Southwest says it could take more than 5 years for business travel to get back to normal, as the airline reports its first loss since 2011 because of the coronavirus
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Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said on Tuesday that business travel could take more than five years to return to 2019 levels, as the airline reported its first quarterly loss since 2011 amid an “unprecedented” and “breathtaking” crisis for the global airline industry.
The airline reported a net loss of $94 million in the first quarter of 2020 with total revenue of $4.23 billion, down 18% over the year before. Those losses all came in March, as bookings plummeted and cancellations skyrocketed, Kelly said in the airline’s earnings call with analysts.
Southwest predicts “no material improvement in air travel trends” this spring, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission, saying it expects revenue to fall as much as 95% in May. It added that it is “unable to reasonably estimate trends beyond May 2020.”
The airline raised $6.8 billion in