By Jack Jarzynka 01/22/2022 596 views

The parent company of American Airlines, American Airlines Group (AAG) released their 2021 financial results on January 20th, revealing a total net loss of $2 billion for the year. American Airlines is the largest airline in the world by fleet size and passengers carried. While a $2 billion loss is not great for the airline, it is still much better compared with the $8.9 billion net loss reported in 2020. Although COVID-19 continues to negatively impact the airline industry, airlines have been recovering at a rapid rate since the start of 2021. 


Photo of N773AN - American Airlines Boeing 777-200 at LAX
American Airlines had a $2 billion loss in 2021. Photo: Winston Shek


AAG’s total operating revenue for 2021 was $29.9 billion. Passenger revenue made up $26.1 billion, cargo revenue made up $1.3 billion, and other revenue made up $2.5 billion of their total operating revenue. Cargo revenue almost doubled over the past year as AAG reported $769 million in cargo revenue in 2020. This increase shows the extreme growth in the air cargo industry since the pandemic started. Passenger revenue is up by $11.6 billion compared to 2020 highlighting the recovery and return of normal passenger service. 


In terms of expenses, operating expenses totaled $30.9 billion with staffing and fuel costs making up the bulk of expenses. AAG reported staffing costs of $11.8 billion and fuel costs of $6.8 billion. Other expenses included maintenance, regional, rental facilities, aircraft leasing, crew accommodations, and catering. 


Photo of N915NN - American Airlines Boeing 737-800 at BOS
The airline reported increased revenue in 2021. Photo: Tighe Donovan


AAG’s 2021 financial statement is indicative of a fast recovery despite high COVID-19 levels in the United States. American Airlines is on the road back to profitability while maintaining its status as the world’s largest airline.


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