Economy

American, Southwest canceled 13000 canceled flights for September natural disasters

American Airlines reported higher sales but lower third-quarter profits Thursday due to increased costs and the hit from USA hurricanes that forced more than 8,000 flight cancellations.

An American Airlines Boeing 757 aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016.

Southwest's operating revenue, hurt by cancellations of 5,000 flights due to the recent hurricanes and earthquakes, rose 2.6 percent to $5.27 billion, but missed analysts' estimates of $5.31 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Southwest said the same figure would rise by up to 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, a hint of higher fares to come.

The airline expects costs, excluding fuel and other expenses, to be flat to up 1.5 percent in the current quarter.

The fourth-largest USA airline by passenger traffic said net income rose to $503 million, or 84 cents per share, in the third quarter ended September 30, from $388 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.

The airline predicted Thursday that a measure of pricing power will be stronger in the fourth quarter than it was in the third, in line with forecasts from rivals.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria forced American Airlines to cancel more than 8,000 flights and reduced pre-tax earnings $75 million in the third quarter, the carrier announced Thursday.

"Despite the significant operational challenges posed by three hurricanes, our team delivered solid financial results", Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said in a statement. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 87 cents per share. Also operating unit revenues (revenue per available seat mile, or RASM) decreased 0.5%.



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