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United Airlines Reports Massive COVID-19-Related Losses



United Airlines announced COVID-19 related restrictions and concerns resulted in a loss of $7.1 billion in 2020.

The carrier announced during a fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results press call that United burned through $33 million in cash per day and lost $1.9 billion in the final three months of last year.

After revealing that revenue dropped by 69 percent when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, airline officials are expecting more of the same in the first quarter of 2021, with an estimated decrease of between 65-70 percent.

“Aggressively managing the challenges of 2020 depended on our innovation and fast-paced decision making,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement. “But the truth is that COVID-19 has changed United Airlines forever.”

In response, United is laying the groundwork for a gradual recovery as the coronavirus vaccine continues to roll out to more Americans, with the company announcing $2 billion in annual structural cost reductions.

Officials believe business travel will eventually return to previous levels, but not until leisure travel has bounced back. As a result, the airline projects higher profit margins in 2023 than reported in 2019.

Earlier this week, United announced it had named Doreen Burse senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. Burse brings to the company more than 30 years of sales expertise from the hospitality industry.

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