Delta (DAL) posts 2Q loss amid coronavirus pandemic

Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, March 25, 2020.

Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

Delta Air Lines posted a $7 billion pretax loss in the second quarter, driven mostly by the coronavirus pandemic’s devastation on demand for air travel.

Last month, Delta estimated that revenue would fall 90% in the second quarter from a year ago, despite an uptick in travelers from a more than five-decade low hit in April.

The Atlanta-based airline said it expected to reduce its daily cash burn to around $40 million by the end of last month from roughly $100 million a day as of the end of March. The airline wants to eliminate its cash burn by the end of the year.

Airlines are among the industries hardest hit by the pandemic as worries over the virus and an unprecedented series of travel restrictions in the U.S. and abroad curtail travel. Carriers like Delta have parked hundreds of planes and slashed routes.

Delta and its competitors have urged employees to take buyouts or early retirement as they scramble to reduce their payroll. They’re prohibited from laying off staff until Oct. 1 under the terms of $25 billion in federal coronavirus aid but have already started to warn employees about potential cuts.

Executives will hold a call with analysts at 10 a.m. ET.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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