Delta Airlines, which owns a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic, has posted an eye-watering $12bn (£8.77bn) loss for 2020.
It’s the first loss for the Atlanta-based airline since the Global Financial Crisis in 2009.
It lost $755m in the fourth quarter and booked around $1bn in Covid-19 related charges.
Delta skirted the use of furloughs, but said around one-fifth of its staff had voluntarily left in 2020.
Chief exec Ed Bastian said it was still burning through $12m a day, but expected this to susbside by the Spring when Covid-19 cases, deaths and stay-at-home orders ease.
“We don’t anticipate that by the summer travel will be back anywhere close to where it previously was, but it will be a meaningful improvement, sufficient to be able to drive profitability for us in the back half of the year,” Bastian said.