United Airlines lost $1.6 billion last quarter – a three-month outcome that was slightly better than analysts' dire expectations.
Still, the company's revenue was down nearly 90% compared with what it was bringing in a year ago. It's just the latest evidence that the air travel industry is facing a devastating financial outlook with no end in sight as Covid-19 cases spike in some areas of the United States.
United emphasized in a statement that it's been able to slow the rate at which it is burning through cash, even as many of its planes remain in storage and ticket sales have slumped.
The airline is losing $40 million each day, United said Tuesday, down from $100 million in April.
"We expect United produced fewer losses and lower cash burn in the second quarter than any of our large network competitors," CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement. "We accomplished this by quickly and accurately forecasting the impact that COVID would have on passenger and cargo demand, accurately matching our schedule to that reduced demand, completing the largest debt financing deal in aviation history, and cutting expenses across our business."
United said it expects its daily cash burn to dip to $25 million during the next quarter.
Moving forward: As new outbreaks across the US continue to delay the resurgence in air travel that carriers hoped to see, United is warning that tens of thousands of its workers could be furloughed in October. That's when the ban on involuntary job cuts, tied to bailout money airlines received months ago, expires.
Federal lawmakers are considering another stimulus package, but they remain divided over how it should be structured.