American Airlines loss narrows as travel demand picks up

Demand for air travel is expected to pick up as more people receive vaccines

  
American Airlines flight 718, the first U.S. Boeing 737 MAX commercial flight since regulators lifted a 20-month grounding in November, lands at LaGuardia airport in New York, U.S. December 29, 2020.

American Airlines flight 718, the first U.S. Boeing 737 MAX commercial flight since regulators lifted a 20-month grounding in November, lands at LaGuardia airport in New York, U.S. December 29, 2020.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

American Airlines Group Inc reported a smaller quarterly loss on Thursday as rising vaccination rates prompted more people to opt for air travel.

Shares of the airline rose 3.2% to $21.66 in premarket trade as it said it reduced its cash burn rate to about $27 million a day in the first quarter, compared with $30 million in the previous quarter.

Demand for air travel is expected to pick up as more people receive vaccines, leading to a drop in COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations.

"Looking forward, with the momentum underway from the first quarter, we see signs of continued recovery in demand," Chief Executive Officer Dough Parker said in a statement.

The company posted a net loss of $1.25 billion, or $1.97 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $2.24 billion, or $5.26 per share, a year earlier. 

On an adjusted basis, the company lost $4.32 per share.

Total operating revenue fell 52.9% to $4.01 billion.

American Airlines ended the quarter with about $17.3 billion in available liquidity.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Aditya Soni) ((SanjanaSitara.Shivdas@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1642; Twitter: @SanjanaShivdas;))

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