AMR Corp , parent of American Airlines, posted a bigger first-quarter loss on Wednesday, saying the weak economy and rising fuel prices represented an obstacle to recovery.

The second-largest U.S. airline said the loss widened to $505 million, or $1.52 per share, from $375 million, or $1.35 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a special item related to the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency in January, AMR lost $1.36 per share.

As we move forward, we remain focused on continuing to bolster our domestic and international networks, managing our costs, and finding ways to generate additional revenue, Chief Executive Officer Gerard Arpey said in a statement.

The company posted operating revenue of $5.1 billion for the quarter, a 4.7 percent rise from a year earlier. AMR ended the quarter with $5 billion in cash.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)