United Airlines loses $1.6 billion in second quarter but expects to further lower cash burn


A United Airlines Boeing 777-200 aircraft

Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

United Airlines posted a $1.63 billion net loss for the second quarter, driven by a plunge in air travel demand because of the coronavirus pandemic, the carrier said Tuesday.

Revenue fell more than 87% from a year earlier to $1.48 billion from a in the three months ended June 30, compared with analysts’ estimates for sales of $1.32 billion.

The Chicago-based carrier and other large-airline competitors that spent years building up their networks are grappling with what are expected to be long-lasting impacts of the pandemic.

United said it expects to reduce its cash burn to $25 million a day in the third quarter from an average daily burn of $40 million in second quarter. The carrier has slashed thousands of flights and parked hundreds of planes to cut its cash burn.

United earlier this month warned 36,000 employees that their jobs are at risk this fall when the terms of federal payroll support expire in October.

United’s shares were down 1.4% in postmarket trading.

United executives will hold a call with analysts to break down their results and outlook at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are scheduled to report quarterly results before the market opens on Thursday.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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