By Rajesh Kumar Singh
CHICAGO, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc on Thursday reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on strong demand for vacation travel, but warned of a loss in the quarter through March due to disruption caused by the variance of the omicron coronavirus.
«Despite expectations of losses in the March quarter, we remain positioned to generate a healthy profit in the June, September and December quarters, which will result in significant profit in 2022,» said Dan Janki, Delta’s CFO, it’s a statement.
Delta said the omicron variant will likely delay the recovery in travel demand by 60 days, but expects the rebound to resume around the President’s Day holiday in February.
In an interview, Chief Executive Ed Bastian said international travel bookings had declined, but seemed confident the transatlantic market would have a «very strong» spring and summer travel period once restrictions are lifted. border generated by omicron.
«There is a huge amount of pent-up demand,» Bastian told Reuters. «It will be very active.» Expect business travel to pick up in mid-February.
The Atlanta-based carrier’s adjusted profit for the quarter through December was 22 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 14 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, marking the second straight profitable quarter.
The company, whose shares were up 1.7% to $ 41.32 at the Wall Street open, estimates that revenue in the March quarter will rebound to 72% to 76% from 2019 levels. 83% to 85% of pre-pandemic capacity in the current quarter.
(Report by Rajesh Kumar Singh. Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)