Delta, American Report Bleak Financials

On Tuesday, ATA said in a statement that it was forecasting losses of approximately $10 billion for U.S. airlines this year. Speaking Tuesday before a Senate subcommittee, ATA's executive vice president and chief operating officer, John Meenan, said, "We are literally seeing the industry melting down before our eyes."

On Wednesday, Delta reported having $3.3 billion in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. American reported having $5.5 billion in total cash. American reported that fuel prices accounted for $838 million in higher costs than a year ago.

"American Airlines expected to spend $5 billion in fuel this year, their fuel bill is going to be $10 billion," Nance said Monday. "Nobody has that kind of spare change lying around."

According to research from Thomson Financial, Southwest is also expected to report a second quarter gain of 12 cents per share, compared with a gain of 25 cents per share during the same time last year. Those analysts predict Continental will report a loss this quarter of 52 cents per share, compared with a gain of $2.10 per share during the same time last year.

Meantime, carriers are doing all they can to trim their fuel bills, trying to reduce both the weight and speed of their planes since lighter, slower planes burn less fuel than heavier, faster ones.

Last week, US Airways President Scott Kirby told ABC News the carrier plans to lighten its load and save about $10 million per year by removing heavy in-flight entertainment systems. The carrier will also make some money by charging passengers for sodas.

"The airlines are bleeding money today and our business is transporting customers from point A to point B, not serving Cokes," Kirby said.

Still, some say the little things will simply not add up.

"You cannot nickel-and-dime your way to profitability, and you cannot shrink your way to profitability," Nance said. "And we have the entirety of the airline industry in the United States right now in a complete meltdown financially."

"I think that if oil keeps going up, if we hit the $200 level, you'll see more bankruptcies this winter," David Field, U.S. editor of Airlines Business Magazine told ABC News late last week. "And I don't want to name names, but big brand-name airlines are going to face some very tough choices."

ABC News' Lisa Stark and Matt Hosford contributed to this report.

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