Delta Air Lines has released its Q4 and annual results for 2021, the year its ceo dubbed ‘the toughest year in Delta’s history’.
The airline giant posted a US$755m (R11,4bn) nett loss in the fourth quarter compared with a profit of $1,1bn (R15,2bn) made in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The full year brought Delta a massive $12,4bn (R188bn) nett loss.
“Our December quarter results capped the toughest year in Delta’s history. I want to thank the Delta people who have risen to the occasion, focusing on delivering results for all of our stakeholders by putting our customers at the centre of our recovery,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s ceo in a release. “While our challenges continue in 2021, I am optimistic this will be a year of recovery and a turning point that results in an even stronger Delta returning to revenue growth, profitability and free cash generation.”
For the full year, adjusted operating revenue declined to $15,9bn, 66% down from 2019, as the global pandemic pounded air travel. Passenger revenue declined 70% in the year, but the airline had 61% lower sellable capacity.
Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president said the airline saw three distinct phases in 2021. Initially, “choppy” demand with a compressed booking curve, followed by an inflection point (the point at which the curve starts changing), and finally a sustained demand recovery. He said the recovery will occur as customer confidence gains momentum, vaccinations become widespread and offices re-open. “For each phase, Delta has the levers to pull to successfully react to the emerging demand environment, including tightly matching our sellable capacity to expected demand,” he said.
Delta says it continues its commitment to blocking middle seats until at least March 30, 2021.