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First Quarter 2020 U.S. Airline Financial Data

Bureau of Transportation Statistics;

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a first-quarter 2020 after-tax net loss of $5.2 billion and a pre-tax operating loss of $4.6 billion.

The first-quarter losses follow 27 consecutive quarterly after-tax net profits and 35 consecutive quarterly pre-tax operating profits.

Results for All 23 Scheduled U.S. Passenger Airlines

Figure 1. Systemwide U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 1Q 2020Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

After-tax net income

  • $5.2 billion loss in 1Q 2020
  • Down from $3.4 billion gain in 4Q 2019
  • Down from $2.0 billion gain in 1Q 2019

Pre-tax operating profit

  • $4.6 billion loss in 1Q 2020
  • Down from $4.6 profit in 4Q 2019
  • Down from $2.9 billion profit in 1Q 2019
  • Total 1Q 2020 operating revenue: $37.3 billion, of which:
    • $26.8 billion (71.8%) from fares
    • $1.2 billion (3.3%) from baggage fees
    • $656.4 million (1.8%) from reservation change fees
  • Total 1Q 2020 operating expenses: $41.9 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $6.4 billion, 15.3% of total operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $14.4 billion, 34.5% of total operating expenses

Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss.

Domestic operations, includes 23 U.S. airlines:

Figure 2. Domestic U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 1Q 2020Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

After-tax domestic net profit (net income)

  • $4.1 billion loss in 1Q 2020
  • Down from $2.7 billion gain in 4Q 2019
  • Down from $1.5 billion gain in 1Q 2019

Pre-tax domestic operating profit

  • $3.8 billion loss in 1Q 2020
  • Down from $3.7 billion profit in 4Q 2019
  • Down from $2.2 billion profit in 1Q 2019
  • Total 1Q 2020 domestic operating revenue: $28.8 billion, of which:
    • $20.0 billion (69.3%) from fares
    • $975.4 million (3.4%) from baggage fees
    • $487.6 million (1.7%) from reservation change fees
  • Total 1Q 2020 domestic operating expenses: $32.6 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $4.6 billion, 14.0% of total domestic operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $11.0 billion, 33.5% of total domestic operating expenses

International operations, includes 20 U.S. airlines:

Figure 3. International U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 1Q 2020Source: Bureau of Transportation StatisticsAfter-tax international net profit (net income)

  • $1.2 billion loss in 1Q 2020
  • Down from $691 million gain in 4Q 2019
  • Down from $545 million gain in 1Q 2019

Pre-tax international operating profit

  • $722 million loss in 1Q 2020
  • Down from $864 million profit in 4Q 2019
  • Down from $747 million profit in 1Q 2019
  • Total 1Q 2020 international operating revenue: $8.5 billion, of which:
    • $6.8 billion (80.1%) from fares
    • $250.4 million (2.9%) from baggage fees
    • $168.8 million (2.0%) from reservation change fees
  • Total 1Q 2020 international operating expenses: $9.3 billion,
    • Fuel costs accounted for $1.8 billion, 19.6% of international operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $3.5 billion, 37.6% of international operating expenses

1st Quarter Margins

Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue. Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.

Systemwide:

Net income margin:

  • -14.0% in 1Q2020
  • Down from 4.5% in 1Q 2019

Operating margin:

  • -12.2% in 1Q2020
  • Down from 6.5% in 1Q 2019

Domestic

Net income margin:

  • -14.1% in 1Q2020
  • Down from 4.3% in 1Q 2019

Operating margin:

  • -13.3% in 1Q2020
  • Down from 6.4% in 1Q 2019

International

Net income margin:

  • -13.8% in 1Q2020
  • Down from 5.1% in 1Q 2019

Operating margin:

  • -8.5% in 1Q2020
  • Down from 7.0% in 1Q 2019

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