By now, this was probably inevitable.
I believe this story is one of immense accomplishment and achievement that AMR and American have been able to remain solvent as long as they have. It is, among many other things, a story of management mistakes, shortcomings and missed opportunities, labor intransigence, and ultimately moral hazard: when every one of AMR's competitors has derived a competitive advantage, in the long run, in a business as competitive as the airline industry, AMR had no choice but to follow suit.
Assuming that AMR is able to survive Chapter 11, which I believe is highly likely, it will be interesting to see what emerges from the process.
I suspect AMR will use the bankruptcy process just as its competitors have done: to eviscerate the union contracts, freeze and or dump pensions and retiree benefits, extract concessions from suppliers and vendors, reject obsolete equipment and facility leases, and build a leaner competitor. I do not anticipate AMR altogether dumping any of its hubs, despite the predictions of some, nor do I personally expect any dramatic changes to AMR's broader network of alliances, short of Eagle, which post-bankruptcy and post-SCOPE is probably going to be getting a lot larger (both in terms of network and aircraft size) - just as has happened with the regionals at AA
's post-bankruptcy competitors. Some say a merger is in the cards - either with USAirways or JetBlue. Maybe, maybe not. I suppose only time will tell. I hope AA
uses its new competitiveness post-bankruptcy to invest in its fleet (and not just new planes, but refurbishing old ones), just as its competitors - especially Delta - are doing.
I do find it notable that AMR doesn't anticipate DIP financing, and will instead use internal cash on hand. That is pretty novel - I don't think any of AMR's competitors did that in the 2002-2005 range. Will be interesting to see how that may alter the course of the bankruptcy proceedings.
So of course now the question becomes what happens next. Let the speculation begin (or continue, here on A.net) ...