Delta Air Lines reportedly lost $408 million during the final quarter of 2021 and the company is expected to see yet another quarterly loss in early 2022.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian confirmed 8,000 employees contracted COVID-19 during the last four weeks of 2021 which, combined with winter storms, led to more than 2,200 flight cancellations since December 24, NBC News reports.
Cancellations have dropped significantly in recent days, but the sudden spike in flights still cost the company $75 million and the ongoing omicron surge is expected to delay the airline industry’s recovery by two more months before air travel picks up in the spring.
“I don’t think we’re going to see a pickup in bookings or travel during January and probably the first part of February,” Bastian said via NBC News. “It’s always the weakest part of the year, and it’s going to be that much weaker because of omicron. We need confidence in travel returning once the virus recedes.”
Delta said it expects omicron infections to peak nationwide in the U.S. as has been the case in South Africa — where the first known case was reported to have taken place — and the United Kingdom, where it was present prior to reaching the U.S.