Double-digit growth in cargo revenues boosts American Airlines’ 2017 profits

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American Airlines (AA) announced a full-year net profit of US$1.9 billion, or $2.4 billion excluding net special items, for 2017, which the carrier concluded was, “a remarkable year.”

While passenger operations were predictably robust, the fastest-growing segment was cargo, which registered a 14.4 percent, year-over-year, increase in revenues, to $800 million, driven by a 15 percent y-o-y jump in volumes to 2.8 billion cargo ton miles (CTM).

The Dallas-based carrier’s volumes benefitted from an especially strong holiday season, with fourth-quarter cargo revenues up 10.7 percent, y-o-y, to $232 million.

While cargo revenues and traffic rose, cargo yields per ton/mile edged down from the previous year, posting 28.70 cents, slightly lower than 2016’s 28.89 cents. That said, yields recovered in the fourth quarter, to 30.91 cents per cargo ton mile.

“We enter 2018 with strong momentum,” said AA CEO and president Doug Parker. “Our network is expanding, and the products we are brining to the market are resonating with customers.”

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