Southwest posts $915 million loss in second quarter, warns of more COVID-19 pain

(Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) on Thursday warned that travel demand would remain depressed until a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 becomes available, as it posted a $915 million loss for the second quarter.

Optimism about a post-pandemic rebound in travel has waned as U.S. states scale back reopening plans to tackle another surge of infections in the country.

“Improving trends in revenue and bookings have recently stalled in July with the rise in COVID-19 cases,” Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said in a statement.

The airline said second-quarter average core cash burn was $23 million per day, and forecast current quarter cash burn to be in line with the second quarter.

Dallas-based Southwest posted a net loss of $915 million, or $1.63 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of $741 million, or $1.37 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the loss was $1.5 billion, or $2.67 per share.

The airline ended the second quarter with liquidity of $15.5 billion, and said total operating revenue fell 82.9% to $1.01 billion.

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