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US airlines brace for tough times before an inflection in 2H2021

Premium Analysis

There is a general consensus/hope among the US’ three large global network airlines – American, Delta and United – that continued vaccine distribution and administration is a key catalyst for demand to start approaching historical levels. 

But understandably there are nuances among those airlines regarding when a genuine and sustained uptick in demand will occur.

Delta has the most optimistic view, declaring that it could possibly return to profitability in the summer of 2021. American has not outlined a specific time period for a significant return in demand, while United believes the recovery will take the form of an S curve, and believes some improvement could emerge in 2H2021. 

For now, the status quo of stalled demand remains as those operators brace for tough conditions throughout early 2021, and it is still in the future to determine whether dynamics will in fact improve in the back half of the year. 

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