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Sunday, December 4, 2022
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American Airlines CEO Doug Parker Retiring After 20 Years

Business, Featured

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker during a press conference. | Image by Scott Olson, Getty Images

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A change of leadership is coming to the world’s largest airline. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker has announced that he will retire as chief executive officer on March 31, 2022. Robert Isom, the current president of American Airlines, will take his place on this day.

“I have worked with Robert for two decades, and I am incredibly pleased that he will be the next CEO of American Airlines, which is truly the best job in our industry,” said Parker. “Robert is a collaborative leader with deep operational expertise and global industry experience. His efforts to guide and support our team throughout the pandemic have been nothing short of phenomenal. We are well-positioned to take full advantage of our industry’s recovery, and now is the right time for a handoff we have planned and prepared for. I feel extremely fortunate to hand the reins to this clear and capable leader.”

Doug Parker is leaving behind big shoes to fill as an industry leader. Parker started his job as CEO of America West Airlines on September 10, 2001, the day before the terrorist attack that would change the airline industry forever. He has pushed the company through the industry’s most challenging period until the pandemic arrived in 2020.

Parker advocated buying US Air and American, two larger airlines at the time when both were in bankruptcy. Over the last twenty years, ten major U.S. airlines have dwindled to only four: American, United, Delta, and Southwest. American alone is responsible for 23% of the miles flown on US airlines. After twenty years of hard work and dedication to American Airlines, Doug Parker will be retiring.

Robert Isom was named president of the company in 2016 and is bringing more than thirty years of leadership and global industry experience, including expertise in marketing, finance, operations, planning, sales, alliances, pricing, and revenue management.

“I am humbled to serve as CEO of American Airlines,” Isom said. “Over the past several years, our airlines and our industry have gone through a period of transformative change. And with change comes opportunity. Today, our more than 130,000 dedicated team members fly more people than any other US airline on the youngest fleet of all the network carriers, and we are positioned to continue to lead the industry as travel rebounds.”

American is the second-largest airline in North Texas and is working to bring more staff in as travel slowly increases. Isom says that he is excited for the airline going forward, despite the losses and mounting debt from the pandemic’s beginning.

“It’s going to depend on demand coming back,” said Isom when asked about when profitability would occur. “What I do see is that when demand comes back, American is going to do very well.”

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