Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 aircraft as seen on final approach flying, landing and taxiing after touch down in Amsterdam Schiphol EHAM AMS International Airport in the Netherlands. The wide body long haul Airbus A330-300 airplane has the registration N808NW and is powered by 2x PW jet engines. Delta Airlines is an American legacy airline carrier, one of the major in the United States with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia and member of SkyTeam aviation alliance. Delta DL DAL is the second largest airline in the world. The world passenger traffic declined during the coronavirus covid-19 pandemic with the industry struggling to survive. Amsterdam, Netherlands on November 18, 2020 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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“We’ve always said this was going to be a choppy recovery, and that’s been true in recent weeks – like others in the industry, we’ve seen some slowing of demand and forward bookings as COVID cases have risen across the U.S.,” CEO Ed Bastian said an employee memo.
Bastian said the weaker bookings are adding about $2 million in daily cash burn and that it now expects to burn between $12 million and $14 million a day in the fourth quarter, up from a previous forecast for between $10 million and $12 million.
The carrier is “still on track” to break even by the spring, an estimate that has “been bolstered by continued positive developments with vaccines,” Bastian said.
United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways have also warned about slowing bookings because of the rise in new infections. According to Johns Hopkins University data, the seven-day average of daily new cases is 164,103 in the U.S. and hospitalizations and deaths have both hit record levels.
Delta said it continues to expect its fourth-quarter revenue to come in at 30% of its fourth-quarter 2019 sales.
Delta shares were up more than 3% in morning trading.