How is Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines posted a record loss of $ 15.6 billion in 2020. The deficit of the airline was almost as big as the turnover, which was only 17 billion dollars and thus slumped by almost two thirds compared to the year 2019. Delta boss Ed Bastian still believes that the worst is now over. 2021 will be "a year of recovery".

Delta is one of the first major airlines in the world to publish last year's financial results. They make it clear how enormously the corona pandemic has shaken the industry. At times, the airlines were almost unable to fly at all in the past year. A brief recovery in summer was followed by a disappointing autumn and an even worse winter.

The other American airlines will present similarly bad numbers in the coming weeks. Although the results are so dramatic, the US airlines are still doing reasonably well thanks to very generous government aid. A rescue package, which has now been extended to the end of March, has so far prevented the greatest hardship, and the companies also had to bring back employees who had already been laid off or were temporarily released as a condition for the subsidies.

However, it is questionable whether mass layoffs can be prevented in the long term. The American domestic market is still running at a low level - around 40 percent compared to the time before the crisis - reasonably stable, but there is hardly any international traffic because of the widespread travel restrictions. The US government has also announced that in future it will only allow passengers into the country who have a negative Covid-19 test.

Delta had to spend $ 6.6 billion last year alone to respond to the corona pandemic. Delta President Glen Hauenstein believes, however, that the situation will now improve. "We see three phases," said Hauenstein. "Spring will be marked by an erratic recovery in demand and low bookings. Then there will be a turning point and finally a sustained recovery when vaccinations are widely available and offices open again."