(Adds analyst quote)
Dec 9 American Airlines Group Inc said
higher average fares per mile have boosted its revenue and
profit expectations for the fourth quarter, a day after rival
United Continental Holdings Inc also raised forecasts.
Shares of top U.S. airlines rose on Friday, with American's
up 4 percent and United's up 4.2 percent.
American, the world's largest airline, said on Friday it
expects fourth-quarter unit revenue to range between a decline
of 1 percent and an increase of 1 percent, compared with its
previous forecast of a decline of 2.5 percent to 0.5 percent.
Unit revenue compares sales to how many seats an airline
flies and how far it flies them.
The airline now expects pre-tax margin excluding items to be
between 6 percent and 8 percent, up from its previous range of 5
percent to 7 percent.
United, the No. 3 U.S. airline by passenger traffic, also
forecast on Thursday a higher profit margin in the fourth
quarter as bookings strengthened and expenses related to
employment benefits were lower than expected.
"United provided a solid upward guide to Q4 expectations
last night, pushing consensus close the level where we initially
began the quarter," JPMorgan analyst Jamie Baker said in a
research note on Friday.
"Meanwhile, American's updated guide this morning, also
implies upside to consensus estimates and critically also opens
the door to positive unit revenues in Q4."
(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru and Alana Wise in
New York; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Phil Berlowitz)