October 24, 2001
I am writing today to urge your consideration and support of the fuel tax abatement proposed by the Air Transport Association and its supporters.
The tragic events of September 11 have thrust American Airlines and the rest of the airline industry into a financial crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our long and proud history. Dealing with this crisis to ensure American's survival has required a number of very difficult and painful decisions. The most difficult of all has been the need to reduce our workforce across the system, including here in Florida.
The stark reality is that American Airlines is a company in crisis in an industry in crisis. Our recovery will be slow and it will not be accomplished with the federal government assistance we have received or with any of the painful steps we have taken thus far. In fact, the $900 million we will receive from the federal government will not offset the $1 billion in cash that American spent in September alone.
Job reductions are not the only substantive steps American has taken to address the current crisis. We have reduced our schedule by 20%, accelerated the retirement of older, lee efficient aircraft and deferred delivery of new aircraft, sharply reducing capital spending. Operating costs were further cut by closing facilities, trimming food service and aggressively reducing overhead.
We are committed to winning back our customers which in the end will be the key to resolving our financial challenges.
We are also committed to rebuilding our operations in Miami and throughout Florida. In the event the 18-month abatement of the aviation fuel tax is approved, let me assure you that it is our goal to restore our Florida flight schedule to its pre-September 11 level.
These are extraordinary challenging times for American and the rest of the industry but we are resolute in our determination to rebuild our operations as quickly as possible. We need your support.
Peter J. Dolara