LONDON – Whilst the title itself may be a little peculiar, its because of the fact 2020 became a write-off when it comes to passenger numbers.
But in the first few months of 2021, Delta Air Lines seems to be performing better than it did in the first four months of 2019, despite the pandemic still ongoing.
Thanks to data supplied to us by AirNav RadarBox, we can actually see that the number of flights are rising, and they are rising fast.
The Positive Effects of Pent-Up Demand
For the week commencing March 26th-31st, Delta Air Lines operated 3694 flights, which is more than 2019’s numbers of 3267 flights, and is 174% better than 2020 statistics.
And the numbers for this year are rising week-by-week as seen in the following information:
- February 26-March 4: 3295
- March 5-11: 3592
- March 12-18: 3684
- March 19-25: 3696
So with those four data sets in mind, you can see an increase of just shy of 400 flights per week by the end of March compared to the start of that month.
Early Signs of Recovery Predicted?
Back at the start of the new year, Delta’s Ed Bastian said via the financial reports of the company that 2021 “will be a year of recovery and a turning point”.
Such a recovery may already be in practice, especially if the airline is boosting its portfolio with more flights every week.
It was forecasted by the airline, however, that scheduled capacity would be down 35% for the first quarter of this year, but numbers are obviously continuing to rise, especially with the successful vaccine roll-out in the U.S currently.
Even then, whatever sort of hurdle the pandemic may throw at Delta going into the future, the airline seems financially ready, especially offering liquidity to above $18-19 billion, with daily cash burn forecasted to be between $10-15 million.
With the airline also removing the ban on keeping middle seats empty too, that means that the revenue stream will head back to normal and the airline can go and fill flights as much as they would like.
It looks like the number of flights will continue to rise, even despite this pandemic, due to the delivery of aircraft that the airline is still receiving, with deliveries fully restarted back in August 2020.
However, between January-March 2021, the airline has received 13 new aircraft already, consisting of eight Airbus A321-200s, three A220-100s and two A220-300 aircraft.
According to data from Planespotters.net, there are around 11 aircraft that are due for delivery, especially with most, if not all of those frames being given fleet numbers.
So it remains clear that Delta is preparing for a potentially successful summer, and is continuing deliveries of aircraft to ensure that can be a reality for the business.
That ultimately is what the industry needs to keep doing. Bolstering up for the future, because as vaccines continue to roll out, it comes with no doubt that the light is nearly at the end of the tunnel.