Issue No. 779

Phased Out: U.S. Airlines Look to the Past, Future

Pushing Back: Inside This Issue

Airlines are not happy with their governments. Air Canada complains of overzealous border restrictions. Asia’s airline association complains of inconsistent policies. Allegiant criticized Washington for inadequate testing and information. Ryanair is livid about government bailouts. Fair enough. But the true enemy is an extremely infectious virus which keeps on spreading. It’s creeping back into places where it was once well controlled. It’s spreading at alarming rates in some of the most populous countries, including India, the U.S., and Brazil. With some modest exceptions like the Chinese domestic market, there’s really no airline recovery to speak of. And there might not be for the rest of 2020.

Europe is seeing some shorthaul leisure recovery. But for global giants like Air France/KLM and IAG, that’s just a sideshow. The recovering Japanese domestic market is more significant to All Nippon. But Japan is backsliding in its fight to contain Covid. And forget about all that important premium traffic ANA typically carries to cities like New York and London and Sydney. Air Canada can’t do very much at all revenue-wise, with its borders sealed tight. Cargo helps a bit, but Asian carriers like Singapore Airlines are bigger cargo players, big enough to meaningfully alleviate losses. Back in Europe, the shorthaul leisure recovery, still choppy to be sure, will help Ryanair and Wizz Air prepare for what’s hopefully a more normal 2021. More U.S. airlines expressed their discouragement with current trends. Airlines in India, Brazil, and Mexico presented Q2 results as well, likewise in a cloud of great uncertainty.

More airlines report this week, including Europe’s largest airline, Lufthansa. 


"The Covid crisis will pass. Whether it’s in 6 months or 10 months or 12 months or 18 months, we don't know. But we will be one of the survivors, and we will be, by far and away, the most flexible lowest-cost survivor coming out of this."

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Mondays With Skift Airline Weekly

Airline Weekly got cranky. Brett "The Cranky Flier" Snyder joined host Madhu Unnikrishnan on a livestream to look back at the second quarter and talk through what might happen in the fall. Listen to the replay.


April-June (3 Months)

  • Air France/KLM: -$2.9b/-$1.9b*; -131%
  • IAG: -$2.4b/-$1.6b*; -184%
  • All Nippon: -$1b; -131%
  • Air Canada: -$1.3b; -$251m
  • Singapore Airlines: -$802m/-$71m*; -67%
  • Ryanair: -$206m; -125%
  • Wizz Air: -$120m/-$63m*; -117%
  • JetBlue: -$320m/-$548m*; -332%
  • Hawaiian: -$107m/-$175m*; -366%
  • Allegiant: -$93m/-$95m*; -80%
  • IndiGo: -$377m; 344%
  • Gol: -$370m/-$235m*; -251%
  • Aeromexico: -$1.2b/-$323m*; -253%
  • Volaris: -$71m; -154%
  • Icelandair: -$91m/-$124m*;
  • SkyWest: -$26m/-$178m*; -45%

January-March (3 Months)

  • AirAsia X: -$132m/-$38m*; -11%
  • SpiceJet: -$111m; -30%

*Net result in USD/*Net result excluding special items/ Operating margin

Weekly Skies

For many years now, Air France/KLM — the Air France part in particular — has underperformed its rivals IAG and Lufthansa, not to mention many of the world’s other global airline giants. Labor strife, high unit costs, heavy shorthaul losses,…


"Bloomberg Prognosis," a podcast about health care, stressed the importance of air cargo in the process of ending the Covid pandemic. Reporter Brendan Murray worries the global supply chain simply isn’t ready to handle the task of getting vaccines to…


It's been a rough 18 months or so for Boeing. First, regulators grounded the 737 MAX after two fatal accidents. And now Covid has brought its airline customers to the brink of ruin. The company's revenues fell 25% in the…

Landing Strip

Groupe ADP said the quarter was its worst in more than 50 years, in terms of traffic declines. Traffic across the board fell 58% y/y and was down 63% in Paris. The group is focusing on preserving cash and cutting…

State of the Unions

Hawaiian Airlines sent a federally required notification to pilots that it could furlough or lay off more than 200 of its 850 pilots. Management and the union earlier this year struck a deal for voluntary separation, early retirement, and leaves…

Routes and Networks

United is adding 25 cities back to its international network in September. The carrier will resume flights suspended by the pandemic to Asia, including India, Australia, the Middle East, and Latin America, as well as to the Caribbean and Mexico.…

Covid Crisis 2020

IATA is becoming significantly more pessimistic about when the airline industry will recover. Now, the group thinks traffic will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, a year later than it had previously said. Emerging economies and the U.S. are…

Feature Story

No surprises. U.S. airlines, as expected, reported gargantuan second-quarter losses. Collectively, the country’s nine largest publicly traded airlines (excluding the regional carrier SkyWest) registered more than $11b in net losses, nearly wiping out the $14b in profits they earned all…

Around the World

A look at the world’s airlines, including end-of-week equity prices