Between them, American and Southwest carried 15.4 million passengers from April through June. A year earlier, more than 98 million people jammed on to their planes.
With all those lost ticket sales, airlines have turned to cutting costs and hoarding cash in a desperate bid to hang on until the shadow of COVID-19 passes.
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said he was encouraged by a pickup in leisure travel during May and June after the dark days of March and April.
“However, the improving trends in revenue and bookings have recently stalled in July with the rise in COVID-19 cases,” he said. “We expect air travel demand to remain depressed until a vaccine or therapeutics are available to combat the infection and spread of COVID-19.”
American — with hub airports in Texas, North Carolina and Arizona and a big operation in Miami — benefited when Sun Belt states eased health restrictions in the spring to boost their economies. Bookings by small and medium businesses in Texas rose from 10,000 in April to 45,000 in June even while corporate bookings were nearly zero, executives said.
The airline added flights in June and July, hoping to capture an increase in summer leisure travel. The gambit apparently worked. However, after Labor Day about 40% of American’s revenue typically comes from business travel.
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Techlife News #456