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tphuang
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US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:41 am

https://crankyflier.com/2020/07/30/figu ... y-burning/
This is quite an interesting article, since we normally hear numbers without their context.

Just looking at this, WN looked a lot better than I originally thought and NK/DL did a lot worse than I originally thought. AS performed about just as well as originally thought. UA was easily conserving the most cash out of big 3. AA was the worst.
 
hiflyeras
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Re: Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:27 pm

Thanks for posting! Somewhere I saw 2nd quarter load factors...still trying to find that! I remember that WN’s numbers were pretty dismal...all were of course but they really popped out.
 
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STT757
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Re: Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:32 pm

I pray for a recovery, and when it comes AS, B6 and UA are in good positions. UA's problem pre-covid was that they were too small, now the problem is that DL and especially AA are too big. UA is hurt by their large widebody fleet and International network, however they've been turning lemons into lemonade with their cargo operation.
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airlineaddict
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Re: Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:12 pm

It will be interesting to see where HA comes in relative to this analysis. They have stated that their cash burn was averaged $3.3M per day in Q2 with 12+ months of liquidity prior to any additional financing.
 
AAY224
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Re: Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:17 pm

Interesting article, but the worst case scenario outlook (assuming burn rates remain the same) obviously won't apply, as they're already down significantly for these airlines and the situation is very dynamic.

Some numbers from 2Q earnings release -
Alaska went from $30m a day in March to $4M in June
American went from $100M a day in April to $30M in June
Spirit went from $9.5M in April to $1.5M in June
Delta was down 70% from March to $27M at the end of June
I didn't see United's monthly rates but their earnings indicates it is dropping quickly.
Jetblue didn't give a number for April in their 2Q earnings, but they said $9M in May and $8M in June. I assume April was far higher than May.
Allegiant even reported that they broke even in June

These will likely fluctuate with the rise and fall of demand and bookings, but the silver lining is that burn rates are going down, and some are going down significantly.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:29 pm

Using a full 2Q burn rate - instead of June, or end of June, or current burn rate - to calc months of cash remaining is just amateur.
 
tphuang
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Re: Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:33 pm

AAY224 wrote:
Interesting article, but the worst case scenario outlook (assuming burn rates remain the same) obviously won't apply, as they're already down significantly for these airlines and the situation is very dynamic.

Some numbers from 2Q earnings release -
Alaska went from $30m a day in March to $4M in June
American went from $100M a day in April to $30M in June
Spirit went from $9.5M in April to $1.5M in June
Delta was down 70% from March to $27M at the end of June
I didn't see United's monthly rates but their earnings indicates it is dropping quickly.
Jetblue didn't give a number for April in their 2Q earnings, but they said $9M in May and $8M in June. I assume April was far higher than May.
Allegiant even reported that they broke even in June

These will likely fluctuate with the rise and fall of demand and bookings, but the silver lining is that burn rates are going down, and some are going down significantly.


The point of the research is to say that those burn rates given aren't measured the same way. So you need to normalize them. After normalizing, DL's burn rate was 20% higher and WN was 25% lower. So it's not really a good idea to continue to use numbers from the earnings release.

I wouldn't be too concerned about worst case scenario outlook right now since different airlines have different capacity to obtain additional financing. The month remaining part is not to useful without knowing the current normalized burn rate.
 
Alias1024
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:22 pm

It's too bad there isn't a link to the Raymond James report so we can see for ourselves what adjustments were made by the analysts.

From a standpoint of cash burn it makes no sense to include principal repayment but exclude cash received from issuance of debt. If what Cranky Flyer wrote is true then I'd agree with Delta's position on this issue. In many cases a company simply pays off the maturities with new debt. The cash burn is only affected by the fees involved in the transaction and any increase in interest rate paid.

In DL's case the cash burn is increased due to higher interest expense going forward, but that's the price to be paid for hoarding tens of billions of borrowed money on your balance sheet. It's also the same story at every other airline that's borrowed to fortify their cash position.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
airplaneboy
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:38 pm

Alias1024 wrote:
In DL's case the cash burn is increased due to higher interest expense going forward, but that's the price to be paid for hoarding tens of billions of borrowed money on your balance sheet. It's also the same story at every other airline that's borrowed to fortify their cash position.


