American and Southwest Plan To Increase Flying During Peak Spring and Summer Months

Steve Lagreca /

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines released their first-quarter financial results on Thursday. While Southwest saw a profit, American Airlines experienced its fifth consecutive quarterly loss. Despite both carriers being down over 50% year-over-year, the airlines have noticed an increase in travel bookings and plan to increase flying into the spring and summer months, reports CNBC. 

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“We see signs of continued recovery in demand. We remain confident the network enhancements, customer-focused improvements and efficiency measures we’ve put into place will ensure American is well-positioned for the recovery,” said American’s chairman and CEO Doug Parker in a statement released Thursday. 

Gary C. Kelly, chairman of the board and CEO of Southwest Airlines stated in a company report that in 2020, the carrier experienced its first annual net loss since 1972. Annual operating revenues for the year fell by 60% year-over-year with April of 2020 experiencing the largest monthly decline of 92% compared to the year before. 

American Airlines’ first-quarter revenue was $4 billion, down 53% from a year ago. Southwest Airlines had a net income of $116 million from the first quarter, up from a net loss of $908 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to CNBC, American’s shares were up more than 3% premarket and Southwest’s were more than 2% higher. 

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As reported by CNBC, Parker stated that business travel demand is beginning to show signs of improvement; however, it’s still below pre-pandemic levels. In a note to employees, Parker and president Robert Isom said that due to vaccination efforts and an increase in travel demands, there’s no doubt that the pace of recovery is beginning to accelerate.

Looking forward, American expects second-quarter capacity to be down 20% to 25% compared to the second quarter of 2019, while Southwest stated it will fly slightly less in June than the same month two years ago and 15% less in the second quarter compared to 2019, as reported by CNBC.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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