American Airlines shares jumped more than 40 percent on Thursday after the carrier announced some encouraging progress on its long climb back from the historic COVID-19 slump. After seeing passenger demand increase significantly through May, American Airlines is now planning to fly more than 55 percent of its domestic schedule in July compared to the same period of last year. That’s up from just 20 percent in May and June and 35 percent in April.
By the last week of May, the airline carried an average of about 110,000 passengers per day, up from just 32,000 daily passengers in April. On peak days, American Airlines will have about 4,000 flights in July, up from 2,300 in June, said Vasu Raja, AA’s Senior Vice President of Network Strategy. “We’re seeing a slow but steady rise in domestic demand,” Raja said in an official statement, adding that “our July schedule includes the smallest year-over-year capacity reduction since March.”
While customer demand for domestic flights appears to be on the mend, international flights are still lagging. American will delay the return of some previously announced international routes and is now planning to fly around 20 percent of last year’s international schedule in July.