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Delta Air Ticket Sales Improve and Restore Initial View of Third Quarter Revenue

Delta Air Lines passenger jets are parked due to flight cuts made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, March 25, 2020. REUTERS / Elijah Nouvelage

BOSTON, Oct. 3 (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) said on Sunday its ticket sales stabilized and started improving, putting it on track to generate third-quarter revenue in the limits of its initial forecasts of 30 to 35%. % decrease from corresponding 2019 levels.

This is an improvement from her projection last month when she adjusted the forecast to the lower end of that range after a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The airline is due to release its results for the quarter through September on October 13.

“For Delta, they hit a low towards the end of August and the first part of September,” managing director ED Bastian told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the airline group IATA. “Business traffic is back in the United States”

Domestic travel bookings are expected to surpass 2019 levels next year, Bastian added.

The airline later said it would increase capacity by more than 20% next summer from the 2019 peak by increasing service from Boston.

The company is also seeing an increase in demand for transatlantic flights after the White House decision late last month to reopen the country to fully vaccinated travelers from around the world.

Transatlantic flights accounted for 11-17% of passenger revenue in 2019 for the three major airlines – American Airlines (AAL.O), United Airlines (UAL.O) and Delta.

Regarding the vaccination rate for Delta staff, Bastian said it had risen to 84%, in part thanks to the company’s decision to impose a monthly health insurance surcharge of $ 200 for those who don’t. had not been vaccinated. He expects the rate to be over 90% by November 1.

Delta, however, is the only major U.S. airline that still has not imposed coronavirus vaccines on its employees despite pressure from the White House.

Bastian said the company has not made a decision to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

“We’re obviously studying it,” he said, referring to President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring federal contractors to mandate vaccinations.

“I don’t know how far you have to go to be in compliance with the OE (executive order).”

The White House is pressuring major U.S. airlines to prescribe COVID-19 vaccines for employees by December 8 – the deadline for federal contractors. Major US airlines have a number of federal contracts. Read more

Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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