Here’s more good news for airlines taking flight after a year of pandemic losses: American Airlines anticipates that most of its aircraft will be in active use in the second quarter of 2021, as more travelers book flights and vaccine eligibility expands across the country, the airline said Monday.
The Fort Worth-based carrier estimates its capacity of total available seat miles will be down 40% to 45% compared with the first quarter of 2019. To compare, total available seat miles were previously down 45%.
“Due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order to require a negative COVID-19 test for entry into the U.S. at the beginning of 2021, the Company experienced softness in its bookings at the beginning of the first quarter. However, as infection and hospitalization rates have materially declined and vaccine distribution has increased during the quarter, the Company has experienced recent strength in domestic and short-haul international bookings,” American Airlines said in a regulatory filing Monday.
|AAL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC.||22.03||-0.10||-0.45%|
As of Monday, American Airlines said its seven-day moving average of net bookings is 90% of its 2019 average, with a domestic load factor of 80% during the same time period, according to the filing. The airline is confident that bookings will continue through the end of the first quarter and into the second.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker earlier this month canceled employee furloughs for 13,000 workers following the passing of COVID-19 relief to provide employees with benefits. United Airlines also lifted its furloughs for 14,000 employees slated to go into effect in April.
Peter Aitken contributed to this report.