Which is why WN, for example, paid off a loan within weeks of the pandemic beginning. Because a high interest loan is still a part of costs (and cash burn). That’s like saying an airline that hedges fuel can’t include fuel costs as a part of its financial performance because they didn’t pay market rates relative to their competitors who chose not to hedge fuel. Fuel is still an expense - hedging or not. Loans and interest are still an expense. If they can manage without the money, it would be prudent to pay off those high interest loans now.
 
Alias1024
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:59 pm

airplaneboy wrote:
Alias1024 wrote:
In DL's case the cash burn is increased due to higher interest expense going forward, but that's the price to be paid for hoarding tens of billions of borrowed money on your balance sheet. It's also the same story at every other airline that's borrowed to fortify their cash position.


Which is why WN, for example, paid off a loan within weeks of the pandemic beginning. Because a high interest loan is still a part of costs (and cash burn). That’s like saying an airline that hedges fuel can’t include fuel costs as a part of its financial performance because they didn’t pay market rates relative to their competitors who chose not to hedge fuel. Fuel is still an expense - hedging or not. Loans and interest are still an expense. If they can manage without the money, it would be prudent to pay off those high interest loans now.


I'm not saying the interest isn't an expense that reduces cash available. It clearly increases the cash needs of of a company.

I'm saying counting principal repayment as cash burn but not counting proceeds from debt issuance doesn't make sense. It's like if you refinance your $200,000 mortgage, only paying closing costs, and then tell everyone you spent $200,000 paying off your mortgage while neglecting to mention you borrowed $200,000. Your cash position didn't change by $200,000, it changed by the closing costs of the transaction.

Also, the only debt repayment I see for Southwest since March involves paying down their 364 day revolver by issuing new debt at 3 & 7 year maturities. Looking at the current LIBOR and the terms of the revolver the interest on the new debt is almost certainly 4+% HIGHER for the new debt, increasing interest expense. Southwest is willing to pay the interest because it pushes the maturity out hopefully past the end of the pandemic.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
airplaneboy
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:26 pm

Alias1024 wrote:

I'm not saying the interest isn't an expense that reduces cash available. It clearly increases the cash needs of of a company.

I'm saying counting principal repayment as cash burn but not counting proceeds from debt issuance doesn't make sense. It's like if you refinance your $200,000 mortgage, only paying closing costs, and then tell everyone you spent $200,000 paying off your mortgage while neglecting to mention you borrowed $200,000. Your cash position didn't change by $200,000, it changed by the closing costs of the transaction.

Also, the only debt repayment I see for Southwest since March involves paying down their 364 day revolver by issuing new debt at 3 & 7 year maturities. Looking at the current LIBOR and the terms of the revolver the interest on the new debt is almost certainly 4+% HIGHER for the new debt, increasing interest expense. Southwest is willing to pay the interest because it pushes the maturity out hopefully past the end of the pandemic.


Thanks for taking the time to explain that as I don’t have a background in finance/economics. Where are you seeing the issuance of new debt by the way? Are you referring to the sale/leaseback agreements? Here’s what I found from their Q2 financial report just out a few days ago:

“Net cash provided by operations during second quarter 2020 was $897 million, driven primarily by PSP proceeds. Capital expenditures during second quarter 2020 were $113 million, which were more than offset by $128 million of supplier proceeds and $815 million in proceeds from sale-leaseback transactions, both of which the Company accounted for as a reduction to aircraft capital expenditures. The Company has more than offset its originally planned annual 2020 capital spending of approximately $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion, primarily due to its 2020 and 2021 fleet delivery agreement with Boeing, proceeds from sale-leaseback transactions, and the cancellation or deferral of the majority of its capital investment projects originally planned for this year. In addition to the full repayment of its $3.7 billion 364-day term loan, and the full repayment of amounts drawn under its $1.0 billion revolving credit facility, the Company repaid approximately $159 million in debt and finance lease obligations during second quarter 2020, and expects to repay approximately $600 million in debt and finance lease obligations in the remainder of 2020.

