American Airlines hikes 3Q revenue forecast on strong summer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines said Tuesday that its revenue rose faster than expected over much of the summer, but costs also increased sharply.

The airline said third-quarter revenue rose about 13% over the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, compared with its previous forecast of a 10% to 12% gain.

Airlines have benefited from strong demand and fewer flights than before the pandemic, which is causing average fares to rise. American said passenger-carrying capacity in the third quarter was 9.6% lower than the same period in 2019.

Even with higher costs, Texas-based American said its third-quarter pretax margin was roughly 4.5%, up from its previous prediction of 2% to 4%.

Cowen airline analyst Helane Becker said American’s outlook was encouraging for other large carriers and that American, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines “have the best potential for a positive surprise” during this month’s round of financial reports.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. were down 1% in late-morning trading, slightly less than the decline in other leading U.S. airline stocks.

American is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 20.

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