FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – American Airlines says its gaining financial altitude.

Despite recent negative headlines involving loose seats, flight delays and cancellations, the Fort Worth-based carrier says it made a $110 million profit in the third quarter.

The airline filled more than 85 percent of its seats, a record.

American’s spokesman Bruce Hicks says, “It definitely means our plan is working and employees throughout the company have contributed to the success of American during the restructuring. It is working. It’s working well.”

American says it is making money through its strategy of emphasizing DFW and four other key hubs.

Tom Parsons of says he’s impressed by American’s staying power. “That’s very good news for American that they can put 85 percent on – especially with all the bad press they’ve been getting with the seats and pilots.”

Even though the airline’s operation made money during the third quarter, the very steep costs related to the bankruptcy dragged down American, causing it to lose $238 million during that same period.

But the airline says it’s heading into the right direction.

It announced it will hire 1500 new flight attendants over the next years after several higher paid, senior flight attendants took retirement buyouts.

Leslie Mayo of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants says, “That’s great news. We haven’t seen a new hire since 2001 so it’s very exciting for us.”

Despite the good news, the flight attendant’s union criticizes American’s management and still favors a merger with US Airways — before American leaves bankruptcy.

Mayo says, “We want a merger with US Airways and we want their management team. I don’t think there’s any question that this management team has performed up to par.”

Mayo says the union has collected more than 4,400 signatures urging American to merge with US Air quickly.

American is also back at the bargaining table with its pilots union to reach a deal on a new contract.

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