American Airlines loses over $2 billion in first quarter
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    American Airlines loses over $2 billion in first quarter

    Credit: Belga

    American Airlines lost $2.2 billion in the first quarter of the year due to the new coronavirus (Covid-19), the airline announced on Thursday.

    Revenue declined by nearly a fifth compared to the first quarter of 2019. At the same time a year ago, the airline had recorded a profit of $185 million.

    “Never before has our airline, or our industry, faced such a significant challenge,” said American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. The coronavirus pandemic has brought air traffic to a virtual standstill and the aviation industry has been hit by severe financial difficulties.

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    The U.S. government has provided a rescue plan for its country’s airlines, with some $5.8 billion being put aside for American Airlines. The company is currently losing about $70 million a day and needs additional liquidity.

    “We have a lot of difficult work ahead of us. And while there is still uncertainty in what’s to come, we are confident that through the dedication of the American Airlines team and our swift actions, we will get through this for our team, our customers and our shareholders,” Parker said.

    Other airlines across the world are also struggling. In Europe, Lufthansa Group’s Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are both in talks for state aid, and Richard Branson is looking for a new buyer for his Virgin Atlantic airline.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times