updated 9/23/2004 10:13:47 AM ET 2004-09-23T14:13:47

The parent company of American Airlines, facing intense competition from low-cost-carriers and higher jet fuel costs, is hoping to refinance or replace an $834 million credit line, according to a newspaper report.

Officials of AMR Corp. said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday that the airline needs additional relief since August revenues fell short of expectations.

With Fort Worth, Texas-based American's total debt load exceeding $22 billion including aircraft leases, the carrier needs to increase profit to service that debt, according to The Dallas Morning News' Thursday editions.

AMR's cash balance of $3.6 billion meets the minimum required under its existing credit line, the airline said. But its financial results won't meet a provision in its loan agreement regarding the ratio of its pretax earnings to debt payments.

AMR now wants to refinance or replace the loan.

Finances for AMR, which avoided bankruptcy last spring and reduced its annual costs by $4 billion, remain fragile. In the filing, the company said September revenue will be hurt even more by the series of strong storms that hit Florida and the Gulf Coast.

American, in response to high fuel prices, raised its fares $5 each way on Wednesday in another attempt to pass costs along to travelers. But major carriers' earlier attempts to raise fares have failed. Other carriers are still considering matching the latest increase.

Gerard J. Arpey, chairman and chief executive of both American and parent AMR, was scheduled to address analysts Thursday in New York.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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