United said Monday that it lost $1.36 billion in the first quarter. The loss would have been wider without federal payroll aid, but it was still slightly worse than expected.

United executives aren’t commenting on the results until Tuesday, but they have said recently that bookings for future flights are looking better heading into the summer vacation season. Still, United and its fellow large airlines depend on the return of high-fare business and international travelers, and nobody knows exactly when they will come back.

United Airlines posted a $1.36 billion loss in the first quarter and will need a rebound in lucrative business and international travel before it returns to profitability.

The loss reported Monday would have been even wider without federal payroll aid, but it was still slightly worse than expected. However, investors are far more interested in how quickly United and other airlines can recover from their pandemic-caused financial crisis.

United executives have said recently that bookings are rising ahead of the peak summer vacation season, and they expect that trend to grow stronger as more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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