Travel | May 3, 2020 5:24 pm

Warren Buffett’s Firm Sells Shares in US Airline Stock

Buffett offered a sobering take on air travel

United jet
Warren Buffett is not optimistic about the near future of air travel.
Vuxi/Creative Commons

What will the future of air travel look like? One prominent figure who’s not optimistic about it is storied investor Warren Buffett. The Guardian reports that Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has sold its stock in the US’s 4 leading airlines. As The Guardian‘s Martin Farrar reports, based on currently available records, this is not a small amount of stock:

Berkshire Hathaway had held sizeable positions in the major US airlines, including an 11% stake in Delta Air Lines, 10% of American Airlines, 10% of Southwest Airlines and 9% of United Airlines at the end of 2019, according to its annual report and company filings.

The announcement came as part of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting, which was held virtually on Saturday. Yahoo! Finance’s article on the meeting notes that Buffett offered stark words on the future of airlines. “[T]he world changed for airlines, and I wish them well, but it’s one of the businesses we have businesses we own directly that are going to be hurt,” Buffett said.

That decision wasn’t the only point during the meeting when Buffett brought up air travel. He also said that airplane manufacturer Boeing “is one hell of a company and it’s important. It’s a huge exporter, and it affects a lot of jobs.”

Here, too, the unclear future of aviation could be felt. “We’re gonna have aircrafts, we’re going to be flying,” Buffett said in the meeting. “The real question is, whether they in need of new planes are not, and when you’re likely to need them and it affects a lot of people.” As always, Buffett’s comments about the state of the world offer plenty of food for thought — and a lot to ponder before the next such meeting.

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