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American Air Sees Bookings Strong Into the Second Quarter

American’s Air's seven-day moving average of net bookings is about 90% of 2019’s level, with an 80% domestic load factor.
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American Airlines  (AAL)  shares rose on Monday after the giant airline released strong figures for recent net bookings and domestic load, indicating some recovery from the pandemic.

As of last Friday, the company’s seven day moving average of net bookings totaled about 90% of 2019’s level, with a domestic load factor -- the percentage of seats filled -- at about 80%.

“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 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

“However, investors are cautioned that visibility regarding forward bookings remains limited.” 

In addition, American expects its first-quarter system capacity -- the total available seat miles -- to be about 40% to 45% below first-quarter 2019, it said.

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“This compares to the company’s previous guidance of down 45% versus the first quarter 2019.”

American also said it expects to reactivate “most of its aircraft in the second quarter to meet anticipated levels of demand.”

The Fort Worth, Texas, carrier's recently traded at $23.20, up 1.2%. It jumped 80% in the six months through Friday as investors were optimistic about the distribution of COVID vaccines and the potential that the economy would recover from the pandemic.

A report earlier this month said the carrier was issuing $10 billion of debt, using its loyalty-miles program as collateral. The move would be the biggest-ever borrowing by an airline, Bloomberg News reports.

Last month, Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Linenberg upgraded American and several other carriers to buy from hold, saying the sector was "back on track." 

He boosted his share-price target for American to $23 from $20.