American, Southwest report billions in third-quarter losses

American, Southwest report billions in third-quarter losses
© Greg Nash

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines on Thursday reported billions of dollars in losses as the industry continues to be hit hard by decreased travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Associated Press, American and Southwest reported losses of $2.4 billion and $1.16 billion, respectively, in the third quarter, a period of summer months that usually sees higher rates of air travel.

The airlines, combined with Delta and United, have lost at least $10 billion in each of the last two quarters, the AP reported. 


The losses the airlines have experienced due to COVID-19 have led to calls for the United States government to provide additional aid until more travelers feel comfortable taking flights. 

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has called on Washington to approve more pandemic relief, including a six-month extension of $25 billion in aid to airlines. 

According to the AP, Kelly argued that without relief, “we simply cannot afford to continue with the conditions required to maintain full pay and employment.” 

Earlier this month, Southwest announced that it plans to cut pay for nonunion workers by 10 percent in January and has asked unions to accept lower pay to avoid furloughs. 

On Wednesday, Airlines for America and the U.S. Travel Association, along with hundreds of other organizations part of the Covid Relief Now Coalition, launched a digital advertising campaign calling on Congress to quickly approve a new coronavirus stimulus package. 


They anticipate spending more than $100,000 over the next couple of months on ad buys, according to the International Franchise Association (IFA). The ad is currently running on social media platforms.

“Our economy is on brink of collapse, millions of Americans unemployed, small businesses struggling to stay open, vital services stifled without funding. America is at a pivotal point. We need our leaders to lead. Tell Congress: no recess without relief,” the ad reads.

While U.S. airlines recorded more than 1 million passengers on Sunday for the first time since March, the Transportation Security Administration reported that air travel in October is down 65 percent from what it was at this time last year, according to the AP. 

The calls for government aid come amid weeks-long talks between House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiVaccinated lawmakers no longer required to wear masks on House floor Simmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Pelosi signals no further action against Omar MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE to reach a deal on providing economic relief to Americans and businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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