Delta Keeps 2022 Profit Forecast On Travel Rebound Despite Omicron

  • Delta Airlines said Thursday that the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will drive it to a first-quarter loss, but that it still expects to turn a profit this year on stronger travel demand. CEO Ed Bastian said Omicron is expected to delay the rebound in travel demand by 60 days, forecasting losses for January and February and then profits in March. 
  • Airlines, including Delta, together canceled more than 20,000 U.S. flights from Christmas Eve through the first week of the year as a spike in COVID infections among crews left them short-staffed and winter storms rolled through some of the country’s busiest airports. 
  • Some 8,000 Delta’s employees, roughly 1 in 10, have tested positive for COVID over the last four weeks. For United Airlines, it was noted on Monday that some 3,000 of its roughly 67,000 U.S. employees had COVID simultaneously and that on one day at its Newark, New Jersey, hub, a third of the staff called out sick with the virus. 
  • Delta said in an earnings release that its operation has stabilized and that Omicron caused it to cancel only 1% of its flights over the past week. Further, the CEO noted that while the new variant is not done, it appears that the worst may be behind them. 
  • With that said, Delta flights to Jamaica are not expected to suffer any major disruptions in the near term which bodes well for tourism.  

(Source: CNBC News)