NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Weather is taking a bite out of the airline industry.

The revenue loss could be close to $150 million, Jesup & Lamont analyst Helane Becker said Tuesday, in a report. Late Monday, United ( UAUA) said it lost $40 million in February revenue due to weather. Becker downgraded shares to hold from buy as a result.

Overall, lost revenues totaled $30 million at US Airways ( LCC), $25 million at Continental ( CAL), $15 million at Southwest ( LUV) and $5 million to $6 million at AirTran ( AAI).

Becker estimates losses of $20 million at both American ( AMR) and Delta ( DAL), bringing the total revenue loss to about $150 million. "

"Given this, and considering the higher year over year jet fuel prices, we expect the first quarter to be another loss-making quarter," Becker said. "This pushes the recovery out another quarter. We expect airline shares to come down, giving us a buying opportunity."

Speaking at an investor conference Tuesday, AirTran CEO Bob Fornaro said the carrier has had 1,400 cancellations so far this year. In 2009, AirTran did not get to 1,400 cancellations until November. In February, Baltimore, where the carrier has 18% of capacity, was shut down for two days. Atlanta, with more than 40% of capacity, also had snow. AirTran's February completion factor was 94.8%, the lowest since September 2001. Fornaro said capacity was 1.5% to 2% lower due to cancellations.

Nevertheless, Fornaro said "the industry backdrop is favorable," and "we're looking for a strong year."

Earlier, United CFO Kathryn Mikells said the carrier is optimistic about the coming year. "We certainly expect we will get to a position where we we're throwing off significant free cash flow," she said.

Mikells said the biggest threat to the industry is new entrants attracted by the recovering economy, but she noted that "capital is hard to come by." She said she expects that capacity growth will continue to be restrained. "I've been very encouraged by what I've seen thus far," Mikells said. "There are a lot of pragmatic reasons to be encouraged by capacity discipline as we enter this recovery period."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. .

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