U.s. airlines into free fall

Les compagnies aériennes américaines en chute libre

Photo: Mario Jose Sanchez Associated Press
The crisis of the COVID-19 has hit the air transport due to the containment of the population and restrictions on international travel.

The air transport, severely affected by the crisis of the COVID-19, is expected to be several lean years, and the airlines are starting to publish their second-quarter results, which show the extent of the damage.

Delta Air Lines is the first to bend the fiscal year : loss of $ 5.7 billion between April and June, one of the most important of its history, then that she had won $ 1.4 billion in the same period last year.

The crisis of the COVID-19 has hit the air transport due to the containment of the population and restrictions on international travel.

“Given the combined effects of the pandemic and the global economic crisis in a row, we continue to believe that it will take two years before we can see a sustainable recovery,” said Ed Bastian, p.-d. g. of Delta Air Lines, in the release of quarterly results published on Tuesday.

The second company of the United States behind American Airlines has seen the number of passengers on its planes to fall by 93 % compared to the second quarter of 2019, plunging revenues of 91 %. “We have seen a slight, but welcome, recovery in terms of volumes of passengers,” said Ed Bastian in a conference call.

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But, he warned, the revenues for the third quarter should represent 20 to 25 % of those of last year at the same time.

Result, the turnover of the company in the second quarter plunged 88 % to 1.47 billion dollars, or $ 11 billion less than in the second quarter of 2019.

To cope with this lasting drop in air traffic, the company plans to reposition itself as a “company smaller and more efficient in the coming years by speeding up the simplification of the fleet,” with about a hundred aircraft of less.

A new plan of voluntary departures and retirements anticipated is also envisaged, so that a first, announced in April, ends this month, and has been accepted by 17 000 employees, has detailed the p.-d. g.

The situation is similar among the competing companies : United Airlines has already warned that it might, in the month of October, laying off up to 36 000 employees.

American Airlines, for its part, indicated that they expect to have 20 000 employees more than necessary for work in the fall. And the boss of Southwest Airlines, warned on Monday its employees that it would be necessary to triple the number of its passengers by the end of the year to avoid layoffs.

American Airlines and United Airlines will publish their performance in the 2nd quarter, respectively, 23 and 21 July.

Support from the federal government

Delta has however stated that it had $ 15.7 billion of liquidity at the end of June to deal with the consequences of the pandemic.

Like other u.s. airlines, it has in fact been able to qualify for a loan from the federal government, in the framework of the gigantic stimulus package of 2200 billion, adopted at the end of march by the United States to support the economy.

Delta is expected to reach $ 5.4 billion. It has already received $ 4.9 billion, and it needs to see the 544 million remaining in July.

The companies were able to benefit from financial loans for a total amount of 25 billion usd, in exchange of rewards for the taxpayer.

Hesitant at first to accept this financial assistance for fear of counterparties draconian, the largest companies in the sector had finally accepted the terms and conditions of the Treasury.

These loans are in addition to another € 25 billion paid by the government in exchange for the commitment of the airlines to do not delete jobs until 30 September. “We’ll need air transport, when the economy revives “, had argued the secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin.

To allow the economy to get going again, ” it would be useful […] that our federal government reinforces the need to wear a mask, not only when you travel by plane, but in life in general “, also called Ed.

President Donald Trump, who is reluctant, has sported one in public Saturday for the first time, and the object is now in the United States as a symbol of political affiliation.


The operator of Pearson international airport removes 500 posts

TORONTO — The operator of Toronto Pearson international airport reduced the size of its workforce by 27 % due to a reduction in traffic at the biggest airport of Canada. The Greater Toronto airport Authority (GTAA) says that on the 500 posts to delete, 300 that will involve layoffs and voluntary departures. The other positions are currently vacant. According to the GTAA, the number of passengers at Pearson fell to its operating level in 1996 since the pandemic COVID-19 has reduced the number of travel by plane. It indicates that some of the reductions come into force on Tuesday and that departures of employees will continue throughout the fall. The airport operator says it is also working with the union Uniforms and the firefighters association of Pearson to implement the changes while respecting their contract of employment.

The canadian Press

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