Major U.S. Airlines Are Not Expected To Recover From Covid Until 2022 At The Earliest

Major U.s. Airlines Are Not Expected To Recover From Covid Until 2022 At The Earliest

Wall Street analysts believe the four largest U.S. airlines – Delta (DAL), United (UAL), American (AAL) and Southwest (LUV) – will lose 50-60% of their revenue from Covid-19 as they struggle with unfathomable demand shock and restricted travel conditions. Many analysts also point out the risk of a structural change to corporate travel going forward as companies reevaluate their return on travel expenses since many businesses have adapted well to working remotely.

The most optimistic analyst estimates are forecasting that it will take the four largest U.S. airlines until 2022 for sales to recover back to 2019 levels, while the average analyst estimates show it may take until 2024. The most bearish analysts believe it could take even longer.

airline covid recovery sales above or below


Wall Street expects that once Covid-19 is more under control, travel demand will gradually recover and be led by pent-up demand for leisure travel. Temperature checks, enhanced cleaning, socially distanced boarding, masks and other precautions may be used in efforts to restore consumer confidence in the safety of flying. Some airlines are also removing middle seat passengers to create more physical separation on board and effectively capping a flight’s maximum load factor, which analysts forecast will be between 62% to 70% this year for the four largest U.S. airlines, according to a consensus by Visible Alpha.

airline load factor after covid

Learn more about how to assess company performance and KPIs for the airlines industry here.

This content was created using Visible Alpha Insights.

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The Visible Alpha Research and Innovation Lab issues cutting-edge consensus research on public companies and industries by extracting insights from Visible Alpha’s comprehensive database of the world’s leading investment analysts’ equity models and forecasts.