Published on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Airlines see early signs of recovery

Southwest Airlines says it is seeing the first few green shoots of a recovery as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to batter the industry.

It is citing a 'modest improvement' with new bookings finally overtaking cancellations.

The Dallas-based carrier expects May operating revenue to be down about 90% year-over-year compared to earlier forecasts of 95%.

It reported a modest uptick in bookings for June 2020 and predicts operating revenue next month to be about 80% lower than in 2019.

Still even with much reduced schedules, passenger loadings will likely still be less than half full, it said.

"The revenue environment remains uncertain and may require additional capacity reductions depending on passenger demand," it said in a market filing.

June 2020 capacity will be down about 55% compared to a year ago.

United Airlines also cited a 'moderate improvement in demand.'

However, it isn't getting carried away.

The carrier 'plans to continue to proactively evaluate and cancel flights on a rolling 60-day basis until it sees signs of a recovery in demand.'

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