Inside The $2.5 Trillion Debt Binge That Has Taken S&P 500 Titans Including Boeing And AT&T From Blue Chips To Near Junk

1

When chief executive Doug Parker took the pilot’s seat at American Airlines in December 2013, it seemed as though clear skies were ahead. His U.S. Airways had finally bagged a major partner by agreeing to combine with bankrupt American. The new company would emerge with modest debt as the nation’s largest airline, with only three domestic carriers left among its global competitors.

The financial crisis was well in the past, the economy was humming and travel seemed to be entering a new golden age. Carriers like American had mastered the science of dynamic fare pricing, and now nearly every seat on every flight was full, maximizing revenue and efficiency. Hailing the arrival of a “new American” by early 2014, Parker was eager to please Wall Street. “I assure you that everything we’re doing is focused on maximizing value for our shareholders,” he said on a call with investors.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.