American Airlines said Monday it expects to fly most of its fleet in the coming months, thanks to strong domestic and short-haul international bookings as infection rates and hospitalizations from COVID-19 decline and more people receive vaccinations.
American said that as of March 26, average bookings for the next seven days had reached 90% of the levels experienced in 2019, before the pandemic changed air travel, with a domestic load factor of approximately 80%, Reuters reviewed.
“The company currently 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.
U.S. airline stocks, which grounded hundreds of planes when demand plummeted in 2020, rose this year amid hopes of recovery.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened 1.57 million passengers on Sunday, the highest number since March 2020.
Following a surge in travel demand so far this year, American said it expects capacity on its system to be down 40% to 45% in the first quarter through March 31 compared with the same period in 2019, compared with a previous projection of 45%.
By Tracy Rucinski; Edited in Spanish by Juana Casas