In 2013, American Airlines announced it was merging with US Airways, an $11 billion deal that became official in 2015.
Since then, American has enjoyed a reign as the world’s largest airline.
That might be changing.
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According to the Dallas Morning News, American has fallen behind both Delta and United in two key measurements, and its reign as the world’s largest airline may be coming to an end.
American released its second-quarter earnings earlier this week and made a $662 million profit or $1.49 per share. By contrast, United made a $1.1 billion profit on $4.02 a share, and Delta made $1.4 billion and $2.21 a share.
Further, American fell behind United into second place in available seat miles, a measurement of passenger-carrying capacity.
The paper noted it’s the first time American hasn’t ranked first in at least one of those two categories since the merger and attributed it to, in part, the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max airplanes. American utilizes 24 of the Max aircraft in its fleet and expects to lose $400 million this year from the loss of that equipment.
“Our focus is on our strategic objectives and plans for the year and delivering the best experience for our customers and our team members,” American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Koos told the Morning News.
American certainly isn’t collapsing, not with more than half a billion dollars in quarterly profits and not by several other industry measurements, including number of employees, fleet size, daily flights and destinations served.
But both Delta and United are closing the gap.