"Morality," "ethics" and "probity" are words that come up often when analysts discuss the management of American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey. Alone among the majors, Arpey managed to keep his airline out of bankruptcy, even though that has led to some of the highest costs in the industry. "They are trying to do the right thing, and they don't get much credit for that," says aviation consultant George Hamlin. "Maybe the world works in a way now that virtue is not rewarded anymore." But Arpey, who has spent his entire professional career at American, believes that doing the right thing will pay off in the long run. "We take a long-term view," he says. "We presume that we'll still be running the company a long time from now and the shareholders with us now will be with us then, and the shareholders will judge (what) we've done for the company and the other constituents."

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