MIAMI – Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines (DL) announced its March 2021 quarter revenue results with positive numbers amid the pandemic.

In March 2021, the airline ran average positive revenue of US$4m per day as opposed to an average US$11m daily cash burn in January and February of 2021.

As the economy recovers from the devastating financial losses due to the pandemic, and the public feels more and more confident to travel again, so too, will revenues gain traction. 

Delta Air Lines N363DN Airbus A321-211. Photo: Luke Ayers/Airways

Preparing for Recovery

Delta’s CEO Ed Bastion attributes the recovery to the “incredible efforts” of his team which he called “a remarkable effort considering the middle seat block [which the airline will end on May 1] and the continued low demand for business and international travel,” adding that if these trends hold, DL could see positive cash generation with a return to profitability for the September 2021 quarter as demand for travel increases. 

Delta's Q1 revenue recovery signifies "a remarkable effort considering the middle seat block and the continued low demand for business and international travel." Ed Bastion Click To Tweet

The last time we heard from the airline, it was forced to cancel nearly 100 flights during Easter weekend due to a pilot shortage.

The shortage was caused in part, according to a DL spokesperson, by a high percentage of the airline’s staff who had vaccinations planned. Due to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations requiring pilots to wait at least 48 hours after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine shot, crew scheduling has become more complicated.

Delta is planning to return 400 pilots to full flying status for the summer season in preparation for what looks like the start of the recovery of the air travel industry.

Featured image: Delta Air Lines N123DQ Airbus A220-100. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways