American Airlines reported its first profitable quarter since Covid-19 broke out on Thursday and said current booking trends will lift travel volumes closer to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.
The big US carrier became the latest airline to report a steep jump in second-quarter revenue as wide deployment of coronavirus vaccines boosted travel.
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American had 44 million passenger trips in the period, more than five times the level in the 2020 period.
“Simply put, people are ready to travel again,” Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a note to employees. “The green flag has dropped, and we are well on our way toward recovery.”
The company reported $19 million in profits during the quarter, compared with a loss of $2.1 billion in the year-ago period. Revenues were $7.5 billion, nearly five times the level in the year-ago period.
Results were boosted by $1.4 billion in US funds to keep airline employees on payroll. Rival Delta Air Lines also reported a profit during the period based on similar factors.
US airlines have seen strong demand for domestic leisure travel and strengthening indications of a recovery in business travel. But international travel levels remain depressed, in part due to continued restrictions.
European citizens still face a US travel ban as Washington has not reciprocated measures in European countries that allow vaccinated Americans to travel.
Based on current booking trends, American expects third-quarter revenues to be down around 20 percent compared to the equivalent period in 2019.
Shares fell 1.5 percent to $21.08 in pre-market trading.