Published on Thursday, April 23, 2020

Delta posts half a billion dollar first quarter loss

Delta Air Lines says it lost $534 million in the first quarter, signalling tough times ahead for the industry.

It forecast a revenue drop of 90% for the second quarter compared to a year ago, and a full recovery will likely take years rather months.

"These are truly unprecedented times for all of us," CEO Ed Bastian said.

The airline is now paying out more in refunds than it is taking in for new bookings with passenger traffic at about 5% of normal levels for the time of year.

According to trade group Airlines for America domestic flights in the past week were carrying an average of just 12 passengers.

Delta planes were 73.1% full for the quarter but that is based on first two months of relatively high loadings before swingeing capacity cuts kicked in during March.

Revenue dropped by $1.9 billion, although it did save nearly $400 million on lower fuel costs.

Delta is getting more than $5 billion in payroll grants and loans from the government and may apply for another $4.6 billion in loans.

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