American Airlines CFO on fixing balance sheet after pandemic

This image provided by American Airlines, shows Derek Kerr, chief financial officer of American Airlines. Kerr might have the hardest job in the airline business. He's the chief financial officer of American Airlines, and that means it's his job to fix a balance sheet that has been battered by borrowing money so American could survive the pandemic. (American Airlines via AP)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Derek Kerr might have the hardest job in the airline business.

Kerr is the chief financial officer of American Airlines, and his task is to fix a balance sheet that has been battered by borrowing needed to survive the pandemic.

American has the most debt among all U.S. airlines, more than $36 billion. The airline is trying to fly through a bumpy recovery in travel during which revenue is rising but so are costs like fuel and labor.

Kerr spoke recently to The Associated Press. The answers have been edited for length.

Q. American is coming off its first profitable quarter, excluding government aid, since the pandemic started. Planes are packed. What's going to happen to revenue after Labor Day, when leisure travel slows down?

A.