Reporting a startling net loss of $328 million for the first quarter, American Airlines said today that it was planning additional cuts in domestic seating capacity as it concentrates on its more profitable international routes.
American said it now expects that domestic capacity for all of 2008 to be 3.6 percent below the 2007 level, and international capacity to be 2.5 percent higher.
The sharpest cutbacks in domestic capacity will occur in the fall. In the fourth quarter, American said today, there will be 4.6 percent fewer seats on its lanes than there were in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The new capacity-reductions are a change from American's previous forecast. In February, American had said it expected domestic capacity to be down only 1.1 percent for the year.
Domestic load factor, the percentage of available seats occupied by paying customers, was a record 80.1 percent in the first quarter, American said. At over 80 percent, it's generally considered that most flights are taking off completely full.
Again, the only advice I have is: Plan ahead. Anticipate problems and delays. Always look on the bright side of life, ta-da, ta-da.