Airline stocks soar as American, United add back flights

It is among the signs that the slow recovery in air travel will gain speed this summer

Airline stocks took off in Thursday's trading session after American Airlines said it will aggressively add back flights in July.

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It is among the signs that the slow recovery in air travel will gain speed this summer as states re-open their economies.

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United Airlines also announced plans to add back flights, saying it will resume about 130 nonstop routes in July that were suspended when travel collapsed as the coronavirus spread rapidly.

American said it plans to operate 55 percent of the U.S. flights that it ran in July 2019. The airline only operated 20 percent of its schedule in April and May.

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Shares of American Airlines Group rose 41 percent to close at $16.72. That is the stock's biggest one-day percentage gain since the current company was formed by a 2013 merger with US Airways.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.13.03-0.01-0.08%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.34.33-0.07-0.20%
JBLUJETBLUE AIRWAYS10.76-0.06-0.55%

United Airlines closed up 16 percent before it announced its plans to add back some flights. United will still operate only 30 percent of last July's schedule.

In April, restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus caused air travel to plummet to levels not seen since the 1950s.

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Some days, fewer than 100,000 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.