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American Airlines Posts $2.4 Billion Q3 Loss As Revenues Plunge

American Airlines said its cash burn rate should continue to improve in the current quarter, but plans to raise another $1 billion to bolster its balance sheet as pandemic travel restrictions continue to hammer revenues.

American Airlines  (AAL)  posted its third consecutive quarterly loss Thursday as it followed rival carriers in reporting slumping revenues amid ongoing travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic. 

American said its loss for the three months ending in September was pegged at $2.4 billion, or $4.71 per share, as revenues plunged 73% from last year to $3.2 billion. The group's cash burn rate, however, improved to around $44 million per day, from a $58 million figure in the second quarter, allowing it to end the period with around $13.6 billion in total liquidity.

The biggest U.S. carrier said that cash burn rate will decline again in the current quarter, to between $25 million and $30 million per day, and added it will raise around $1 billion in group equity in order to bolster its balance sheet.

“During the third quarter, we took action to reduce our costs, strengthen our financial position, and ensure our customers return to travel with confidence,” said CEO Doug Parker. “The American Airlines team is doing a remarkable job taking care of our customers and each other during the most challenging time in our industry’s history.

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“We have a long road ahead and our team remains fully engaged and focused not just on managing through the pandemic, but on making sure we are prepared for when demand returns," he added. "We are confident that the continued efforts of our team and the actions we have taken will drive customer confidence and strengthen our company for the future.”

American Airlines shares were marked 2.1% lower in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $12.48 each.

Last week, Delta Air Lines  (DAL)  posted a $6.9 billion third quarter loss as its revenues tumbled 76% to just over $3 billion. 

Last month, the airline sector's main international lobbyist said global passenger traffic is likely to be at least two-thirds lower than it was prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Air Transport Association cut is 2020 forecast again Tuesday, and now predicts full-year traffic to be 66% lower than 2019 levels, following what it called 'hugely depressed' traffic levels in August that were impacted by new travel restrictions linked to the resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe and North America.