New Cirium Airline Finance Rankings Show an Industry Net Loss of Nearly $220 Billion Since the Pandemic Began

  • Airline groups added another $42 billion in net losses in 2021 and $15 billion for the first half of … Business Wire India
    • Airline groups added another $42 billion in net losses in 2021 and $15 billion for the first half of 2022
    • The US industry is on course to return to profitability in 2022, with Delta Air Lines already reclaiming top place in the first half ranking
    • Losses appear to be worsening in China as COVID-19 lockdowns take their toll on traffic, dampening recovery in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole

    Cirium’s analysis of the World Airline Group Finance Rankings results for 2021 and the first half of 2022, shows how the steep decline in airline revenues has translated into a net loss of nearly $220 billion over the past two and a half years since the pandemic began.

     

    This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221201005382/en/

     

    Cirium airline group corporate financial results for the first half of 2022. (Photo: Business Wire)

    Cirium airline group corporate financial results for the first half of 2022. (Photo: Business Wire)

    The full extent of damage from the pandemic shows through in the latest Cirium airline rankings. Revenues for the world’s airline groups more than halved in 2020 and, despite some recovery, ended 2021 still down by over 40% on pre-pandemic levels. At $500 billion, revenues remain lower than they were 15 years ago.

     

    With most airline financial results in for the first half of 2022, there are further signs of recovery from the depth of the crisis, but the industry is expected to show another loss for the whole of 2022.

     

    Jeremy Bowen, CEO at Cirium said: “It’s a positive sign that the net deficit is decreasing year-over-year. In 2020, the revenue decline translated into net losses of $160 billion, another $42 billion last year and losses for the first half of this year total around $15 billion.

     

    “If losses so far this year aren’t substantially added to, that would leave the airline industry with the overall net loss of nearly $220 billion since the start of 2020. However, if we assume that there are no further shocks to the industry, there is the possibility that the industry may break even in the second half of the year, led by US and European groups.”

     

    Demand has been recovering, with global revenues up by 70% for the first six months of 2022, bringing the total to within 20% of 2019 levels.

     

    Cirium’s World Airline Group Finance Rankings for the first half of 2022 shows strongest progress from the North American carriers as they marked up a 5% increase over pre-pandemic levels and returned to a modest operating profit.

     

    Delta Air Lines returns to the top of the revenue ranking this year, with revenue virtually back to pre-pandemic levels. The Federal Express (FedEx) air cargo operation narrowly slips to second spot, having led throughout the pandemic thanks to a strong global air freight market, driven by surging demand for PPE and ecommerce.

     

    Early results for the September quarter show the six largest US carriers now with record revenues and an overall net profit for the first nine months of the year, putting the industry on course to post a modest profit for the year if trends continue.

     

    The major European airline groups such as Lufthansa, also showed strong recovery in first half revenues, following the lifting of travel restrictions in early 2022 which unleashed a wave of passenger demand.

     

    Traffic within Western Europe has been running at around 95% of pre-pandemic levels since the middle of the year, raising revenues and returning the largest groups to profitability in the September quarter.

     

    By contrast, the Asia-Pacific region has struggled, largely because of China’s continued COVID-19 lockdowns. Chinese airlines posted a 35% decline in revenue and a net loss of nearly $10 billion in the first half of 2022, higher than either of the previous two years. The results going into the second half of the year look likely to add to that deficit. That is likely to be offset to an extent by airlines within the rest of the region, but on current performance that looks unlikely to be enough to counter the deficit flowing from China.

     

    Rank

     

    Airline Group

     

    Country

     

    Revenue ($m)

     

    Change (%)

     

    Op Result

     

    Operating Margin (%)

     

    Net Result

     

    Net Margin (%)

    2022

     

    2019

             

    2022

     

    22 v 21

     

    22 v 19

     

    2022

     

    2022

     

    2021

     

    2020

     

    2019

     

    2022

     

    2022

     

    2021

     

    2020

     

    2019

    1

     

    1

     

    Delta Air Lines

     

    USA

     

    23,172

     

    105

    %

     

    1

    %

     

    736

     

    3

    %

     

    -5

    %

     

    -52

    %

     

    14

    %

     

    -205

     

    -1

    %

     

    -5

    %

     

    -62

    %

     

    9

    %

    2

     

    5

     

    FedEx

     

    USA

     

    23,072

     

    8

    %

     

    23

    %

     

    1,599

     

    7

    %

     

    7

    %

     

    2

    %

     

    6

    %

     

    1,402

     

    6

    %

     

    7

    %

     

    3

    %

     

    6

    %

    3

     

    2

     

    American Airlines

     

    USA

     

    22,321

     

    94

    %

     

    -1

    %

     

    -706

     

    -3

    %

     

    -8

    %

     

    -50

    %

     

    7

    %

     

    -1,159

     

    -5

    %

     

    -11

    %

     

    -42

    %

     

    4

    %

    4

     

    3

     

    United Airlines

     

    USA

     

    19,678

     

    126

    %

     

    -6

    %

     

    -498

     

    -3

    %

     

    -19

    %

     

    -28

    %

     

    9

    %

     

    -1,048

     

    -5

    %

     

    -21

    %

     

    -35

    %

     

    6

    %

    5

     

    4

     

    Lufthansa

     

    Germany

     

    16,107

     

    108

    %

     

    -23

    %

     

    -215

     

    -1

    %

     

    -29

    %

     

    -31

    %

     

    2

    %

     

    -353

     

    -2

    %

     

    -28

    %

     

    -39

    %

     

    -1

    %

    If the industry does manage to contain its net loss for the full year around the $10-15 billion mark, it is worth remembering that is still equivalent to industry annual losses 20 years before in the wake of the crisis that followed the 9/11 attacks.

     

    Cirium’s World Airline Group Passenger Rankings for 2021 and First Half of 2022 is a premium analysis available in Cirium Dashboard. The report features:

     

    • Top 25 airline groups by revenue ($m) Jan-Jun 2022
    • Top 100 airline groups by revenue ($m) 2021
    • Airline group corporate financial results by region Jan-Jun 2022 ($bn)
    • Passenger volumes by region Jan-Jun 2022
    • Airline group corporate financial results by region and airline type 2019-2021 ($bn)

     

    Click here to download the full report.

     

    Ends

     

    About Cirium

     

    Cirium brings together powerful data and analytics to keep the world moving. Delivering insight, built from decades of experience in the sector, enabling travel companies, aircraft manufacturers, airports, airlines and financial institutions, among others, to make logical and informed decisions which shape the future of travel, growing revenues and enhancing customer experiences. Cirium is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The shares of RELX PLC are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.

     

    For further information please follow Cirium updates on LinkedIn or Twitter or visit www.cirium.com

     

     


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