Earnings for airlines turned to dust almost overnight when Covid hit …right alongside our plans to laze in a tropical pool drinking cheap cocktails in Bali. But two years (and a generous US$54 billion care package) later, US airlines are back, baby, rising like a phoenix from the ashes. 🔥
That’s partly thanks to our surging appetite for revenge travel, which has helped airlines to lift airfares more than enough to cover soaring fuel and labour costs. Last week, earnings updates from three of the world’s biggest airlines showed just how much those higher fares have been helping earnings to take off. ✈️ Despite flying almost 10% less, United (UAL) was able to grow revenue by 13.2% compared to the same period in 2019. That helped the company to report a quarterly net income of US$942 million. Not to be outdone, Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Airlines (AAL) both reported record revenues for the quarter.
And now that many of us are able to work remotely, American Airlines said they’ve seen a big jump in the number of ‘blended’ business-leisure trips. Those where we work by the pool during the day, and down mojitos on the beach at night. 🍸
But can the good times last? Or will the holiday glow for airlines fade as our appetite for revenge flying settles down? While all three airlines offered an upbeat view of the busy December holiday quarter ahead, the airline industry has been notoriously cyclical and can even end in airport chaos. Certainly something to remember as competition starts to ramp up again and economies face fresh turbulence. 🌬️
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