LATAM Files Bankruptcy. But United States Airlines Won’t – Major Layoffs Expected After October

LATAM Airlines files for bankruptcy today. But I don’t expect a United States Airline – none of the big 4 to follow suit.

I expect the $58 billion in aid for U.S. airlines to stave off bankruptcies. This said 750,000 pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, mechanics and others — will soon be among the most at-risk for losing their jobs even though the bailout barred layoffs, involuntary furloughs or pay cuts for employees. After October 1, many of these jobs will disappear.

In examining the outlook for airlines we pored over a dozen filings. Contrary to intuition, it seems that for this sector, labor is largely a “ fixed” cost (partly given union pressures) and not variable – hence a metric to be managed to for larger legacy carriers.

Airlines4-cost structure

Author: Sameer_Jain

Partner. Sameer Jain is founder of FinTech, the world’s first portal that seamlessly integrates traditional, illiquid and alternative investments within portfolios. Prior to this he was Chief Economist & Managing Director at AR Capital. Before that he headed Investment Content & Strategy at UBS Alternative Investments. At UBS, he served as a non-voting member of the Wealth Management Research investment committee, and as a capital allocator was responsible for all illiquid investing including fund manager selection and due diligence across the platform. Prior to UBS he headed product development & investment research at Citigroup Alternative Investments that managed over $75 billion of alternative investments across hedge funds, managed futures, private equity, credit structures, infrastructure and real estate. Here he led a team that developed proprietary models for portfolio strategy and asset allocation with alternative investments, provided investment support and research to pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments as well as internal clients including Citi Private Bank. Before this he was with Cambridge Alternative Investments and SunGard (System Access) where he travelled to over 80 countries for work across Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa. He has written over 30 academic and practitioner articles on alternative investments with thousands of downloads at SSRN, presented at over a hundred industry conferences and has coauthored a book, Active Equity Management. Mr. Jain has multiple degrees in engineering, management, public administration and policy and is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He is a recipient of the Alfred Sloan Fellowship and subsequently was a Fellow of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for a year. He holds Series 7 and 66 securities licenses.

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