Earlier this month, pursuant to a separate secured loan program established under the CARES Act, the Company signed a non-binding letter of intent with the U.S. Treasury with respect to a secured loan with an estimated principal amount of approximately $2.8 billion. This was the next step in the loan process, and the Company has not yet determined if it will ultimately participate in the secured loan program.”

http://investors.southwest.com/news-and ... -113111706
 
Alias1024
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:07 pm

airplaneboy wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to explain that as I don’t have a background in finance/economics. Where are you seeing the issuance of new debt by the way? Are you referring to the sale/leaseback agreements? Here’s what I found from their Q2 financial report just out a few days ago:

The 8k filing dated 6/11/20 indicates that they paid the remaining $1.7 billion on the 364-day credit agreement using proceeds from the issuance of the new debt. A little more detail on that new debt is in another 8k filed on 6/8/20.

There is also an 8k from 5/1/20 which describes the issuance of $2.3 billion worth of five year convertible notes at 1.25% interest, and the issuance of 80,500,000 new shares of stock raising nearly $2.3 billion. Although not stated I would think this is where most of the other cash came from to pay remainder of the 364 day term loan and revolving credit facilities.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
airplaneboy
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:32 am

Alias1024 wrote:
airplaneboy wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to explain that as I don’t have a background in finance/economics. Where are you seeing the issuance of new debt by the way? Are you referring to the sale/leaseback agreements? Here’s what I found from their Q2 financial report just out a few days ago:

The 8k filing dated 6/11/20 indicates that they paid the remaining $1.7 billion on the 364-day credit agreement using proceeds from the issuance of the new debt. A little more detail on that new debt is in another 8k filed on 6/8/20.

There is also an 8k from 5/1/20 which describes the issuance of $2.3 billion worth of five year convertible notes at 1.25% interest, and the issuance of 80,500,000 new shares of stock raising nearly $2.3 billion. Although not stated I would think this is where most of the other cash came from to pay remainder of the 364 day term loan and revolving credit facilities.


Thank you again for your insight. Can you help explain in plain-Joe terms how this new debt is more beneficial for WN in regards to taking advantage of the maturity of the new debt? Especially since the interest with this new debt is higher than the loan they paid off (using this new debt)? And also, why would they rush to pay off this early loan with higher interest debt? Much appreciated for educating the Econ 101 folks like myself. :)
 
Miamiairport
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:28 pm

airplaneboy wrote:
Alias1024 wrote:
airplaneboy wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to explain that as I don’t have a background in finance/economics. Where are you seeing the issuance of new debt by the way? Are you referring to the sale/leaseback agreements? Here’s what I found from their Q2 financial report just out a few days ago:

The 8k filing dated 6/11/20 indicates that they paid the remaining $1.7 billion on the 364-day credit agreement using proceeds from the issuance of the new debt. A little more detail on that new debt is in another 8k filed on 6/8/20.

There is also an 8k from 5/1/20 which describes the issuance of $2.3 billion worth of five year convertible notes at 1.25% interest, and the issuance of 80,500,000 new shares of stock raising nearly $2.3 billion. Although not stated I would think this is where most of the other cash came from to pay remainder of the 364 day term loan and revolving credit facilities.


Thank you again for your insight. Can you help explain in plain-Joe terms how this new debt is more beneficial for WN in regards to taking advantage of the maturity of the new debt? Especially since the interest with this new debt is higher than the loan they paid off (using this new debt)? And also, why would they rush to pay off this early loan with higher interest debt? Much appreciated for educating the Econ 101 folks like myself. :)


Yes the new debt might be at a higher interest rate but if the existing debt is schedule to mature in the next 1-2 years WN might believe interest rates are more favorable now than in the future. Also the revolver is set aside for working capital needs should cash flow fall short. Given the state of the industry and the economy in general seems as WN is trying to set it's finances to weather a very bad storm.
 
gonnagetbumpy
Posts: 74
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:14 pm

One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.
 
