- American said it expects its fourth-quarter revenue will fall about 20% from 2019.
- Revenue improved sharply from last year.
- The carrier said it projects its capacity to be down 11% to 13% in the fourth quarter of 2021.
American Airlines on Thursday reported a $169 million profit for the third quarter thanks to more than $990 million in federal payroll support.
Revenue for the quarter totaled $8.97 billion down about 25% from the same period of 2019 but up from the $3.17 billion American brought in a year ago. That was ahead of analysts' expectations of sales of $8.94 billion. Without one-time items, like government payroll support, American had a loss of 99 cents per share, less than the $1.04 per-share loss analysts expected.
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"While we don't like reporting losses, this was our smallest quarterly loss since the pandemic began," American's CEO, Doug Parker, and the carrier's president, Robert Isom, wrote in a note to employees.
American's shares were up 1.2% in late-morning trading.
For the fourth quarter, American expects its revenue to fall by about 20% from 2019, when it generated $11.3 billion. It also said its capacity will be down 11% to 13% compared with two years ago.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline forecast pretax margins, excluding special items, in the fourth quarter to be between negative 16% and negative 18%.