American Airlines Posts $2.4B Net Loss in Third Quarter as COVID Keeps Damper on Travel

Oct 23, 2020

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With COVID-19 continuing to suppress air travel, American Airlines posted its biggest net loss during the pandemic to date in the third quarter: $2.4 billion.

The news comes just weeks after federal coronavirus relief funds for airlines expired Oct. 1, and American has since started laying off 19,000 workers, about 180 of them in Tulsa, where 5,000 are employed at the airline's largest maintenance base.

American Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said on a Thursday earnings call leaders just haven't made a new relief package work yet.

"We remain hopeful that our elected officials can come together on this important legislation on behalf of our team, our industry, and working Americans and our economy at large. Elections matter, but there's nothing polling higher than support for a COVID relief stimulus package," Parker said.

Parker said American is taking other cost-cutting steps that will make for a different airline after the pandemic.

"We've done things like reduce 30% of our management. We're not going to bring that back. We've accelerated the retirement of 150 aircraft and aircraft types that aren't going to come back. And as we build back the schedule, we're going to build back flying that is profitable and take out a lot of what used to exist that was less so," Parker said.

Executives said Thursday revenues in the past three months were down 73% from the same time last year. But Parker on the same earnings call said while air travel is down, one in three U.S. passengers last quarter flew American.