CHICAGO (Reuters) – American Airlines Group Inc became the latest carrier on Thursday to offer an upbeat outlook on bookings, saying rebounding passenger numbers would help it return to profit in the current quarter.
Shares in the Texas-based carrier, the United States’ biggest airline in terms of seat capacity, soared nearly 11% in pre-market trade as it also said rising travel demand had translated into “record” sales in March and drove up its monthly revenue above 2019 levels for the first time.
“The demand environment is very strong,” Chief Executive Robert Isom said in a statement.
After a setback caused by the Omicron-driven surge in COVID-19 cases early in the year, travel demand has surged back. U.S. passenger traffic has been averaging about 89% of pre-pandemic levels since mid-February, according to Transportation Security Administration data.
American’s shares were up 10.7% at $21.57 in pre-market trade. They had fallen about 35% between mid-February 2020 and Wednesday’s close.
Rivals United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are also expecting a profit in the second quarter on the back of what they said was the strongest travel demand in years.
Robust bookings also helped American Airlines report a smaller-than-expected adjusted loss of $2.32 per share in the quarter through March. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 2.40 per share, according to Refinitiv.
Revenue for the quarter came in at $8.9 billion, higher than Wall Street estimates of $8.8 billion.
(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago and Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Susan Fenton)