United Airlines reports more than $2 billion losses as air travel hits its lowest levels in decades amid coronavirus pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Big losses for United Airlines Monday with air travel hitting its lowest levels in decades.

The Chicago-based airline says it lost more than $2 billion in the first quarter this year.

The pandemic and resulting stay at home orders have halted typical air travel.

On Monday, United warned of lower than expected in earnings the first quarter of 2020, losing $2.1 billion.

"United's number are just jaw dropping clearly bail out number two is something everyone is going to be look at," said Joe Schwieterman, a transportation expert at DePaul University.

Chicago-based United is expected to get a $3.5 billion grant as well as a $1.5 billion low interest loan, and is looking to borrow another $4.5 billion from the federal government.

"I like everyone is pretty pessimistic about the next two months about the airlines, there's just no light," Schwieterman said.

Schwieterman said he expects the airline industry to recover with pent up demand and low gas prices, but that may not be until the fall or in 2021.
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