American Airlines Loses $2.2 Billion During First Quarter 2020

American Airlines released its first-quarter 2020 financial results today, revealing plummeting revenues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as all non-essential travel remains grounded worldwide.

American posted a $2.2-billion net loss, equivalent to $5.26 a share. Excluding $1.4 billion in net special items, such as a one-time labor contract and fleet impairment charges, its adjusted losses came to $2.65 per share. According to Fox News, Wall Street analysts had been anticipating an adjusted loss of $2.33 per share on a total operating revenue amount of $8.94 billion.

In reality, the carrier’s total operating revenue (combined passenger, cargo, airport and AAdvantage activities) came in at $8.52 billion for the first three months of the year—a drop of 20 percent.

American has cut its capacity in both April and May by 80 percent, and by 70 percent in June, to compensate for depressed air-travel demand amid the pandemic. “Never before has our airline, or our industry, faced such a significant challenge,” American Airlines Chairman and CEO, Doug Parker, reflected.

American reportedly ended 2020’s first quarter with $6.8 in liquidity and expects to burn through $70 million daily, on average, during the second quarter, paring back to $50 million per day by the end of June. The airline said it should grow its total liquidity to $11 billion by the end of the current quarter, as funds from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act roll in.

“We have moved quickly and aggressively to reduce our costs and bolster our liquidity,” Parker assured. “We are particularly grateful for the $5.8 billion in financial assistance American will receive through the Payroll Support Program, and we appreciate the bipartisan congressional and U.S. Department of the Treasury and Department of Transportation support to protect airline jobs and ensure a strong and competitive U.S. airline industry.”

“We have a lot of difficult work ahead of us. And, while there is still uncertainty in what’s to come, we are confident that through the dedication of the American Airlines team and our swift actions, we will get through this for our team, our customers and our shareholders,” he said.

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