American Airlines posts a big loss in the fourth quarter of last year
American Airlines suffered a net loss of $2 billion in 2021, much less than the $8.9 billion loss incurred in 2020.
In the fourth quarter alone, the American company lost 931 million. The number of available seat miles increased by 84% compared to the previous year. Operating revenue for the fourth quarter reached $9.43 billion, compared to $4.03 billion a year earlier.
Last year, its turnover was down 35% compared to 2019, to 29.9 billion. The decline is only 17% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, to 9.4 billion dollars.
Several million Americans flew in November and December and demand on Christmas Eve and New Years was also strong, although mass flight cancellations linked to rising Covid-19 cases and bad weather have prevented the U.S. airline industry from fully exploiting that demand, the airline said.
This volatility in travel demand due to new variants of the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 had resulted in “the most difficult planning environment in the history of commercial aviation”, underlined American Airlines, which must s adapt according to booking trends. It has increased its capacity and workforce to meet the surge in demand during the crucial holiday season.
For the first quarter of 2022, American Airlines forecasts a drop in capacity of approximately 8% to 10% compared to the same pre-pandemic period of 2019. Its revenue for the current quarter is expected to decline by 20% to 22% compared to the first quarter of 2019. The American company also plans to hire 18,000 additional employees this year, after having recruited 16,000 last year.