Delta shares fell 3.6% in pre-market trading.
Major airlines like Delta have been particularly affected by the pandemic, as they previously relied heavily on business travel and sprawling international networks, two areas that have been hit hard in recent months.
Delta has spent the past few months removing dozens of planes and reducing its footprint to cut costs. About 18,000 Delta employees, or about one-fifth of its pre-pandemic workforce, have agreed to buyouts and early retirement programs, resulting in a restructuring charge of $ 3.1 billion.
Airlines received portions of $ 25 billion in federal payroll assistance that Congress passed this spring, but talks between the Trump administration and Congress for additional air assistance have repeatedly derailed.
Here is how Delta performed against what Wall Street expected, based on the average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:
- Adjusted EPS: a loss of $ 3.30 vs. an expected loss of $ 3
- Revenue: $ 3.06 billion vs. $ 3.11 billion expected
More airlines are competing for price-sensitive leisure travelers in the United States, but demand has struggled, despite rising from multi-decade lows reached in April. The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 64 million people at U.S. airports in the third quarter, up 150% from the three months ended June 30, but still down from the 221 million people screened by the TSA during the period of the previous year.
Delta and its competitors have been working hard to introduce improved cleaning procedures and other policies, to calm travelers nervous about flying during the pandemic. Delta, for example, leaves the middle seats open on flights.
Delta was able to reduce its daily cash consumption by more than 44%, from about $ 43 million in the second quarter to an average of $ 24 million per day. Delta fell to $ 18 million per day in September, an improvement but still a long way from its profitability target by year-end.
“While our September quarter results demonstrate the scale of the pandemic on our business, we have been encouraged as more customers travel and we are seeing gradual improvement in our revenues, financial results and our daily cash consumption, ”said Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta. in a results publication.
Since the start of the pandemic, Delta has recorded more than $ 11 billion in losses.
On an adjusted basis, Delta lost $ 3.30 per share, more than the $ 3 per share analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting.
Delta has already withdrawn dozens of planes to cut costs. In the last quarter, it added to the list, deciding to retire its Boeing 767-300 ER and 717-200 by 2025 and CRJ-200 by 2023.