American Airlines reported a 2.1 percent increase in revenue and an 8.6 percent rise in passenger traffic during the second quarter of the year, but posted an operating loss of $186 million.

After a couple of years of fairly good results, the US airline industry is expected to report mixed results in Q2. On the one hand, US airlines have been improving their financial results, and many analysts believe their improvement is sustainable, despite a high level of competition. On the other hand, many analysts are less optimistic about the industry’s continued recovery, which is likely to be fueled by the US government’s decision to raise the fees airlines pay to fly over US airports.

Despite the continued recovery of the US economy, there was a mixed outlook for the aviation industry in the second quarter of 2014. US airlines report a healthy economy in overall passenger volumes, but revenues are a mixed bag. For the summer season, airlines are watching the economy, but are also keeping a close eye on fuel prices.

Southwest Airlines announced operational revenues of $4 billion for the second quarter of 2024 on Thursday, increasing 297.6% year over year but down 32.2 percent from the pre-pandemic second quarter of 2019.

The low-cost airline also announced a $348 million net profit, which it attributed to a $724 million offset of salaries, wages, and benefits costs linked to the receipt of PSP funds under COVID-19 relief legislation. Southwest reported a net loss of $206 million in the second quarter, excluding exceptional items. The airline also produced $2 billion in operational cash flow and $1.9 billion in free cash flow in the second quarter.


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US Airlines Report Mixed Q2 Results, ‘Hopeful’ for Continued Recovery

“The increase in leisure travel demand in the second quarter of 2024 represented a significant turning point in the pandemic recovery. Since the pandemic’s negative effects began in March 2024, we generated net income in June 2024, which was our first monthly profit without taking into account the benefit of temporary salary and wage cost relief provided by PSP proceeds “Gary Kelly, the company’s CEO and Chairman of the Board, said as much. “Operating revenues in the second quarter of 2024 improved substantially as compared to the previous four quarters, falling 32.2 percent from the second quarter of 2019. When compared to June 2019, operational sales in June 2024 fell by 20.7 percent. Throughout the quarter, monthly operational revenue trends increased sequentially. In June 2024, leisure passenger traffic surpassed that of June 2019, but passenger prices were similar to those of June 2019. Leisure passenger volume and prices in July are anticipated to trend higher than July 2019 levels, based on existing reservations.”

“While the quick increase in June travel demand helped to stabilize our financial situation, it had an effect on our operations after a lengthy period of low demand due to the epidemic. While a result, we’re putting a lot of effort into enhancing our processes as we rebuild our network to meet demand “Kelly went on to say.

Although “business sales continue to trail leisure revenue trends,” the firm is pleased by the increase in the second quarter of 2024 and weekly spikes so far in July, according to the company.

“We expect to be profitable again in the third and fourth quarters of 2024, both on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis, based on our current booking patterns and cost projections. We are prepared to manage through the pandemic if it has a negative impact on our present trends “Kelly will transfer to the position of Executive Chairman in February 2024, allowing Executive Vice President Bob Jordan to take over as CEO.

On Thursday, American Airlines released its second-quarter 2024 financial results, showing a net profit of $19 million and a net loss of $1.1 billion, excluding exceptional items. American said that second-quarter sales was $7.5 billion, up 87 percent from the first quarter of 2024.

“Through our Green Flag Plan, we’ve taken a lot of measures to strengthen our company, and it shows in our second-quarter performance,” said American Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “To build an airline that will beat rivals and deliver for consumers, we have restructured our network, streamlined our fleet, and made our cost structure more efficient. The green flag has been raised, and we are prepared due to the American Airlines team’s tireless work and commitment.”

US Airlines Report Mixed Q2 Results, ‘Hopeful’ for Continued Recovery Boeing 777-200ER of American Airlines. (image courtesy of santirf/iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

United Airlines released its financial results for the second quarter of 2024 earlier this week, stating that the company anticipates positive adjusted pre-tax profitability in the second half of the year as travel demand improves. The airline’s capacity in the second quarter of 2024 was down 46% from the same period in 2019. United reported a $0.4 billion net loss and $5.5 billion in total operational revenue, down 52 percent from the second quarter of 2019.

Delta Air Lines said earlier this month that it had “achieved key milestones in the quarter, including a strong pre-tax profit in June, positive free cash flow for the June quarter, and our people and brand being acknowledged with the top position in the J.D. Power 2024 Airline Study.”

Delta reported adjusted operating revenue of $6.3 billion, which excludes refinery sales and represents a drop of 49 percent on reduced sellable capacity of 39 percent compared to the June quarter of 2019. The company also reported an adjusted pre-tax loss of $881 million, removing $1.5 billion in benefits from the first and second payroll assistance program extensions, as well as mark-to-market adjustments on its assets.

“Domestic leisure traffic has completely returned to 2019 levels, and business and international travel are showing promising indications of recovery,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “We’re investing to maintain our industry-leading business as the recovery gains traction. In a capital-disciplined way, we are also opportunistically purchasing aircraft and generating upside flexibility to expedite our capacity restoration in 2024 and beyond.”

Western airlines were booming in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, with nearly every major carrier posting double-digit earnings increases. The industry was thriving and the stock prices of the airlines responded accordingly with spectacular gains. However, the global economic slowdown of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, combined with the airline industry’s heavy reliance on high-cost jet fuel, has caused airlines’ profits to plummet.. Read more about airlines to invest in and let us know what you think.

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