© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: First U.S. commercial flight of a Boeing 737 MAX, since regulators lifted a 20-month grounding in November, lands in New York

(Reuters) -American Airlines Group Inc reported a smaller quarterly loss on Thursday as rising vaccination rates prompted more people to opt for air travel.

Shares of the airline rose 3.2% to $21.66 in premarket trade as it said it reduced its cash burn rate to about $27 million a day in the first quarter, compared with $30 million in the previous quarter.

Demand for air travel is expected to pick up as more people receive vaccines, leading to a drop in COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations.

“Looking forward, with the momentum underway from the first quarter, we see signs of continued recovery in demand,” Chief Executive Officer Dough Parker said in a statement.

The company posted a net loss of $1.25 billion, or $1.97 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $2.24 billion, or $5.26 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company lost $4.32 per share.

Total operating revenue fell 52.9% to $4.01 billion.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:) ended the quarter with about $17.3 billion in available liquidity.

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