Delta Airlines ended the worst year in its history, and announced a record loss of $6.8 billion in 2020, after excluding special expenses, and calculating those expenses, its net loss during the year is about $12.4 billion.
Delta, which was the first major airline to announce the results of the fourth quarter of this year, like its counterparts in this field, suffered from a near-complete halt in air travel due to the Covid-19 virus epidemic earlier in the year, thus, it will not be the only company to report record losses, and although air travel improved during the fourth quarter as people headed for the holiday season, it was still lower than last year’s levels.
The company’s revenues declined by $7.5 billion during the quarter, or 65%, bringing the company’s annual revenues down by $29.9 billion, and this led to a loss in the fourth quarter of $1.6 billion excluding special expenses. The company may return to profit in the second half of 2021, but that depends on the progress of the epidemic containment process.
In 2019, Delta reported annual operating profit of $4.8 billion, prompting it to spend record employee bonuses of $1.6 billion to share profits with them, but in 2020, the company didn’t share any profits, rather, it provided financial compensation to employees in exchange for leaving work to encourage them to do so voluntarily, which led to a decrease in the total amount spent on employees’ salaries and other benefits related to them by $2.5 billion, or 22% for the entire year, the amount of employee salaries in the fourth quarter decreased by 34%.
American airlines also announced a total loss of $24.2 billion during the first nine months of 2020, after excluding special expenses, and Southwest will announce its first annual loss in its history when it will release its results later this month. Despite the losses, Delta shares recorded a slight improvement during the pre-market trading after the report.