Airlines routinely posted losses deeper than the revenue they brought in during the April-June quarter, as the virtual grounding of international scheduled services wiped out much of their business.

In essence it means costs incurred for most airlines - even with measures taken to cut expenditure during the grounding - were more than double the revenues generated during the quarter.

FlightGlobal analysis of results so far published by 26 leading airline groups for the second quarter of the calendar year show collective net losses of just over $26 billion have been recorded so far. The same carriers generated revenues of $17 billion during the same period.

While different accounting and state support measures mean the figures do not consistently account for gains such as state payroll support measures and one-off restructuring costs, the figures underline the scale of the pressure the industry has been under.

Collective operating losses, covering 25 airlines, stood at just under $25 billion for the three months ending June 2020. By contrast, the same carriers posted profits of $10.7 billion in the same period last year.

Net losses covering 25 airlines reached $26.3 billion for the quarter. That compares with collective profits of $6.6 billion for April-June 2019.

All the carriers to report for the quarter, except Korean Air, were loss-making during the period. By contrast only three of these carriers posted a net loss for the same quarter last year, and all bar Korean were profitable at an operating level in what is traditionally one of the strongest financial quarters for airlines.

US carriers, the most profitable over recent years, posted collective net losses of $12 billion during the quarter.

The losses reflect the collapse in airline passenger revenues for the quarter. Revenues for the 25 carriers stood at $15.2 billion. That figure is drastically down on the $102 billion these carriers generated in the same quarter in 2019.

Cargo offered some tonic for airlines during the crisis, notably in terms of improved yields, and prompted many operators to redeploy passenger aircraft on freight missions. As a result, some groups, such Lufthansa Cargo, reported increased freight revenues and turned round losses at the same stage last year to post a profit.

Notably Korean Air cited its freight performance for posting a profit for the three months ending June 2020 compared with a loss for the same period last year.

But the large reduction in belly capacity from the grounding of the passenger fleet meant cargo revenues for most operators were also down on 2019 levels during the quarter, even with the improved profitability.

Leading airline group financial results April-June 2020 ($m)

Airline/Group2020 revenue2019 revenue2020 op result2019 op result2020 net result2019 net result
Delta Air Lines                   1,468                   12,536                   -4,815                     2,128                     -5,717                      1,443
American Airlines                    1,622                   11,960                  - 2,486                     1,153                     -2,067                          662
United Airlines Holding                   1,475                   11,402                   -1,637                     1,472                     -1,627                      1,052
Lufthansa Group                   2,248                   10,846                   -1,989                         857                     -1,769                          254
Air France-KLM Group                   1,389                     8,252                   -1,825                         450                     -3,070                            91
IAG                       871                     7,911                   -2,559                      1,081                     -2,495                          829
Southwest Airlines                   1,008                     5,909                   -1,127                         968                     -1,501                          741
ANA Holdings                   1,151                     4,064                   -1,510                         149                     -1,028                          105
Air Canada                       393                     3,533                   -1,160                         317                     -1,306                          258
Japan Airlines Group                       720                     3,288                   -1,236                         171                       - 885                          110
SIA Group                       618                     2,980                     - 753                         109                        -816                            81
Ryanair                       147                     2,717                      -188                         310                        -185                          273
Korean Air                   1,400                     2,572                       125                          -86                         137                         -324
EasyJet                           9                     2,301                      -424      
Alaska Air Group                       421                     2,288                      -288                         364                        -214                          262
Aeroflot Group                       284                     2,162                            -356                            43
JetBlue Airways                       215                     2,105                      -410                         236                        -320                          179
IndiGo                       102                     1,360                      -380                         228                        -379                          174
Spirit Airlines                       139                     1,013                      -364                         165                        -286                          116
Finnair                         81                         927                      -201                           54                        -202                            35
Grupo Aeromexico                       116                         867                   -1,042                             6                     -1,220                           -57
Gol                         68                         810                      -170                           82                        -379                           -32
Wizz Air                       107                         778                      -125                         104                        -127                            82
SkyWest                       350                         744                           -4                         144                          -26                            88
Hawaiian Airlines                         60                         712                      -149                           89                        -107                            58
Allegiant Air                       133                         492                      -113                         108                         - 93                            71
Total                 16,595                104,529                 -25,080                   10,659                   26,312                      6,594
Source: FightGlobal analysis of airline financial announcements. All figures ($m)

 This article was updated on 7 August to add in Korean Air results