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Delta Air Ticket Sales Improve, Reaffirms Initial Q3 Revenue View

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BOSTON – Delta Air Lines said Sunday that its ticket sales stabilized and began to improve, putting it on track to generate third-quarter revenue within its original forecast of a 30% to 35% drop compared to the corresponding 2019 levels.

Last month, the airline said quarterly revenue would be at the lower end of the forecast after a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The airline is due to report quarterly results through September in October. 13

“For Delta, they bottomed out in the latter part of August and the first part of September,” Chief Executive Ed Bastian told reporters of the guidelines for a meeting of the IATA airline group. “Business traffic on the rise again in the US”

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Domestic travel bookings are expected to exceed 2019 levels next year, Bastian added.

The airline later said it would increase its capacity in Boston by more than 20% next summer from the 2019 peak, by adding five new routes, including two international destinations.

The company is also seeing a surge in demand for transatlantic flights following the White House decision late last month to reopen the country to fully vaccinated travelers from around the world.

Transatlantic flights accounted for between 11% and 17% of 2019 passenger revenue for the big three airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta.

On the vaccination rate for Delta staff, Bastian said it had risen to 84%, driven in part by the company’s decision to impose a monthly health insurance surcharge of $ 200 for those who had not been vaccinated. Expect the rate to be above 90% by November 1.

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Delta, however, is the only major US airline that has yet to require coronavirus vaccinations for employees despite pressure from the White House.

Bastian said the company has not decided whether to order the COVID-19 vaccines.

“We are obviously looking into it,” he said, referring to President Joe Biden’s executive order that requires federal contractors to require vaccines.

“I’m not sure how far you need to go to comply with the EO (executive order).”

The White House is lobbying major US airlines https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/exclusive-white-house-pressing-us-airlines-quickly-mandate-vaccines-2021-10-01 to require COVID -19 vaccinations for employees by Dec. 8 – the deadline for federal contractors. The big US airlines have several federal contracts.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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