Alaska Airlines Reports $1.3bn Annual Loss But Sees Brighter Days Ahead - Simple Flying


Today, Alaska Airlines reported its financial results for both the final quarter of 2020 and for the whole year. As expected, the situation is not good, with a full-year loss running to $1.3 billion. Over the final quarter, the airline lost $430 million. Nevertheless, CEO Brad Tilden has remained optimistic, saying that there are ‘signs of brighter days ahead’.

Alaska Airlines
Despite a significant loss, Alaska Airlines remains optimistic for the future. Photo: Alaska Airlines

A tough year for Alaska Airlines

By all rights, 2020 should have been a blockbuster year for Alaska Airlines. It was looking forward to more new planes, pushing into LAX with new routes, and joining the oneworld alliance. Sadly for Alaska, the Boeing 737 MAX remained grounded for most of the year, and while the LAX move went well, passenger traffic has remained low. The oneworld deal has gone pretty well, with the airline expanding its partnership with American Airlines ahead of joining later this year.

Nevertheless, for all the good work Alaska did in 2020, everything was against it. Therefore, it comes as no big surprise that the airline is registering some pretty hair-raising losses in its full-year report today.

Overall, Alaska lodged a full-year loss of $1.3 billion for 2020. That’s in stark contrast to its 2019 filing of a $769 million profit. For the fourth quarter of 2020, the airline lost $430 million, compared to income of $181 million in the same quarter last year.

Alaska Airlines
Although revenues were down 59%,