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American Air Pegs Quarterly Loss Up to $1.3B, Revenue Down 62%

American Airlines expects to post a first-quarter net loss of $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion on 62% lower revenue.
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American Airlines  (AAL) - Get American Airlines Group Inc. Report said Tuesday that it expected a first-quarter 2021 net loss of roughly $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion on 62% lower revenue as the carrier contended with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares of the Fort Worth, Texas, company at last check were down 2.9% to $22.25.

American also said it expected to end the first quarter with about $17.3 billion of available liquidity.

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In addition, the company estimated its average cash burn rate in the quarter was $27 million a day. That includes roughly $9 million a day of payments for principal on debt and for and cash severance. 

American had previously forecast first-quarter cash burn of about $30 million a day.

For March, the company’s estimated average cash burn rate was about $4 million a day. Excluding about $8 million a day of regular debt-principal and cash-severance payments it made, American's cash burn rate turned positive in March.

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During the first quarter, the airline flew 37.8 billion total available seat miles, which refers to how many seat miles are available for purchase. That's down 43% from the year-earlier quarter.

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American said it and Boeing  (BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report reached an agreement under which the carrier would defer and convert five 787-8 aircraft to 787-9 aircraft. These deliveries are now expected in 2023 and will retain their current financing.

The remaining 14 deliveries of 787-8 aircraft have been rescheduled to occur by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

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American said exercised its remaining deferral rights on 18 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft previously scheduled to be delivered in 2021 and 2022. These 18 aircraft are now set for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

Boeing recently advised customers to address a potential electrical issue found within a specific group of 737 MAX aircraft.

The FAA cleared the return to service of the 737 MAX in early December. That followed a 20-month grounding triggered by fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 347 people.

Last month American Airlines released strong figures for net bookings and domestic load, indicating some recovery from the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control recently issued new guidelines that gave the green light for fully vaccinated travelers to fly without quarantine.

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