American Airlines made a profit in the fourth quarter, a big turnaround from a year ago, as it slashed labor costs and reaped other benefits from its trip to bankruptcy court.
Parent company AMR Corp. said Wednesday that net income was $262 million compared with a loss of $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. Labor was AMR’s second-biggest expense behind only fuel. The company chopped spending on wages and benefits by 13 percent as it eliminated thousands of jobs and reworked its union contracts to cut costs. One-time gains such as an income tax benefit and the settlement of a dispute also helped greatly. Without those, AMR would have lost $88 million. Revenue ticked down to $5.94 billion from $5.96 billion a year earlier.