US Bankruptcy Talk, Says Demand Improving

May 27, 2020 Updated: May 27, 2020

American Airlines Group is not considering a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Chief Executive Doug Parker said at a conference on May 27, and shot down speculation that the major U.S. carrier could disappear due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

“Bankruptcy is failure. We’re not going to do that,” Parker said, adding: “I don’t think you’ll see any airline go by the wayside as a result of this crisis.”

However, the U.S. airline industry is expected to be 10 percent to 20 percent smaller in the summer of 2021, Parker said, and its recovery would depend on how passenger demand and revenues evolve.

American Airlines Boeing 737
An American Airlines Boeing 737 jet sits at a gate at Washington’s Reagan National airport with the U.S. Capitol building in the background, in Washington on April 29, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Earlier this month, Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun told NBC he thought that a major U.S. carrier could go out of business in the fall when government payroll aid for airlines will expire.

Global airlines are suffering an unprecedented downturn as the CCP virus pandemic has brought air travel to a near standstill.

American’s revenues are still down by about 90 percent due to the outbreak, but demand is improving and its net receipts have been in positive territory for the past 2.5 weeks after a period when airlines were receiving more cancellations than new bookings.

“Passengers are feeling more and more comfortable flying,” Parker said.

American’s planes were about 56 percent full over the long U.S. Memorial Day weekend, albeit in drastically reduced capacity, he said. American is flying about 20 percent of its normal schedule.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.