(MENAFN - Baystreet.ca) American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) posted its fifth consecutive quarterly loss on Thursday, while Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) swung to a profit, boosted by federal payroll aid.
Both carriers have noted an improvement in travel bookings and plan to increase flying during the peak spring and summer months as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 and tourist attractions reopen.
Southwest reported first-quarter net income of $116 million, or $.19 per diluted share, driven by a $1.2 billion offset of salaries, wages, and benefits expenses from the extended Payroll Support Program (PSP Extension) proceeds under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
Excluding special items, first quarter net loss of $1.0 billion , or $1.72 loss per diluted share
First-quarter operating revenues was $2.1 billion, down 51.5% year-over-year
The carrier ended first quarter with liquidity of $15.3 billion , well in excess of debt outstanding of $10.8 billion
American Airlines posted a $1.25 billion net loss. The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier, like its large-carrier rivals Delta and United, has been forced to do without much of the business and international travel revenue they long relied on. American's revenue came in at just over $4 billion, down nearly 53% from the more than $8.5 billion it posted a year ago, and below analysts' expectations.
Adjusting for one-time items, American had a per-share loss of $4.32, a penny more than analysts' estimates.
Better demand is helping both carriers trim their cash burn. American had an average daily cash burn of $27 million in the first quarter, which fell to $4 million in March
American shares lost 15 cents to $20.86, while those for Southwest gained 66 cents, or 1.1%, to $62.70
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