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American Airlines saw its share price jump by more than 40 percent on Thursday after announcing a major boost to its flight schedule for July. The company is planning to fly at 55 percent of last year’s domestic schedule in July, up from just 20 percent in May and June. The announcement comes on the heels of a significant rebound in demand for domestic flights, which saw the airline’s daily passenger number more than triple between April and the last week of May.
Airlines had been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with each of America’s four largest carriers losing between 44 percent (Southwest) and 69 percent (United Airlines) of their stock market value within a month between February 20 and March 20. After recovering some of the losses in late March, airline stocks went into steep descent again, bottoming out on May 15.
Over the past three weeks, however, airline shares climbed back up, with American, Delta, United and Southwest gaining 85, 69, 96 and 60 percent, respectively, since said May 15. Despite the recent gains, airlines are still far below cruising altitude, however, as experts are certain that it will take a long time before the industry returns to pre-pandemic levels.