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US airlines are losing money for the first time in years as coronavirus ends travel boom

April 23, 2020


Delta and United have reported their first quarterly losses in more than five years. Their competitors are also expected to release dismal results in the coming weeks. The next few months look even more painful for the sector as the coronavirus pandemic saps air travel demand during what is normally the most lucrative time of year.

Air travel has dropped by more than 95% as the Covid-19 pandemic spreads around the U.S. Now, states hard-hit by the pandemic like New York are extending stay-at-home advisories for the next several weeks and canceling events through June in New York City, a sign that business isn’t even close to returning to normal yet. Bleak economic data and a rising unemployment rate are increasing doubts about when travelers will return.

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