0 min left

Delta CEO Bastian: “The Worst of Omicron is Behind Us”

Delta Air Lines Airbus A319, tail number N342NB

Despite reporting an adjusted loss of $3.4 billion in 2021, Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian is confident better skies are ahead.
Nearly two years into a global pandemic, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian is optimistic that a full sector recovery is coming in 2022.


The head of the Atlanta-based airline made the comments during the announcement of the company’s 2021 fourth quarter and annual financial results on Thursday, January 13, 2022.


Delta Reports Fourth Quarter Earnings, but Major Year-Long Losses

Buoyed by a strong holiday travel season, Delta reported an adjusted earning of $170 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. However, the entire year was not as good for the company. Over the entirety of 2021, the airline posted an adjusted loss of $3.4 billion.


Despite that, Bastian said there are reasons to look forward to 2022. Speaking on the conference call, the chief executive told reporters that bookings looked “really robust,” and that “the worst of Omicron is behind us,” as quoted by Seeking Alpha.


Looking forward to the quarter ahead, the head of the airline is predicting losses in January and February, before turning a profit in March. With demand for air travel growing once more, Bastian said they are seeing strong sales for the President’s Day weekend.


“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 said in a press release.  “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.”


While tailwinds could be ahead for the entire airline industry, there are several challenges which could ultimately affect the passenger experience. Bastian told reporters the airline has contingency plans if inflation drives the price of oil over $100 per barrel, while the airline said over 8,000 employees tested positive for COVID-19 during the holiday season. United Airlines made a similar declaration, speaking about their Newark hub alone. If those trends continue, it could result in higher prices and more cancellations for flyers.


Delta Announcement Kicks off Airline Earnings Season

With their announcement, Delta is the first of the major U.S. carriers to announce their results. Both American Airlines and United will announce their 2021 fourth quarter and yearlong results on January 20, 2022.

health1au February 2, 2022

Masks are forever. 
They're just beginning to talk about it but it's coming. You will wear a mask on planes for the rest of your lives. 

kangarooflyer88 January 24, 2022

The real question though is whether the worst of Delta is behind us?! 😂

health1au January 18, 2022

You'll still wear masks forever on planes -- because the need to virtue-signal for some is just too strong. 

trey30333 January 17, 2022

Got to love the comments from people that are afraid to walk outside. 

sfo January 15, 2022

I did not realize that Ed Bastian was a professional medical doctor also. Or did he just get a crystal ball from of some fake fortune teller.