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kordcj
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:14 pm

gonnagetbumpy wrote:
One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.


Any reference to this? Or is this personal opinion? Not trying to defend UA or attack you, just curious to see the data.
The most obvious proof for intelligent life in the universe is that they haven't tried to contact us.
 
Alias1024
Posts: 2694
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:36 pm

airplaneboy wrote:
Alias1024 wrote:
airplaneboy wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to explain that as I don’t have a background in finance/economics. Where are you seeing the issuance of new debt by the way? Are you referring to the sale/leaseback agreements? Here’s what I found from their Q2 financial report just out a few days ago:

The 8k filing dated 6/11/20 indicates that they paid the remaining $1.7 billion on the 364-day credit agreement using proceeds from the issuance of the new debt. A little more detail on that new debt is in another 8k filed on 6/8/20.

There is also an 8k from 5/1/20 which describes the issuance of $2.3 billion worth of five year convertible notes at 1.25% interest, and the issuance of 80,500,000 new shares of stock raising nearly $2.3 billion. Although not stated I would think this is where most of the other cash came from to pay remainder of the 364 day term loan and revolving credit facilities.


Thank you again for your insight. Can you help explain in plain-Joe terms how this new debt is more beneficial for WN in regards to taking advantage of the maturity of the new debt? Especially since the interest with this new debt is higher than the loan they paid off (using this new debt)? And also, why would they rush to pay off this early loan with higher interest debt? Much appreciated for educating the Econ 101 folks like myself. :)


The reason the maturity is important is that on the vast majority of corporate bonds the company only needs to pay interest until the maturity date, at which point the entire principal amount is repaid. So for example, on those five year convertible notes I mentioned Southwest will pay $28,750,000 per year (1.25% interest) to the bondholders and at maturity in five years they will pay back the entire $2.3 billion. This assumes no bondholders take advantage of the convertibility and trade in their bonds for stock (not all bonds are convertible, but those ones were).

What Southwest has done with the new bond issues is to delay paying back principal for 3-7 years instead of one year. For the privilege of borrowing the money for a longer time period they are paying a higher interest rate. I think its a very prudent move by Southwest to have the cash in the bank now with no worries about having to repay in the next 1-2 years, while the airlines try to get through the pandemic.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
smartplane
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:13 am

gonnagetbumpy wrote:
One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.

Interesting to see how different strategies are in play. Care needs to be exercised assuming a reduction in customer credits = cash refunds. DL has been targetting incentives to persuade customers to use credits on flights asap - applying credits now on flights with low load factors is a win win.
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:52 am

kordcj wrote:
gonnagetbumpy wrote:
One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.


Any reference to this? Or is this personal opinion? Not trying to defend UA or attack you, just curious to see the data.


It has to do with flight delays.

If a flight was cancelled, all US airlines (including UA) will over a refund.

If a flight is delayed, it depends. AA offers refunds after 1 hour, DL after 1.5, AS after 2, and initially UA only did it after a 6 hour delay. However, UA changed it to two hours after June 6 and AA increased theirs to 4 hours I believe.

So UA started off more stingy but now AA is.
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FlyingElvii
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Re: Airlines Q2 cash burn

Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:03 am

AAY224 wrote:
Interesting article, but the worst case scenario outlook (assuming burn rates remain the same) obviously won't apply, as they're already down significantly for these airlines and the situation is very dynamic.

Some numbers from 2Q earnings release -
Alaska went from $30m a day in March to $4M in June
American went from $100M a day in April to $30M in June
Spirit went from $9.5M in April to $1.5M in June
Delta was down 70% from March to $27M at the end of June
I didn't see United's monthly rates but their earnings indicates it is dropping quickly.
Jetblue didn't give a number for April in their 2Q earnings, but they said $9M in May and $8M in June. I assume April was far higher than May.
Allegiant even reported that they broke even in June

These will likely fluctuate with the rise and fall of demand and bookings, but the silver lining is that burn rates are going down, and some are going down significantly.

