World Airlines Suffer $110 Billion in Losses to Date This Year

Delta recorded the largest loss of any US carrier.

Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines showed a third quarter net loss of $5.4 billion versus a $1.5 billion profit during the same period in 2019.Miguel Ángel Sanz/Unsplash

It is no surprise that the airline industry has been hit hard by the plunge in passenger traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the industry losses recently reported are staggering by any measure. According to StockApps, a UK-based investment newsletter, year-to-date, “Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Lufthansa Group, United Airlines, Air France, and the International Airlines Group, as the world’s largest public airline companies based on sales, lost $110 [billion] in revenue since the beginning of 2020.” StockApps says US airlines have taken the largest hit in losses, with Delta Airlines—the world’s largest airline by sales—reporting the most significant loss of any US airline at $22.4 billion. “Delta’s net loss was $5.4 [billion] in the third quarter, compared to a profit of $1.5 [billion] in the year-earlier period.”

StockApps said, “American Airlines, the second-largest airline on this list and the leading airline by flown passenger (miles) kilometers, lost $21.1 [billion] in revenue since the beginning of the year.” United Airlines, the fourth-largest globally, “reported a $20.4 [billion] loss in the three quarters of 2020, a 63-percent decrease year-over-year. Third-quarter results revealed a massive $8.8 [billion] revenue drop after the company already reported a $10 [billion] loss between March and June. Yahoo Finance data also revealed United Airlines witnessed the most significant drop in market cap among the three leading airlines in the United States, with the combined value of the company’s shares plunging by 57 percent [year-over-year] to around $9.5 [billion].”

The bad news includes airlines outside the US. “The world’s third-largest airline based on sales and the largest in Europe, Lufthansa Group, reported a $10.6 [billion] revenue loss in the first half of 2020. Lufthansa laid off 8,300 employees between January and March. The company’s H1 2020 financial statement confirmed that 22,000 more are to follow as a part of its “ReNew” program.” Air France suffered a $20.4 billion year-to-date revenue loss while “International Airlines Group, as the sixth-largest airline company globally, witnessed a $14.9 [billion] revenue loss between January and September.”

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