American Airlines posts profit vs year-ago loss as travel demand improves

An American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER plane takes off from Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Oct 21 (Reuters) - American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) reported a quarterly profit compared to a year-ago loss on Thursday, as easing COVID-19 curbs strengthened travel demand ahead of the peak holiday season.

As the United States opens its borders to vaccinated foreign travelers on Nov. 8, U.S. carriers are expecting a strong holiday season after the health crisis sent travel demand plummeting in 2020.

"While the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant delayed some of our revenue recovery, it has not stopped our progress," Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said.

The No.1 U.S. airline reported a net income of $169 million, or 25 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $2.40 billion, or $4.71 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company posted a third-quarter net loss of $641 million, or 99 cents per share.

Total operating revenue jumped 183% to $8.97 billion.

The airline ended the quarter with about $18 billion of total available liquidity.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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