July 14 (UPI) -- Delta Air Lines on Tuesday reported a $7 billion pretax loss for the second quarter, citing a severe decrease in revenues due to the depressed demand wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bastian added that Delta was able to reduce its average "daily cash burn" rate by more than 70 percent to $27 million during the second quarter, but the airline foresees more of the same kind of lost revenue in the near term.
"Given the combined effects of the pandemic and associated financial impact on the global economy, we continue to believe that it will be more than two years before we see a sustainable recovery," he said.
The U.S. and global airline industries have seen travel demand plummet since the coronavirus crisis arrived in March. Per-mile revenue contracted by 91 percent year-over-year in May after posting a 94 percent decline the previous month, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Although airlines have canceled flights and grounded thousands of aircraft in response to the health crisis, global passenger demand still fell faster than capacity in May, the industry group said.
U.S. airlines are trying to cope with the downturn through layoffs and furloughs.
American Airlines warned unions this week that labor notices will soon be sent to workers and United said last week as much as 40 percent of its staff could be furloughed if not enough employees opt for buyouts or early retirement.
In Australia, national carrier Qantas has removed almost all international flights from its website through March -- which will be a full year from the month it grounded its fleet due to the pandemic.
The removals don't mean the flights have been canceled, but they prevent new bookings for overseas Qantas routes except for those to New Zealand, Executive Traveler reported.
Qantas said last month it expects 6,000 employees to be laid off and 15,000 furloughed due to economic fallout related to the health crisis. It also said it would ground dozens of planes for as long as a year as part of a long-term plan to cut costs by $10 billion.