American, Southwest upbeat on summer travel rebound

There's a recovery on the horizon for the airline industry. At least that's the view from two top U.S. airlines Thursday.

American Airlines saw its first-quarter net loss nearly cut in half from a year ago, as rising vaccination rates lead to a pick-up in air travel in recent weeks.

CEO Doug Parker in a statement said he sees signs of continued recovery in demand.

And on a conference call with investors, company executives said they expect to see corporate travel start to return beginning in the summer.

With demand expected to pick-up and armed with government loans, American said it canceled furlough warnings to 13,000 of its employees.

Southwest Airlines also provided quarterly results with a splash of optimism.

The discount carrier said it sees the making of an "optimistic summer," as domestic leisure-travel ticket sales rise steadily each week.

It's so confident that it says it is adding flights and expects its total capacity over the next few months to likely be just 15 percent below where it was in 2019.

And it expects to stop losing money on flights -known in the industry as the daily cash burn - by June.