American Airlines is the largest airline in the world in terms of total passengers transported, and the second-largest airline in the world (behind Air France-KLM) in terms of total operating revenues. A subsidiary of the AMR Corporation, the airline is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, adjacent to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American operates scheduled flights throughout the United States, as well as flights to Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Japan and India. The chairman and CEO of AA is Gerard Arpey. In 2005 the airline netted over 98 million RPMs.
As of February 2006, American serves 171 cities with a fleet of 707 aircraft. American carries more passengers between the US and Latin America (12.1 million in 2004) than any other airline, and is also strong in the transcontinental market.
American has five hubs: Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O'Hare, Miami, St. Louis, and San Juan. Dallas/Fort Worth is the airline's largest hub, with AA operating over 84 percent of flights at the airport and traveling to more destinations than from any of its other hubs. Los Angeles International Airport and New York City-JFK serve as a focus cities and international gateways. American operates maintenance bases at Tulsa, Kansas City, and Fort Worth Alliance.
American Eagle Airlines is an airline based in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. It is a regional airline partner of American Airlines (both are wholly owned by AMR Corporation).
American is a founding member of the oneworld airline alliance.
American Airlines developed from a conglomeration of about 82 small airlines through a series of corporate acquisitions and reorganizations: initially, the name American Airways was used as a common brand by a number of independent air carriers. These included Southern Air Transport in Texas, Southern Air Fast Express (SAFE) in the western US, Universal Aviation in the Midwest (which operated a transcontinental air/rail route in 1929), and Colonial Air Transport in the Northeast.
On January 25, 1930, American Airways was incorporated as a single company, with routes from Boston, New York and Chicago, Illinois to Dallas, and a transcontinental route from Dallas to Los Angeles. The airline operated its routes with all-metal Fokker Trimotors and Ford Trimotors. In 1934 American began flying Curtiss Condor biplanes fitted with sleeping berths.
American changed its routing to a hub-and-spoke system starting in 1981, opening its first hubs at DFW and Chicago O'Hare. American began flights to Europe and Japan from these hubs in the mid-1980s.
In the late 1980s, American opened three new hubs for north-south traffic. San Jose International Airport was added as a hub after American purchased Air California. American also built a new terminal and runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport to take advantage of the rapidly-growing Research Triangle Park nearby, as well as compete with USAir's hub in Charlotte. Nashville was also chosen as a hub.
Lower fuel prices in the era and a favorable management climate at the time led to higher than average airline industry profits that were not necessarily shared by non-stockholding employees. The industry's expansion was not lost on the American Airline's existing employees who on February 17, 1997 struck for higher wages. President Bill Clinton invoked the Taft-Hartley Amendment to the Wagner Act citing economic impact to the United States a few minutes later quashing the strike. Pilots settled for substantially lower wage increases than their demands as a result.
The three new hubs were all abandoned in the 1990s: San Jose was sold to Reno Air, and RDU to Midway Airlines. Midway went out of business in 2001. American purchased Reno Air in February 1999 and fully integrated its operations on 31 August 1999, but did not resume hub operations in San Jose.
Miami also became a hub after American bought Central and South American routes from Eastern Airlines in 1990. Through the 1990s, American expanded its route network in Latin America to become the dominant U.S. carrier in the region.
On 15 October 1998 American Airlines became the first airline to offer electronic ticketing in all 44 countries it serves
American Airlines has begun to expand its network internationally, especially Asia. Major hubs such as Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport are constantly introduced to new destinations.
On November 1, 2005, American Airlines re-introduced a non-stop flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Osaka Kansai, Japan. This flight was initially discontinued after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
On November 15, 2005, American Airlines operated its first nonstop flight to India from United States. Service was flown from Chicago (O'Hare International Airport) to Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport) becoming the second US carrier (after Continental) to serve India nonstop. It was their longest nonstop flight at the time of introduction.
Nonstop services from Chicago O'Hare to Shanghai (Shanghai Pudong International Airport), China were launched on April 2, 2006 becoming the third US carrier (after Continental and United) to serve Mainland China nonstop and the second US carrier (after United) to serve Shanghai nonstop.
On December 13, 2005, American announced that it will begin services at Love Field in Dallas, Texas, in competition with Southwest Airlines. American will offer mainline flights from Love to St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as commuter flights to Austin and San Antonio, beginning in March 2006.
Service to Pittsburgh International Airport was added from LaGuardia Airport on April 3, 2006.