While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge ripple effect on many industries, like restaurants that are now struggling to stay afloat and theatres that have had to close their doors completely, the tourism industry has been hit particularly hard. Once popular tourist hotspots have been transformed into ghost towns in light of the novel coronavirus, and airlines have been taking a huge hit worldwide.
This has left many would-be travelers wondering what will come of their canceled tickets and suspended travel plans. Will your airline still around once travel restrictions are lifted, or will your plane ticket sink with the carrier you booked with? We've broken down a list of which airlines have a strong likelihood of surviving the pandemic and which are at risk of collapsing.
10 US Giant Delta Looks Set To Ride Out The Pandemic Unharmed
Delta is known for caring for its stressed-out passengers, but thankfully, there's no need to stress about the future of your Delta ticket. Like every other carrier, Delta has had to implement significant reductions in staffing and flights, but experts at J. P. Morgan said that it is actually likely to emerge from the pandemic stronger. Delta is in a good position to take over the transatlantic demand that some of the weaker airlines may no longer be able to fulfill post-COVID.
9 American Airlines Is Also Well-Positioned To Survive COVID-19
American Airlines, one of the US "Big Three," is in a similar position to Delta. Although it has temporarily reduced its long-haul flights to just three routes, once demand starts to pick up again, American Airlines should be able to recover relatively quickly and easily. So if you've already booked with American, you can relax - with or without the airline's in-flight relaxation app - knowing that your ticket is likely safe.
8 Air Canada Is Expected To Emerge Stronger Post-Pandemic
When travel restrictions first began to be implemented, Air Canada was responsible for helping to repatriate many Canadians who were stranded overseas. And while the CEO recently described the pandemic as "the darkest period ever in commercial aviation," he also added that within three years they expect to be back to 2019 levels. And with some airlines likely cutting transatlantic flights altogether, Air Canada may be able to eventually emerge stronger.
7 United Is Likely To Fare Much Better Than Other Low-Cost Long-Haul Airlines
If you have a ticket with United or plan to fly with them again in the future, there is some good news. United had to halve its capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but experts say that once travel demands pick up again, the airline likely won't have been wounded fatally. As one of America's "Big Three," United may be able to take over some transatlantic routes left behind by lost-cost, long-haul airlines that fall victim to the global pandemic.
6 Ultra-Budget European Airline Ryanair Has Enough Reserves To Outlast Almost Every Other Carrier
Ryanair is a European airline that is known for its rock-bottom prices and no-frills flying experience. It's hardly an airline that most people associated with wads of cash, but a Bloomberg report suggests that Ryanair is one of the best-placed airlines to survive the pandemic, with over 600 days' worth of reserves, even assuming no more sales. The airline also said it had over 4 billion euros in cash and equivalents.
5 But Virgin Australia Is Already A Victim Of The Global Pandemic
When the pandemic struck, Virgin Australia had to furlough 80% of its workforce and cut operations to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, even this wasn't enough for Australia's second-biggest airline. In April, Virgin Australia filed for voluntary administration and has been scrambling ever since to secure bailouts and other funding. While COVID-19 can't be fully to blame for the airline's demise, due to an existing A$5 billion debt, the pandemic looks to have been the straw that broke Virgin Australia's back.
4 And Avianca, One Of South America's Largest Airlines, Recently Filed For Bankruptcy
Avianca is the world's second-oldest airline, but that claim to fame wasn't enough to protect it from the fallout of the global slump in travel. On May 12, the Colombian airline filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code after failing to receive aid from the Colombian government. Avianca's CEO has described this as the most difficult period in the airline's 100-year history, with 88% of its destinations having some level of travel restrictions in place.
3 South Korean Airline Asiana Doesn't Have Much Reserve Left In The Tank
A Bloomberg report from March suggested that Asiana Airlines only had about one month of reserves to rely on before having to file for bankruptcy. The airline has managed to secure a $1.3 billion loan from Korea Development Bank, but there is no guarantee that it will be enough to see them safely through the turbulence of the pandemic. Asiana is not alone in its precarious position, as all South Korean airlines recently reported losses in the first quarter.
2 Air France-KLM Scores Poorly On The Risk Of Bankruptcy Scale
Edward Altman developed a method in the 1960s for predicting bankruptcy, known as the Z-score, and Bloomberg News used this measure to see which airlines were most at risk during the pandemic. While the lowest scores were concentrated on Asian airlines, European carrier Air France-KLM scored below the 1.8 thresholds used to indicate bankruptcy risk, meaning the airline could be in danger if it is unable to secure additional funding.
1 Qantas May Not Survive For Long If Demand Stays Low
Australia's air travel landscape could look very different post-pandemic, with Virgin Australia already going bust and Qantas sitting in a precarious position. Bloomberg News suggests that the Australian airline only has about four months of reserves to fall back on. Qantas has managed to secure government funding to keep domestic flights operating, but with the airline's recent move to pause planned plane deliveries, it is not clear how secure the airline's future is.