American Airlines trims outlook citing 737 Max groundings, but sees planes flying again by mid-August

The carrier cut its 2019 earnings forecast as it anticipates a $350 million hit to pretax earnings after grounding its 737 Max fleet. Read more...

American Airlines shares rebounded on Friday after the carrier said it expected its Boeing’s 737 Max jets to be back in the air by mid-August.

completed 96 flights totaling over 159 hours of air time with the new Max software fix.

American has canceled flights through Aug. 19. On an earnings call Friday, Parker said the date is “as far out into the future as we thought” it will take for the Max to be recertified. He said the company’s primary focus is getting the jet flying again.

“To be clear we are regulated by the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration], we know that that aircraft with our pilots, our training systems, with our aircraft, is airworthy. Certainly will be airworthy if the FAA recertifies it,” he said.

Rival Southwest Airlines on Thursday reported that the Max groundings, as well as the U.S. government shutdown and some maintenance issues, cost the airline more than $200 million in revenue.

For the first quarter, American said net income rose to $185 million, or 41 cents per share, from $159 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 52 cents a share, topping analyst estimates by a penny.

Revenue rose 1.8% to $10.58 billion from $10.4 billion a year earlier, slightly missing analyst estimates.

Revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric, rose by 0.5% to 15.87 cents from a year earlier. Excluding fuel and special items, cost per available seat mile was 11.88 cents, up 2.7% year over year, by a higher volume of heavy maintenance checks.

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