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AA Announces Record-Breaking Fourth Quarter and Full Year Profit

young businessman in office looking like falling dollars

American Airlines reports $1.3 billion profit in fourth quarter of 2015, bringing the year-long total to $7.6 billion.

Two years after declaring bankruptcy and merging with US Airways, American Airlines announced record breaking profits to close 2015. In a press release, the legacy carrier reported $1.3 billion in profits excluding net special credits during the fourth quarter of the year, bringing their 2015 total profit to $7.6 billion.

“American Airlines enters 2016 well-positioned for the future,” American chairman and chief executive Doug Parker said in the press release. “With the youngest aircraft fleet among our major competitors, more than $2 billion of product investments underway, and the best aviation professionals in the business, we are well on our way to restoring American as the greatest airline in the world.”

While the airline was able to meet key merger deadlines, including transitioning into a single reservations system and combining frequent flyer programs, the greatest financial gain came from receding oil prices. USA Today reports the airline was able to save over 8 percent in fuel costs compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 due to lower overall oil prices. Because American does not participate in fuel hedging, the airline reported a consolidated fuel expense decrease of over 40 percent in the final quarter of 2015.

“We have directly benefited from lower fuel prices due to our lack of fuel hedges,” Derek Kerr, chief financial officer at American, told USA Today. “We expect to see another year with significant fuel savings.”

Although the outbreak of Zika virus has been of concern to many carriers, the airline told reporters they are not seeing an impact in cancellations. Earlier in the week, the airline outlined a specific set of guidelines that allowed travelers to cancel their tickets for a refund.

According to USA Today, the airline was able to return around $3.9 billion to shareholders as a result of the gains. The total profit is more than double of the legacy carrier’s gains in 2014, when the airline posted $2.9 billion in profit.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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