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I’m guessing that one of the things that leaps to mind when you think of American Airlines is the distinctive look of our airplanes: the gleaming metal combined with our signature red, white, and blue stripes. We’re proud of our colors, but we’re also proud that on a select group of American Airlines and American Eagle aircraft, we have added a flash of pink to the mix. Specifically, eight airplanes now sport fuselage-length versions of the iconic pink ribbon of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Komen for the Cure is the world’s premier grassroots network of breast-cancer survivors and activists, and the ribbons on our planes herald a new chapter in AA’s more-than-20-year partnership with Komen devoted to ending breast cancer forever. We are Komen’s official airline and its first-ever Lifetime Promise Partner, having pledged to raise a minimum of $1 million a year for eight years. That money will fund, among other things, a five-year study of inflammatory breast cancer (the most lethal form of the disease) at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Our support of Komen (and other charitable efforts) reflects the compassion of our employees and their determination to make a positive difference in the hundreds of communities we serve around the world. The pink-ribbon decals adorning our aircraft were designed and applied by American Airlines and American Eagle volunteers who donated their time to be part of the fight against breast cancer.

We’re up against a very tough opponent. An estimated one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. And while the number of men affected by the disease is much smaller, thousands of men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year as well. Fortunately, important progress is being made, thanks in large part to Komen. Today, nearly three out of every four American women over age 40 receive regular mammograms. Twenty-five years ago, fewer than one in three received clinical exams. The five-year survival rate for women with breast cancer, when it is caught before it spreads beyond the breast, is 98 percent, up from 74 percent in 1982. And during the last quarter century, the amount of money spent by the U.S. government on breast-cancer research has increased thirtyfold.

The fact that in the United States alone there are 2.3 million breast-cancer survivors illustrates how far we’ve come and, more importantly, how much more we can accomplish if we redouble our efforts. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s gratifying to know that our pink- ribboned planes, which are flying everywhere from the U.S. heartland to the major cities of Europe, Asia, and South America, are drawing attention to this worthy cause.

We’ve made it easy for our customers to get involved too. To make a donation through our Miles for the Cure program, visit www.aa.com/komen. AAdvantage members earn five miles for each dollar donated, with a minimum $25 donation.

Part of the beauty of air travel is that it simultaneously reveals how different and how alike people are all over the world. One of the ways we are all alike is that we love our mothers, sisters, and daughters and want them to be well. Joining the fight against breast cancer by supporting Komen for the Cure is a great way for all of us to affirm this common bond while helping to make a tangible difference in millions of lives.

Thank you for your support of this cause and, as always, for flying American Airlines.

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Gerard J. Arpey
Chairman & CEO
American Airlines