(Reuters) - American Airlines parent AMR Corp
The carrier, which is looking to emerge from Chapter 11 protection by merging with US Airways Group Inc
Excluding restructuring costs and special items, profit was $530 million, the highest quarterly earnings in company history, AMR Chairman Tom Horton said in a statement.
The U.S. Justice Department sued to block the merger with US Airways in August, and a federal trial in the case is set to begin next month.
American, which would become the world's biggest carrier should the merger be completed, has renegotiated plane leases, cut management and frozen pension plans to lower costs since filing for bankruptcy in November 2011. New labor contracts with unions have also made it more cost-competitive.
Quarterly revenue rose 6 percent to $6.8 billion. Passenger revenue per available seat mile, or unit revenue, rose 3.4 percent. Operating costs fell about 4 percent, as expenses tied to salaries fell 13 percent.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)