Delta Air Lines posted a net loss of $940 million for the first quarter of 2022 as the Omicron variant hit demand during January and February, though business picked up in March.
The SkyTeam carrier, the first to report financial results for the three months ending 31 March 2022, posted operating revenue of $9.4 billion for the period. That is just 11% down from $10.5 billion for the first quarter of 2019. The gap in revenue is 21% when adjusted to exclude refinery sales and unrealised losses.
Delta posted an operating loss of $783 million for the first quarter. While that is an improvement on the $1.4 billion it lost in the first quarter of 2021, it compares to a $1 billion profit it made for the same period in 2019.
Delta’s first-quarter net loss of $940 million was also an improvement from the same period last year. Prior to the crisis, it posted a $730 million net profit for the first three months of 2019.
Delta chief executive Ed Bastian says: “With a strong rebound in demand as Omicron faded, we returned to profitability in the month of March, producing a solid adjusted operating margin of almost 10%.
”As our brand preference and demand momentum grow, we are successfully recapturing higher fuel prices, driving our outlook for a 12 to 14 percent adjusted operating margin and strong free cash flow in the June quarter.”