Alaska Air Group reports USD (232m) net loss in Q1 2020

Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK) has reported USD (232) million net loss for the first quarter of 2020, or USD 1.87 per diluted share, compared to net income of USD 4 million, or USD 0.03 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2019, the company said.

The company reported net loss for the first quarter of 2020, excluding impairment charges, merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of USD 102 million, or USD 0.82 per diluted share, compared to net income of USD 21 million or USD 0.17 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2019.

Alaska Air reported impairment and other related charges of USD 160 million before tax related to certain aircraft, aircraft parts, and intangible assets.

The impacts of COVID-19 on the business have been unprecedented. Demand deterioration began in February, and in March cancellations overwhelmed new bookings. Demand remains over 90% below normal levels. Alaska Air Group´s priorities as it continues to manage through this crisis are to ensure the health and safety of guests and employees, to preserve financial strength, and to plan for the future of the company. The following are key actions taken to date:

The company implemented enhanced cleaning procedures on aircraft, including the use of high-grade, EPA-registered disinfectants and electrostatic sanitizing spray. Additionally, all planes are equipped with hospital-grade HEPA filters.

In addition, Alaska Air has:
-taken additional steps to ensure guest health and safety including limiting load factors and seat availability, and reducing most in-flight services and requiring flight attendants and customer service agents to utilize masks.
-requires face masks for guests starting May 11 and for employees who cannot maintain six feet of social distance from guests or coworkers.
-Extends elite Mileage Plan status to all members until Dec. 31, 2021, and offered for all 2020 qualifying miles to apply to 2021 status achievement.
-Provides guests with a Peace of Min” waiver, allowing changes to ticketed travel without change or cancellation fees.
-Utilizes dedicated fleet of cargo freighter to transport essential supplies from Seattle and throughout Alaska.

The company donated 1 million meals to address food insecurity across our network, and 1 million LIFT miles to transport medical staff free of charge to respond to COVID-19. The airlines continue to support transportation of essential supplies through air cargo services.

Flown capacity in April decreased more than 80% compared to the prior year, and capacity cuts in May will also be at least 80%.

The company held USD 2.1 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2020.

As of May 4, 2020, held USD 2.9 billion in cash and marketable securities, including Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Payroll Support Program (PSP) funds received in April.

The company reached an agreement with the US Treasury to receive support under the CARES Act PSP and received USD 992 million in funding on April 23, 2020. The company applied to participate in the Loan Program of the CARES Act, which would give Air Group the option to access up to USD 1.1 billion in federal loans through Sept. 30, 2020.

Alaska Airlines and its regional partners serve more than 115 destinations across the United States and North America, providing essential air service for guests along with moving crucial cargo shipments, such as food, medicine, mail and e-commerce deliveries.