When was the last time you waited in line at TSA, boarded a plane and took off on a new adventure?
As of May 2021, passenger volumes at U.S. airports hit pandemic records, with more than 1.7 million people passing through airport security. At this time, airlines were on track for a fast recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, which was far sooner than anticipated.
Although travel generally falls in late summer as schools reopen, in recent weeks airline executives have warned that the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19 has created a drop in demand for traveling, at least by flight.
Additionally, many companies’ plans to return to the office have cast doubts on business travel demand, which has provided a lucrative segment of air travel that typically picks up this time of the year.
Today, several US airlines — including American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines — lowered their financial forecasts for the remainder of this fiscal year, citing weaker bookings.
American Airlines said its third-quarter sales will likely be down by as much as 28% compared with the same quarter of 2019. The company had previously forecast a 20% drop in revenue. American said it expects deeper negative profit margins.
United Airlines said that weaker revenue will mean adjusted pre-tax losses in the third and fourth quarters of this year. The Chicago-based carrier in July said it expected to post pre-tax profits for that period. It plans to further trim capacity this year because of weaker demand.
Southwest Airlines said it is also logging weaker bookings and higher cancellation rates.
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