In a note Tuesday morning, Senior Vice President David Seymour congratulated employees on the airline’s “best-ever performance for both the holiday peak travel period and the entire fourth quarter of 2019.”
Peak holiday (December 18 – January 6):
- “D0” 64.35
- On-time arrivals (A-14) 78.4%
- Completion factor 99%
He called the fourth quarter of 2019 American’s “strongest operational quarter on record” with “highest or second-highest results across the board for a quarter for combined mainline and regional CF, turn performance (T-0) and A-14.”
American had 15 days during the year with no mainline flight cancellations. Eight of those days were in December, including December 30 and 31. Six of the 15 days took place during peak Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods.
Seymour attributed much of this to an end to the mechanics’ work slowdown, though not in so many words. The airline argued much of its summer problems stemmed from beginning each day with far more planes out of service than usual. That’s no longer the case,
Having fewer aircraft out of service after the challenges of this past summer was a driving factor in our improved performance. With more serviceable aircraft at the start of and throughout the operating day, more flights departed and arrived on time, fewer flights were cancelled and there were fewer disruptions to our customers’ travels. On Dec. 24, we marked our lowest number of aircraft out of service (AOS) at the start of the day since the merger — only 13 — and December was our best-ever performance month in terms of AOS.
American still hasn’t come to terms on a new contract with its mechanics, though negotiations resume next week. They’re now negotiating with flight attendants and pilots as well, so all of their three largest labor groups present risk to the carrier. However a strong court ruling against mechanics seemed to get them back to work, and may help prevent job actions from other work groups as well.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results, as they say. And American’s performance hasn’t been industry-leading. But hopefully they’re past where you needed to actively avoid flying them, as was the case last summer.