Coronavirus: Top airlines have already lost $110bn in 2020

Saleha Riaz
·3-min read
British Airways Airbus A380 aircrafts are parked at the Chateauroux-Deols "Marcel Dassault" Airport (CHR) on October 29, 2020  in Deols, central France. - Many planes from several airlines are parked at Chateauroux-Deols airport until the end of the crisis caused by Covid-19, the new coronavirus. (Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP) (Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP via Getty Images)
BA parent IAG saw a $14.9bn revenue loss between January and September. Photo: Getty Images

The world’s top airlines have lost a whopping $110bn (£84bn, €94bn) in revenue so far this year, including British Airways parent International Airlines Group (IAG.L), Air France (AF.PA) and American Airlines (AAL), due to travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, financial educational firm StockApps said.

“Massive cancellations of flights to control the spread of the virus led to huge drops in airline passenger revenues and caused staggering losses to the world's largest airline companies,” the firm said.

The figure includes Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines, Lufthansa Group (LHA.DE), United Airlines (UAL), Air France and IAG, as the world's largest public airline companies based on sales.

Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

IAG witnessed a $14.9bn revenue loss between January and September. The financial report of the airline holding company showed passenger capacity in Q3 plunged 78.6% year-on-year, and 64.3% for the period of nine months.

Lufthansa reported a $10.6bn revenue loss in the first half of 2020. After laying off 8,300 employees between January and March, its H1 2020 financial statement confirmed that 22,000 more are to follow.

Air France suffered a $20.4bn year-to-date revenue loss. July and August were relatively strong in terms of traffic compared to a disappointing September affected by restrictive travel measures.

Statistics indicate the combined revenues of the three largest European airlines crashed by $45.9bn since the beginning of the year.

READ MORE: British Airways chief quits in major shakeup

US airlines were hit even worse. Between January and March, Delta Air Lines, as the world's largest airline based on sales, lost $1.8bn.

Its Q2 revenue plunged by 88% year-over-year to $1.4bn. The negative trend continued between June and September, with the company losing another $9.5bn after the pandemic ruined what is typically a peak summer travel period.

Delta's net loss was $5.4bn in Q3, compared with a profit of $1.5bn in the year-earlier period. Statistics show it lost $22.4bn in year-to-date revenue, StockApps said.

American Airlines, the second-largest airline on the list and the leading airline by flown passenger kilometers, lost $21.1bn in revenue since the beginning of the year.

Statistics show the company reported the most significant loss in Q2 2020, with revenues plunging by 86.4% year-over-year to $1.6bn, compared to $11.9bn in the same period a year ago. Third-quarter revenue was down 73% year-on-year to $3.1bn.

United Airlines reported a $20.4bn loss in the three quarters of 2020, a 63% decrease year-over-year.

Statistics show the combined revenues of the three largest US airline companies crashed by $63.9bn since the beginning of 2020, StockApps said.

Last month, IAG said it expects its flight capacity from October to December to be no more than 30% of what it was over the same period in 2019.

This was down from previous guidance.

IAG said the reduction is due to recent bookings being lower than expected due to “additional measures implemented by many European governments in response to a second wave of COVID-19 infections”.

Meanwhile, initiatives to reduce quarantine periods and boost customer confidence to book and travel – such as pre-departure testing and air corridors – have “not been adopted by governments as quickly as anticipated,” IAG said.

As a result, the group “no longer expects to reach breakeven in terms of net cash flows from operating activities” between October and December.

The aviation sector has taken a major hit due to the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. Ryanair (RYA.L) posted its first losses over the summer in decades, as passenger numbers plummeted.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, slammed the government for neglecting aviation.

Cornish urged for an aid package that includes relief from “business rates, policing costs and other pressures we have no way of mitigating.”

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