American Airlines shares close higher on Wednesday, airline to resume Boeing 737 MAX flights in December

American Airlines Group (AAL) announced on Wednesday plans to return Boeing Co’s 737 MAX to commercial flights by the end of the year, following an approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration to fly the aircraft again.

The air carrier said it intended to resume non-commercial flights in early December, after which passenger flights would be resumed later during the month.

American Airlines shares closed higher for the fifth time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Wednesday. The stock went up 0.31% ($0.04) to $12.74, after touching an intraday high at $13.35, or a price level not seen since November 9th ($14.40).

Shares of American Airlines Group have retreated 55.58% so far in 2020 compared with a 10.43% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, American Airlines’ stock went down 10.68%, thus, it again underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

Two flights per day, or one round-trip between Miami and New York will be operated from December 29th to January 4th, American said.

Rival United Airlines had said that it intended to return the 737 MAX to service during the first quarter of 2021.

And Southwest Airlines, which operates the largest 737 MAX fleet worldwide, had said last month that it would probably not return the aircraft to service until the second quarter of 2021.

The 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes led to the death of 346 people.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 18 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding American Airlines Group’s stock price, have a median target of $10.00, with a high estimate of $24.00 and a low estimate of $1.00. The median estimate represents a 21.51% downside compared to the closing price of $12.74 on November 18th.

The same media also reported that at least 10 out of 22 surveyed investment analysts had rated American Airlines Group’s stock as “Sell”, while 7 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 3 analysts had recommended buying the stock.

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