offloaded its entire stake in the carriers last month, adding to the sense of crisis around the industry. US airlines posted significant losses in the first quarter, and are on track for a dismal second quarter, as travel restrictions and government-mandated lockdowns across the world have brought demand to a virtual standstill.
“The world has changed” for the aviation industry, Buffett said at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday. (American Airlines) has posted a $ 2.2 billion ( 1. billion pounds) net loss, its first quarterly loss since emerging from bankruptcy in , while United Airlines
reported a loss of $ 1.7 billion for its first quarter. (Shares in Delta Air Lines) American Airlines and U nited Airlines fell more than 19% after the start of trading, but had pared losses by mid-morning. United was last down 6.9%, American was down 7.8% and Delta was down 8.5%. Southwest Airlines Co
had also pared losses and was last down 6.9% “Investors looking at the (airlines) group, are technicians, traders, people buying distress for fairly quick bounces,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive at investment adviser Horizon Investment Services LLC, which held Southwest shares until a month ago.
“Long-term investors are saying ‘Do I want to sit with airline stocks, that may take four to five years for sustained moves upward, or put my money elsewhere,’” said Carlson . “They may feel some new opportunities have developed that are better than things they are holding and can rebound more quickly.”
has lost . 4% this year, compared with a . 4% decline in the broader S&P
. Vertical Research Partners analyst Robert Stallard said the worst is yet to come for the sector given that many airlines have cut capacity around % for April and May. <.spx> “Until we get some clarity and stability from the global airline sector, we think it is hard to gauge how deep and wide this aerospace canyon is going to be, “Stallard said.
Airline executives have warned of a slow recovery even after the virus is contained and have said demand may not recover to (levels for years.) Airlines in the United States have seen a near 500% drop in domestic passengers and are now working to reassure customers about the safety of air travel by instituting new cleaning and social distancing procedures. Data from Dealogic showed that globally airlines have about $ billion in bonds due to expire in and $ 4.7 billion in loans. Major airline bonds fell in mid-morning trade accor ding to data from MarketAxess. United Airlines’ 5% February bond was down 5% in price to trade at cents on the dollar, the second biggest downward movement among US corporate bonds on Monday. Three of the top 11 downwards movers in price were Delta bonds. Berkshire Hathaway had held an % stake in Delta, (% in American,) (% in Southwest and 9% in United at the end of 2024, according to its annual report and company filings. (Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru, Jessica DiNapoli and Kate Duguid in New York and Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; Edit ing by Maju Samuel, Megan Davies, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)