American Airlines to Lift July Flights as Travel Increases

American Airlines increases its flight schedule, planning to fly 55% of its domestic and 20% of international flights in July. The shares jumped.
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American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Report shares climbed after the air carrier said it would increase July flights as travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic begin to ease.

Shares of the Fort Worth, Texas, company were at last check up 30% to $15.39.

The airline said that in response to improving demand for air travel, it planned to fly 55% of its domestic schedule and 20% of international flights in July, compared with last year's capacity. 

In May, American flew just 20% of its domestic schedule and is flying 25% in June.

By the last week of May, American said, the airline carried a daily average of about 110,000 customers a day, up 71% over the roughly 32,000 the airline served in April.

“We’re seeing a slow but steady rise in domestic demand. After a careful review of data, we’ve built a July schedule to match,” Vasu Raja, senior vice president of network strategy, said in a statement. 

“Our July schedule includes the smallest year-over-year capacity reduction since March."

Raja told Reuters that the airline would fly just over 4,000 flights on peak days in July, compared with nearly 2,000 on peak days in May. That is still down from the peak 6,800 daily flights before the crisis.

Airlines were hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, as government and health officials implemented social distancing procedures to stem the spread of the disease. Air carriers are adding new cleaning procedures and requiring masks on board.

Last week, American Airlines said it planned to cut its management and support staff by about 30% to slash costs. On Wednesday, the air carrier's credit rating was cut to a peer-group low of B- from B at S&P Global Ratings.