Delta Air Lines posted a web loss of $408 million in its closing quarter of 2021 and warned of upcoming challenges as the Omicron variant drives a surge of COVID-19 instances.
The airline canceled greater than 2,000 flights since Christmas Eve because of employee shortages and dangerous winter climate, CEO Ed Bastian mentioned. Approximately 8,000 workers examined positive for COVID-19 during the last 4 weeks.
“While the rapidly spreading omicron variant has significantly impacted staffing levels and disrupted travel across the industry, Delta’s operation has stabilized over the last week and returned to pre-holiday performance,” Bastian mentioned in an announcement.
“Omicron is expected to temporarily delay the demand recovery 60 days, but as we look past the peak, we are confident in a strong spring and summer travel season with significant pent-up demand for consumer and business travel,” he added.
In complete, US airways have canceled greater than 31,300 flights since Dec. 24 in accordance with monitoring knowledge from FlightConscious. The complete amounted to about 7% of their deliberate schedules over that interval.
Delta cited larger prices from gas and Omicron-related disruptions in its fourth quarter outcomes. Shares rose 3% in early buying and selling.
Executives anticipate the airline to put up one other loss in its first fiscal quarter of 2022 as Omicron saps journey demand in January and February. Despite the setback, Delta expects to attain profitability for the total 12 months, in accordance with CFO Dan Janki.
“Despite expectations for a loss in the March quarter, we remain positioned to generate a healthy profit in the June, September and December quarters, resulting in a meaningful profit in 2022,” Janki mentioned.
Delta’s fourth-quarter outcomes topped Wall Street’s expectations. Adjusted earnings per share was 22 cents, topping an anticipated 14 cents. Quarterly income was $9.47 billion, beating a projected $9.21 billion.
In the primary quarter, Delta projected its complete income will probably be 72% to 76% of what it was in the identical quarter previous to the pandemic. Flight capacities will probably be an estimated 83% to 85% of pre-pandemic ranges.