At the end of last week I shared that American Airlines reported internally that its online sales volumes are nearly back to 2019 levels, which were record-setting. They’re seeing the strongest revenue performance they’ve had since before the pandemic.
And last week they filled nearly 80% of their seats systemwide, which for an airline is nearly completely sold out – since there are many routes they operate that are going to remain empty, operated for subsidies or because they make sense largely for cargo. If you’re on an American Airlines domestic flight outside of the most off-peak times it’s probably full.
All of this great news for the carrier, and the industry as a whole, cames from aviation watchdog Jon NYC,
.. a nearly 80% domestic load factor last week
We plan to be flying all our aircraft as of May – no more grounded planes"
— ˜”*° JonNYC °*”˜ (@xJonNYC) March 26, 2021
Now American has disclosed this is an SEC filing as well.
As of March 26, the Company’s seven day moving average of its net bookings is approximately 90% of the level experienced in 2019, with a domestic load factor of approximately 80% during that same period. The Company presently expects this strength in bookings to continue through the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter.
As I’ve written, travelers have largely decided the pandemic is over.
What is peak sales volume for American Airlines through its online channels? Just before the pandemic American Airlines was setting company records selling $60 million in travel a day on its website.
Of course business travel hasn’t begun its recovery in earnest yet, so sales volumes through managed corporate travel channels will not be performing as well. And average fares haven’t fully recovered. There are still some great deals out there.
American Airlines is about to receive $3 billion in additional subsidies to ‘tide them over’ through September even though travel bookings have largely recovered before the second round of subsidies runs out at the end of the month.