REUTERS: American Airlines said on Monday (Mar 29) it expects to fly most of its fleet in the coming months thanks to strong domestic and short-haul international bookings as COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations decline and more people receive vaccines.
American said that as of Mar 26, average bookings for the next seven days had reached 90per cent of levels experienced before the pandemic upended air travel in 2019, with a domestic load factor of about 80per cent.
"The Company presently expects this strength in bookings to continue through the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter," it said in a regulatory filing.
Shares in US airlines, which parked hundreds of jets as demand plummeted last year, have climbed this year amid hopes for a recovery.
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened 1.57 million passengers on Sunday, the highest number since March 2020.
Following the increase in travel demand so far this year, American said it expects its system capacity to be down between 40 per cent and 45 per cent in the first quarter to Mar 31 versus the same period in 2019, compared to its previous guidance for a 45 per cent decline.