Passengers wearing protective masks check in at the Delta Air Lines Inc. check-in counter at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California, United States on Monday, December 21, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The coronavirus pandemic sparked decades of profit streak for US airlines. Analysts estimate that US airlines have lost more than $ 35 billion. “2020 was the worst year in aviation history,” said Helane Becker, an analyst for the Cowen airline.
Quarantines, travel restrictions, closed attractions, grounded business trips or the fear of catching the disease kept millions of travelers off planes. Positive vaccine news sparked a rally for airlines in the year, but it wasn’t enough to undo the damage. American Airlines shares fell 45% in 2020, Delta Air Lines lost 31%, United Airlines lost 51%, and Southwest lost 14%, while the S&P 500 rose 16%.
This month’s airline executives will detail the brutal year and their bleak outlook for 2021, starting with Delta before the market opens on Thursday. Analysts expect the carrier to post adjusted loss per share of $ 2.48 and revenue of 68% year over year to $ 3.67 billion for the fourth quarter. United will follow on January 20th and Southwest on January 28th.
What can be seen in their reports and words as the industry faces another difficult year: