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Delta CEO Ed Bastian told his employees on Friday in a New Year’s Day memo that he continues to expect the airline to be cash flow positive this spring despite challenges.

However, he did say “While I am optimistic this will be year of recovery, the continued uncertainty of the pandemic means that we will need to be nimble, ready to adjust our course and adapt to the ever-changing environment.”

Airline executives in C-suites around the world turned to daily losses — or cash burn — as the financial metric to guide their decision making through the crisis. Bastian earlier in December said the slowdown in demand added an average of roughly $2 million a day to the carrier’s fourth quarter cash burn. Its updated forecast anticipates $12 to 14 million in daily losses excluding debt payments during the period.

Still, the airline expects the situation to improve in the first half of 2021.

For Bastian’s full memo, see below.

Download (PDF, 177KB)


Photo Credit: Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian (left) speaking at Skift Global Forum in New York City on September 18, 2019. Skift