Delta Airlines posted a net loss of $1.18 billion in the first quarter of 2021 (January to March). Its revenues dropped 60% to hit $4.15 billion, compared with the $10.47 billion generated in Q1 2019.
The airline posted a loss of $3.55 a share compared with a forecast of $3.17 per share.
The increase in passengers, combined with lower labour and fuel costs, helped Delta generate $4 million in cash per day in March after burning cash for the past year. Cash consumption averaged $ 11 million per day during the quarter.
Although the airline expects to break even in June this year, it still expects to post a pretax loss of up to $1.5 billion for the second quarter.
The carrier is the last U.S. airline to block middle seats, a practice that began earlier in the pandemic to help customers feel more comfortable flying. However, it will stop blocking the middle seats WEF 1st May 2021. In March, the airline reports that it lost $100 million to $150 million in revenue by not selling middle seats.
Throughout 2020, the airline lost more than $12 billion, much of it in restructuring charges, but is recovering as a result of more than $11 billion in federal pandemic-relief cash and loans.
Delta Airlines, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the United States’ major airlines. It operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves 325 destinations in 52 countries on six continents.