It's like the airline industry has never considered worst case scenarios, and are always caught off guard when it hits the fan. Does that make sense, or am I just babbling? Just my opinion and thoughts of course
I wouldn't say that you ate babbling, but it's close. If 90 days ago anyone would have thought that an airline had to plan for a 90% reduction in business overnight, even the most unrealistic A.nutter would have found it crazy. If any airline would have made a plan to sit on enough cash to weather a year long economic crash like we've seen, it would have gotten them pilloried. The Street would've made each carrier a hostile takeover target to get at the cash. A.nutters would've been clamoring for fleet renewals and stock buybacks. A.nutters can't even get Doug Parker's loss quote right. He said that AA was positioning the airline to avoid future losses, not simply that the airline would never lose money again. This kind of downturn was unforeseeable.
Will there be job losses? Of course. But there won't be substantial losses at a US carrier this year. Substantial being the key word. It's an election year. 2021? All bets are off. The employees at all carriers who took long term leaves may want to come back to work once the unemployment and partial pay deals dry up. Fleets have been eliminated to support the Big 3 coming back as smaller carriers. At AA the 190 was supposed to be gone already. AA kept them for capacity due to the MAX grounding. No longer needed. The 767 was gone by the end of the year, replaced by the 787. With little Europe flying, there's no need. Gone. The 757 can be replaced with excess 321 capacity. Gone. The 333? Replaced by excess 789 capacity as they come on line. We haven't seen delivery deferrals yet. It's when those come in large numbers that it'll be time to say that the business isn't coming back.
Personally, I expect every US major (as defined by the DOT) to take a trip through CH11. Most will have prepackaged deals that allow them to car wash debt and re-emerge immediately. AA paid creditors 100% during their last trip through. While it was the right thing to do, it was also a mistake. Creditors won't be so lucky this time around.