Delta Air Lines announced a quarterly loss of $1.18 billion on Thursday, but officials anticipate positive cash generation for the next quarter.
During a quarterly call, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the carrier posted a net loss of $1.18 billion on $4.15 billion in revenue for the first quarter. Revenue dropped 60 percent compared with the $10.47 billion generated in the first quarter of 2019.
While the losses continued to mount as COVID-19 vaccines started to become more accessible, Delta revealed that domestic leisure bookings recovered to about 85 percent of 2019 levels for the coming months.
“When I look at the first quarter, what’s been clear to us is that our business has made a turn,” Bastian said. “We’ve seen a huge surge in bookings just over the last couple of months.”
With more travelers being vaccinated and travel restrictions being lifted, Bastian said Delta officials expect “positive cash generation for the June quarter and see a path to return to profitability in the September quarter as the demand recovery progresses.”
For the second quarter, the airline forecast revenue will be down 50-to-55 percent compared to the same period of 2019 on currently scheduled capacity, which is also down around 33 percent.
Over the last month, Delta made several changes to its route map to increase performance and boost service to popular summer destinations. The carrier also revealed it would no longer block middle seats on its aircraft, starting May 1.
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