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“We haven’t seen any impact from the variant,” Bastian said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, shortly after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Other airline CEOs, including those of American Airlines and United Airlines, also said that domestic leisure bookings had recently rebounded to 2019 levels and that business travel was also recovering, albeit at a much slower pace.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that the delta Covid variant became the dominant strain in the United States earlier this month, raising concerns about its rapid spread, especially among the unvaccinated.
But summer travel and future travel bookings remain strong. Domestic pleasure travel is at – “if not beyond” – levels last seen in 2019, before the pandemic, Bastian said.
“As word of the variant spreads, we haven’t seen any slowdown,” Bastian said, citing reservations 60 to 90 days in advance. “We are learning to live with it. “
Bastian added that 72% of Delta employees are vaccinated and that a “vast majority” of customers surveyed say they have also been vaccinated.