American Airlines CEO: Demand is strong, profits up

FORT WORTH, Texas - The CEO of American Airlines (AAL) says travel demand is strong, explaining why airline profits are up even as fares have fallen because of cheaper jet fuel.

Fuel was Fort Worth-based American's biggest expense, accounting for nearly one-third of all expenses, until oil prices began plunging last year.

CEO Doug Parker said Tuesday if that cost gets cut in half - that's a pretty big chance in your economic model.

Fuel savings at parent American Airlines Group Inc., through the first half of this year, were $2.2 billion, or 40 percent, compared with the same period last year.

That's helped the company earn almost as much in the first six months of this year as it did in all of 2014 despite a modest 3 percent increase in revenue.