American Airlines is flying high after reporting fourth quarter earnings and revenues that came in higher than Wall Street estimates. The solid results are more proof that the world’s largest airline has been transformed since its time in bankruptcy court and its 2013 merger with US Airways.
Ahead of that earnings news, CEO Doug Parker told Fortune that the outlook for 2018 “looks really good” thanks to strong demand from business and leisure travelers.
“Continuous demand for air travel looks particularly strong,” he says. “2018 looks like much of the same. Not gangbuster growth by any means, but growth. Nice steady growth.”
Parker says American will also get a big boost from the Trump tax cut because the airline will have “more cash available to invest.” He is planning to buy new airplanes and to do more hiring. He is also giving each American employee $1,000 cash bonuses because of that corporate tax cut.
“Over time we’re certainly big beneficiaries and we think we should share that with our team,” Parker explains. “We think it’s the right thing to do with this kind of, basically, a windfall that the airline wasn’t expecting.”
All of these actions, Parker says will be “better for American Airlines, better for the economy.”
Watch the video above for more of our conversation with Doug Parker.