Retired American Airlines CEO Doug Parker is replaced by Robert Isom

Retired American Airlines CEO Doug Parker is replaced by Robert Isom

Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines Group, Inc., will step down on March 31, the company said on Tuesday, pushing its shares up 2% in morning trading.

After taking over as CEO, Isom will join the airline’s board of directors.

Since taking office as president in 2016, Isom has managed all aspects of the airline’s operations, including planning, marketing and pricing.

The Omicron variety of coronavirus poses operational hurdles, but the industry has recovered from pandemic lows.

In order to redress the American balance sheet, Isom must face the highest debt in the airline sector, left by the epidemic. In addition, he will have to work on improving relations with the company’s unions.

According to Isom in a recent interview, American will focus on getting back to profitability as quickly as possible and providing consistent service. He also plans to pay off a large portion of his debts.

We will focus on ensuring that we have the right leverage, ”Isom said.

However, a full rebound in travel demand is needed before a return to profitability can be achieved. Isom said that while domestic business remained strong, new travel restrictions following the discovery of the Omicron version had impacted demand in some international markets.

“If there is anything, it just delays the recovery,” he explained.

Before and throughout the pandemic, Isom, 58, played a central role in shaping US strategy.

According to Jefferies analysts, the company’s fleet renewal and alliance strategy would not be affected by the new CEO’s experience and track record.

Given Mr. Isom’s long relationship with Mr. Parker, this transfer was probably in place for a long time, ”they said in a memo.

Thoughtful and well thought out ESTATE

A “thoughtful and well-planned multi-year process” led to the promotion of Isom to president in 2016, according to a letter from Parker to the workers.

Parker, 60, believes the transition could have happened sooner had the airline industry not been crippled by the pandemic.

The recovery from the pandemic is on track, he said, and “now is the right time to make the transition.”

Parker, one of the airline industry’s longest-serving CEOs, has a reputation for overseeing industry mergers and crisis management.

Before the terrorist events of September 11, he was in charge of America West Airlines. In 2005 America West merged with US Airways and Parker remained CEO of the combined company.

After the merger of American Airlines and US Airways in 2013, he was appointed president and CEO of the airline.

James V. Hayes