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American Airlines raises $2.9bn to ride out storm

AMERICAN AIRLINES&rsquo; (AA) parent company AMR has raised $2.9bn (&pound;.bn) as it struggles to weather the financial storm.<br /><br />The fundraising, which comes as part of an arrangement with General Electric and Citigroup, is intended to help the carrier cope with a fall off in demand for air travel.<br /><br />The company said $1bn of the figure had come from advance sales of frequent flyer miles to Citigroup, while the remaining cash was raised via a sale and a leaseback arrangement with the aviation division of General Electric. <br /><br />Citi rewards customers for making purchases with the bank&rsquo;s AAdvantage cards by giving them air miles.<br /><br />&ldquo;Today&rsquo;s announcement positions our company well to face today&rsquo;s industry challenges and allows us to remain focused on returning to profitability,&rdquo; Gerard Arpey, American&rsquo;s chief executive, said.