Covid-19 Effect on Airlines

Covid-19 and Airlines

A review of airline failures, bankruptcies and pilot job losses

The effect of Covid-19 on the aviation industry has been calamitous with the ECA reporting that over 15,000 European pilot jobs are threatened or already permanently lost. It would seem likely this number is set to grow over the coming months with a slower than anticipated recovery for the sector.

CAPA reported that April and May 2020 saw European airline capacity at 90% less than the previous year although this has reduced to circa 64% less in July. They also note that the Asia Pacific and North American markets fair a little better with respective 43% and 53% reductions in capacity for the week commencing 20th July 2020 compared to the previous year.

In July, IATA have updated their projection, stating that global passenger traffic will not return to pre Covid-19 levels until 2024 (previously predicted 2023). They also report 2020 global passenger numbers declining by 55% when compared to 2019. has compiled a non-exhaustive list of airline failures, fleet retirements and pilot job cuts. Where appropriate, the source of information has also been provided. Please not that whilst every endeavour is made to ensure the information is accurate, due to the nature of reporting third party information, we can’t guarantee the accuracy of the numbers reported and are meant for guidance purposes.

  • Air Italy (Feb 2020)
  • Atlas Global (Feb 2020)
  • Compass Airlines (April 2020)
  • Earnest Airlines (April 2020)
  • Flybe (March 2020)
  • Level Europe (June 2020)
  • Miami Air International (May 2020)
  • NokScoot (June 2020)
  • One Airlines (June 2020)
  • Trans State Airlines (April 2020)

  • Air Mauritius
  • Avianca
  • German Airways
  • Jet Time
  • Thai Airways
  • Virgin Australia

  • American Airlines – Proposed 1,600 pilot job losses (City A.M)
  • British Airways – approximately 270 pilot job losses (BBC)
  • Delta – Potential 1,900 pilots furloughed for winter 2020 (Daily Mail)
  • easyJet – proposed 727 pilot job losses (BBC)
  • Emirates – circa 600 pilot job losses (Mirror)
  • Etihad – circa 400 pilot job losses (Arabian Aerospace)
  • IcelandAir 310 pilot job losses (ECA)
  • Jet2 – 102 pilot job loses (Sky News)
  • Kenya Airways – Proposed 207 (Business Daily)
  • Norwegian – circa 1600 pilot job losses (ECA)
  • Qantas – circa 220 pilot job losses (ABC News)
  • Ryanair pilots voted to accept 20% Pay cut to significantly reduce redundancies (BALPA)
  • SAS – Approx 560 pilots made redundant (Simple Flying)
  • TUI – No pilot job losses reported, 20% pay cut
  • United – Proposed cut of 2,850 pilot jobs (Reuters)
  • Virgin Atlantic – circa 300 pilot job losses (Airline Geeks)
  • Wizz Air – circa 300 pilot job losses (ECA)

  • Air France / KLM – retiring A340, A380 & B747 fleets
  • American Airlines – retiring A330, B757, B767 & E190 fleets
  • British Airways – retiring B747 and A318 fleet(s)
  • Delta Air Lines – retiring B777, MD-80 and MD-90 fleets
  • Lufthansa – retiring 340, B747-400, MD-11s fleets and 6 A380s
  • Southwest Airlines – storing 50 B737-700 aircraft
  • Qantas – retiring all B747 aircraft
  • Qatar – May retire A380 fleet by end of 2020
  • Virgin Atlantic – retiring A340 and B747 fleets
  • WestJet – retiring B767-300 fleet

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