Delta Air Lines announced a net loss of $ 408 million in the last quarter of 2021, and warned of impending problems as the Omicron variant causes an increase in COVID-19 cases.
CEO Ed Bastian said the airline has canceled more than 2,000 flights since Christmas Eve due to a shortage of workers and bad winter weather. In the last four weeks, approximately 8,000 employees have passed a positive test for COVID-19.
“While the rapidly expanding omicron option has had a significant impact on staff numbers and halted travel across the industry, Delta’s operations have stabilized over the past week and are back to pre-holiday work,” Bastian said.
“Omicron is expected to temporarily delay the recovery in demand by 60 days, but once we cross the peak, we are confident of a strong spring and summer travel season, with demand for consumer and business travel declining significantly,” he added. she is.
According to FlightAware, U.S. airlines have canceled more than 31,300 flights since December 24. In total, it accounted for about 7 percent of their planned schedules during that period.
Delta reported higher costs in the fourth quarter due to fuel and Omicron-related interruptions. Shares rose 3% in the initial trading.
Managers expect the airline to have another loss in the first fiscal quarter of 2022 as Omicron cuts travel demand in January and February. Despite the setback, Delta expects to be profitable all year round, according to Chief Financial Officer Dan Yankee.
“Although we expect losses in the March quarter, we will still have the opportunity to make healthy gains in June, September and December, resulting in significant gains in 2022,” Janki said.
Delta’s fourth-quarter results were higher than Wall Street expected. Adjusted earnings per share were 22 cents, exceeding the expected 14 cents. Quarterly revenue was $ 9.47 billion, exceeding the projected $ 9.21 billion.
In the first quarter, Delta estimated its total revenue to be between 72% and 76% of revenue for the same quarter before the pandemic. Flight capabilities range from 83% to 85% of pre-pandemic levels.