Delta posts second-quarter net loss of $5.7 billion, biggest in more than a decade, driven by coronavirus

Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, March 25, 2020.

Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

The coronavirus pandemic drove Delta Air Lines to a net loss of $5.7 billion in the second quarter, the biggest since 2008, as demand for air travel plunged.

Delta’s revenue fell 88% from a year ago to $1.47 billion, slightly higher than analysts’ estimates and roughly in line with the carrier’s forecast for a 90% drop. 

The Atlanta-based airline said it reduced its cash burn to $27 million by the end of June from roughly $100 million a day as of the end of March. The airline has said it wants to eliminate its cash burn by the end of the year.

Shares were down 1% in premarket trading.

Airlines are among the industries hardest hit by the pandemic as worries over the virus and an unprecedented series of travel restrictions in the U.S. and abroad curtail travel. Carriers like Delta have parked hundreds of planes and slashed routes.

Delta and its competitors have urged employees to take buyouts or early retirement as they scramble to reduce their payroll. They’re prohibited from laying off staff until Oct. 1 under the terms of $25 billion in federal coronavirus aid but have already started to warn employees about potential cuts.

Executives will hold a call with analysts at 10 a.m. ET.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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