American Airlines cash flow turns positive in March

FILE PHOTO: American Airlines flight 718, the first U.S. Boeing 737 MAX commercial flight since regulators lifted a 20-month grounding in November, takes off from Miami, Florida, U.S. December 29, 2020. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

(Reuters) -American Airlines said on Tuesday it turned cash flow positive in March on an adjusted basis, helped by a recovery in demand for domestic travel.

Excluding daily payment of $8 million towards regular debt and severance packages, it was cash flow positive, the company said in a regulatory filing, adding it burned about $4 million of cash per day in March compared with $30 million in the previous quarter. (bit.ly/3g83hw2)

The U.S. airline expects its average daily cash burn rate for the first three months to be about $27 million per day compared to its previous forecast of $30 million, and end the quarter with about $17.3 billion in total available liquidity.

The Texas-based company expects revenue to plunge about 62% compared with the same period in 2019, and to post a loss of about $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion, excluding financial assistance under the U.S. payroll support program for airlines.

American had previously forecast a revenue decline of between 60% and 65%.

During the quarter, the airline reached an agreement with Boeing to defer delivery of 18 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to 2023-2024 from 2021-2022, and converted five 787-8 aircraft to 787-9 aircraft besides rescheduling delivery of remaining 14 787-8 aircraft to the first quarter of 2022.

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