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AMERICAN AIRLINES BECOMES THE WORLD'S LARGEST CARRIER, ATW SAYS

 WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines now is indisputably the world's largest airline, followed by United and Delta airlines, according to Air Transport World Magazine's 30th World Airline Report. Aeroflot, the USSR carrier which held the number one position for decades, this year slipped to number four with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
 The report also named Singapore Airlines as the world's most profitable airline, with a 1992 operating profit of $611 million and a net profit of $513 million. By far the world's most consistently profitable airline, Singapore Airlines' operating profit for the pastfour years is $2.75 billion.
 The world airline industry in 1992 continued to suffer through its third year of deep recession, costing it more than $10 billion in net losses over that period. U.S. airlines are the biggest losers, and many European carriers suffered heavy losses. Profits from Asian/Pacific carriers continued, though somewhat reduced.
 The good news for 1992 was an airline traffic recovery from the decline that began with the Gulf War. Last year the number of passengers carried increased 6 percent over 1991, and revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 7 percent, ATW said. An RPK is one paying passenger carried one kilometer. However, too many seats in too many airplanes kept airlines from profiting from the traffic increase as the fight to sell excess capacity kept fares down.
 American Airlines' winning the title "world's biggest" is a bittersweet triumph. Despite carrying the largest number of passengers, flying the largest number of RPKs, having the most aircraft and the largest workforce, the airline last year suffered a $935 million net loss. Stung by this second consecutive year of losses, and convinced that the industry will be slow to recover, American is reducing its capacity, laying off personnel and is considering revolutionary cost cuts.
 American's target in reducing its costs is competition with Southwest Airlines, the only profitable major U.S. carrier. Southwest's unique operating style, low costs and low fares make it a threat to larger U.S. carriers.
 American, Singapore and Southwest are but three of the 500 airlines detailed in ATW's World Airline Report.
 -0- 6/1/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on the report and a complete listing of the world's top 25 airlines, contact ATW editor J. A. Donoghue at 1-202-659-8500; or fax at 1-202-659-1554/
 /CONTACT: J. A. Donoghue, editor, Air Transport World Magazine, 202-659-8500/


CO: Air Transport World Magazine ST: Washington, D.C. IN: PUB AIR SU:

BM -- CL002 -- 3742 06/01/93 07:34 EDT
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Date:Jun 1, 1993
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