Southwest Airlines on Tuesday posted its first quarterly loss since 2011 and predicted “no material improvement in air travel trends” this spring as the coronavirus devastates demand.
Southwest is scrambling to cut costs and reduce its daily cash burn, which it estimates will average $30 million to $35 million in the second quarter. It announced a public stock offering of 55 million shares, worth around $1.6 billion at Monday’s closing price and said it would issue $1 billion in additional debt in an effort to shore up its finances amid a dismal demand outlook.
The airline said it expects that its operating revenue next month to fall as much as 95% from a year earlier but warned that it is “unable to reasonably estimate trends beyond May 2020.”
Southwest follows Delta and United in posting a loss for the quarter. Travel is among the hardest-hit industries from the coronavirus and severe measures to stop it from spreading like shelter-in-place orders. Airlines including…