The Last of the Airline Industry Bankruptcies?

AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday. With the exception of Southwest, all major US airlines have filed for bankruptcy protection following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. American was the only holdout, until now.

Although no single factor is to blame for the company’s failure, American cited high fuel prices and expensive labor contracts as contributing factors. Most of the day-to-day operations (at least from the consumer’s point of view) will remain the same. The company will continue to honor tickets and even frequent flyer credits. The flight schedule may be trimmed during the reorganization process, but not in any dramatic way according to the airline.

With the other airlines already out of their bankruptcies and making money I’m sure some are wondering what took American Airlines so long. However, maybe this is a testament that the bankruptcy laws are working properly; allowing a company to languish just long enough so as to be sure that bankruptcy is truly the last resort.

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