The COVID-19 outbreak is continuing to take its toll on airlines across the globe. In a letter revealed today, Delta CEO Ed Bastian has shared that his company will ground 300 of its aircraft and cut 40 percent of its flights.
The carrier was already struggling due to the drop in demand over the last few weeks. However, much of its aircraft are even more redundant for the time being following the United States government’s decision to suspend flights to Europe.
According to One Mile At A Time, Bastian said the following within the letter:
“The speed of the demand fall-off is unlike anything we’ve seen – and we’ve seen a lot in our business. We are moving quickly to preserve cash and protect our company. And with revenues dropping, we must be focused on taking costs out of our business.”
The capacity cut will be the largest in Delta’s history, even more so than the aftermath of 9/11. Now, the airline will focus on operating its smaller aircraft due to the reduced demand. Along with these actions, the carrier will defer its new plane deliveries to maintain cash flow and will reduce capital expenditure by at least $2 billion for 2020.
Delta has the following aircraft on order:
- 14 Airbus A220-100s
- 50 A220-300s
- 27 A321s
- 100 A321neos
- 32 A330-900neos
- 16 A350-900s
If it doesn’t have a demand for larger aircraft in the near future, perhaps the latter may be on top of the deferral list.
In addition to these measures, Delta is offering its employees voluntary unpaid leave in the short-team. It will also freeze hiring practices and reduce the amount of consultants and contractors that it takes on.
These are some drastic measures taken by the firm and it is not alone in its approach. Several airlines have been going through the same stresses, and the situation continues to evolve.
However, Bastian does sign off the letter with a tone of optimism. He believes that his company will be able to come out the other side fighting and resume as normal when the time is right.
He says that the strong, decisive action taken now will ensure that his airline is properly positioned to recover its business when passengers start to travel again.
The letter concludes with the following:
“Delta remains better-positioned to weather a storm of this magnitude than ever before in our history. We’ve spent a decade building a strong, resilient airline powered by the best professionals in the business.
Simple Flying reached out to Delta for comment on the groundings. We will update the article with any further announcements.
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