A Hard Landing Looms for Delta and Business Travel During Pandemic: Business Casual

In December 2019, sweeping all 11 categories, corporate travel professionals in the annual Business Travel News Airline Survey named Delta Air Lines the #1 airline for the ninth consecutive year—the only airline to have earned the top spot for business travel nine years in a row. But in a pandemic-stricken world, numerous industries are declining in the jet stream left by the coronavirus, including the aviation industry, forcing airlines globally to park planes, cut costs and raise capital to stem losses.

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In what some analysts call the worst season in aviation industry, Delta posted a $2.8 billion adjusted net loss, or $4.43 per share, for the second quarter as passenger revenue plummeted 94%. And with the majority of companies whose workers travel via air for business reasons not willing to jeopardize the safety of their employees until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, leading to a possible 12- to 18-month lag in business travel demand, Delta is projecting a poor-performing third quarter, expecting both revenue and flight capacity to be at only 20% to 25% of what it was at the same time last year.

As Delta hemorrhages $27 million each day, Daniel Litwin and Tyler Kern, the Business Casual crew, discuss how the pandemic is grounding airlines around the world, and with a financial outlook that indicates the industry will most likely not return to a pre-COVID scale, address the impacts to Delta, the airline sector and business travel jetting forward.

Every week, Business Casual brings topics to the forefront that affect travelers and workers in the aviation sector as well as other B2B industries. Tune in each Wednesday and Friday to stay abreast of the trends and news shaping our country and skies today.

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