MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 03: Passengers pass through Miami International Airport before the start of Labor Day weekend on September 03, 2021 in Miami, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people not vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus not to travel this weekend. Those who must wear their masks and take precautions due to the high level of transmission of COVID-19 in the country. (Photo by Joe Redl / Getty Images)
Joe Redl | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Several US airlines lowered their financial forecasts on Thursday, citing weak bookings amid an increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
United Airlines said lower revenues would lead to adjusted pretax losses in the third and fourth quarters of this year. In July, the Chicago-based carrier said it expected to post pre-tax profit for this period. It plans to reduce its capacity further this year due to weak demand.
American Airlines said its third-quarter sales are expected to decline 28% from the same quarter of 2019. The company had previously forecast a 20% drop in revenue. American also said Thursday that it expects deeply negative profit margins. Southwest Airlines said it was also seeing lower bookings and higher cancellation rates.
Air travel typically takes place in late summer with schools reopening, but airline executives have warned in recent weeks that the rapidly expanding Delta version has exacerbated falling demand.
Further delays in Covid cases and plans to return to company offices have cast doubt on demand for business travel, a lucrative segment of air travel that is generally in decline.