Fuel costs have certainly affected the average American. It is possible that these added costs might have an even bigger effect on another American (as in, the airline). Industry-wide losses for airlines are blamed on fuel cost too. And AA is no exception.
While I was on a American Airlines flight, recently, I overheard two flight attendants talking. The topic was that they were worried that AA was going to get bought by Virgin. Of course, US airlines can't be purchased by foreign concerns. However, they meant Virgin America. At first, I didn't think much about it.
They noted that some very senior AA alumns had high positions there. And that rumors were that the first condition of the purported deal was that Virgin didn't want American Eagle (which is now being shopped).
While I certainly have no inside information, or positions in any of these companies, I thought it was worth mentioning.
AMR, American's parent company, recently said they are not in danger of bankruptcy. However, the airline industry is certainly hurting.
For some additional context, here is an article that describes the current state of affairs and where Virgin's chief sees more industry failures coming. Also, here is a recent BusinessWeek interview with AA's ex-head Robert Crandall.
Something to keep an eye on …