The tourism and travel sector was among the most affected by the 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic. Based on statistics presented by, the entire operating revenue of all U.S. airlines equates to $130B in 2020, i.e., a 47% YoY decrease in comparison to 2019.

U.S. Airlines Total Revenue nearly Cut in Half as a Result of Pandemic

Operating earnings for U.S. airlines increased annually since 2015, but 2020’s pandemic set an end to this momentum. In 2019, overall operating earnings reached $248B and decreased by 47% in 2020 to only $130B. It is also the lowest recorded within the coverage period of 2004 – 2020.

Airlines from the USA jointly registered a net reduction of 24.6B in 2020, a 256% reduction in 2019 if U.S. Airlines enrolled with a combined net profit of $15.71B. 2020’s net loss was a much greater contraction than the one felt throughout the downturn of 2008 when the net loss was at $18.17B.

U.S. Airlines Handled 60% Fewer Passengers In 2020

In 2019, U.S. Airlines managed an estimated 926M passengers, composed of 811M national passengers and an estimated 115M foreign passengers. In 2020, the total number of passengers managed by U.S. Airlines fell by over 60% to only 369M.

National travel fell by nearly half a million passengers to the only 335.35M. The national passenger load factor was also the cheapest in 2020 throughout the reporting period by 58.86% compared to 85.11% listed in 2019.

An even larger decrease was observed in the number of international passengers which were managed by U.S. Airlines. In 2020 the amount dropped by a staggering 90% to just 34M passengers. 

Rex Pascual, Editor in, commented – “The airline sector was ravaged from the pandemic despite the powerful momentum that’s been constructed during the past couple of decades. Over just a year after the Covid-19 virus pandemic, the worldwide market has become a hostage. Much uncertainty remains about exactly the ‘new normal’ would look like and what it implies for the future of aviation.”