The Skywest numbers were released Thursday. Revenues “only” down 50%, and they are sitting on a MOUNTAIN of cash.
 
gonnagetbumpy
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 4:16 pm

Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:48 pm

kordcj wrote:
gonnagetbumpy wrote:
One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.


Any reference to this? Or is this personal opinion? Not trying to defend UA or attack you, just curious to see the data.


Fair questions to ask. I'm not able to share specific numbers, but if you look at airline policies on refunds you'll see Delta has been more generous and has significantly fewer refund related complaints to the DOT. United is doing great managing this from a short-term perspective but I think some of the smaller things Delta is doing (like refunds, blocking middle seats, truly using their Lysol partnership to learn and improve vs just slapping Clorox on some signs), will benefit them for the long game. Definitely different strategies and both have value.
 
Airlines0613
Posts: 175
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Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:58 pm

gonnagetbumpy wrote:
kordcj wrote:
gonnagetbumpy wrote:
One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.


Any reference to this? Or is this personal opinion? Not trying to defend UA or attack you, just curious to see the data.


Fair questions to ask. I'm not able to share specific numbers, but if you look at airline policies on refunds you'll see Delta has been more generous and has significantly fewer refund related complaints to the DOT. United is doing great managing this from a short-term perspective but I think some of the smaller things Delta is doing (like refunds, blocking middle seats, truly using their Lysol partnership to learn and improve vs just slapping Clorox on some signs), will benefit them for the long game. Definitely different strategies and both have value.

DL’s policies may be a little more lenient, but it doesn’t prove your claims for UA’s lower cash burn.
 
mm320cap
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:35 pm

Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:36 pm

gonnagetbumpy wrote:
kordcj wrote:
gonnagetbumpy wrote:
One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.


Any reference to this? Or is this personal opinion? Not trying to defend UA or attack you, just curious to see the data.


Fair questions to ask. I'm not able to share specific numbers, but if you look at airline policies on refunds you'll see Delta has been more generous and has significantly fewer refund related complaints to the DOT. United is doing great managing this from a short-term perspective but I think some of the smaller things Delta is doing (like refunds, blocking middle seats, truly using their Lysol partnership to learn and improve vs just slapping Clorox on some signs), will benefit them for the long game. Definitely different strategies and both have value.


You’re lobbing quite a few accusations out there with no evidence. The Lysol vs Clorox one, for example, smacks of someone with an agenda. Do you have details about the Delta Lysol vs the United Clorox/Cleveland Clinic partnership? For example, the Clorox partnership was originally formed to make sure they could source cleaning products as there was zero supply. That’s not “just slapping a sticker on”.

Stating as a fact that UAL’s financials are better than DAL’s because of a refund policy while providing zero data is irresponsible.

I was on a United flight this morning. Cabin had been sprayed prior to boarding, and every passenger was handed two alcohol wipes. About 20 messages about masks.

The area where I agree with you fully is the middle seat block. United tries to limit middle seats with upgauging when needed, but DAL takes a clear lead here with their current policy. It will be interesting to see which strategy bears the most fruit.
 
samlarson
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:02 pm

Re: US Airlines Q2 cash burn

Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:53 am

One thing to note about United's lower cash burn, they have been by far the stingiest of the network career with refunds (they have relaxed some). Delta has still been refunding a significant amount of tickets, which is why United has lower cash burn - it's done on the backs of their customers.


Any reference to this? Or is this personal opinion? Not trying to defend UA or attack you, just curious to see the data.[/quote]

Fair questions to ask. I'm not able to share specific numbers, but if you look at airline policies on refunds you'll see Delta has been more generous and has significantly fewer refund related complaints to the DOT. United is doing great managing this from a short-term perspective but I think some of the smaller things Delta is doing (like refunds, blocking middle seats, truly using their Lysol partnership to learn and improve vs just slapping Clorox on some signs), will benefit them for the long game. Definitely different strategies and both have value.[/quote]

American Airlines says it reduced its cash burn to $30M a day in June after it was as high as $100M in April. Overall, cash burn was $55M a day for the quarter vs. the original forecast for $70M. The company says the improvement was driven by higher-than-forecast revenue and larger savings resulting from the cost-reduction initiatives
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