July 23, 2020 / 11:47 AM / 19 days ago

American Airlines posts second quarterly loss as COVID-19 hammers demand

FILE PHOTO: A member of a ground crew walks past American Airlines planes parked at the gate during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

(Reuters) - American Airlines posted its second consecutive quarterly loss on Thursday, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown of the U.S. economy hurt demand for air travel.

The company’s shares, however, rose 1.9% to $11.56 before the bell after the U.S. airline said its second-quarter cash burn rate was about $55 million per day, lower than its forecast of $70 million per day.

While air travel had picked up over the past two months from pandemic-driven lows in April, demand has started slowing again as coronavirus cases surge across the United States and states re-impose quarantine restrictions.

The U.S. airline ended the second quarter with $10.2 billion in available liquidity.

It reported a net loss of $2.07 billion, or $4.82 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of $662 million, or $1.49 per share, a year earlier. Total operating revenue plunged 86.4% to $1.62 billion.

Excluding items, the loss was $3.4 billion, or $7.82 per share.

Analysts on average expected the carrier to post a loss of $7.70 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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