PHOTO: A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757. (photo via Flickr/Bernard Saborio)
During a conference call Wednesday, Delta Air Lines announced that the recent string of delayed and canceled flights due to storms in the southeast would cost the airline an estimated $125 million in revenue.
According to Bloomberg.com, Delta was forced to cancel around 4,000 flights after a series of storms caused chaos at the airline’s main hub at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport which lasted five days.
The storms resulted in flight crews and passengers being stranded as the busy spring break season was in full swing. While operations returned to relative normality by Monday, hundreds of flights were still delayed to start the week, especially on Delta’s regional affiliates, according to FlightAware.com.
During Delta’s quarterly conference call, CEO Ed Bastian made his first public comments about the delays and cancellations, apologizing to customers and employees for the inconvenience and saying the airline would learn from its mistakes.
“Thousands of our customers have been inconvenienced and frustrated during this situation,” Bastian said in a memo obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I have personally heard from many of them who feel like Delta let them down.”
“Your dedication to your jobs, our customers and each other was the shining light amid the storm and it is your hard work that kept a bad situation from becoming even worse,” Bastian continued. “I want to apologize to all of my Delta colleagues for putting you in this position.”
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The news wasn’t all bad for Delta, though, as the airline announced during the same conference call that projected fares and profits would strengthen this year, with pretax profit expected to be $1.76 billion in the current quarter, despite the estimated $125 million in lost revenue.
“With an improving revenue profile and further improvement as our cost growth moderates in the second half, we are on track to expand margins for the balance of the year,” Delta chief financial officer Paul Jacobson said in a statement.
The negative press surrounding Delta’s issues following the storms in the southeast was also knocked from the headlines when a video of a United Airlines passenger being ripped from his seat went viral.