Airline stocks rally, American cites plan to pay off loan

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Air travel hasn’t recovered from the pandemic, but a few more people are flying. That — and the rollout of new vaccines — helped push airline stocks higher on Monday. Fitch Ratings says the rollout of multiple vaccines against COVID-19 is increased the likelihood of what it calls a meaningful rebound in air travel starting some time in 2021. Meanwhile, American Airlines says it plans to raise $7.5 billion by borrowing against its frequent-flyer program and using the funds to pay off a federal loan that it got in the early days of the pandemic. Fitch says that means American won’t have to keep burning cash for a prolonged period.