As a professional airline pilot, history tells us that you will go through three downturns in the economy during your career.
Airlines are a business. They are in business to make money. A pilot is an employee of the airline business.
Airlines can not stay in business unless they make a profit. There are many failed airlines no longer around that shut down because they were not able to make a profit.
As a pilot, it is to your benefit to understand the dynamics of the airline industry. You need to know how to read airline financials. You need to know how to financially compare your airline to other airlines.
There is a retired airline pilot named Robert Herbst that has gathered this information together in an easy to understand format.
They don't teach you this stuff in school, but you need to know it. Please click on the link and take a look at the airline financials of the major airlines in the US.