Travel industry taking another hit as COVID cases rise, airlines warn

News

In this June 16, 2020 file photo, a traveler wears a mask and protective goggles as he walks through Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

DALLAS (AP) — Several leading U.S. airlines warned Thursday that the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant is hurting their bookings and further delaying a recovery for the travel industry.

American Airlines said a slowdown that started in August has continued into September, and the airline further lowered its outlook for third-quarter revenue.

In another regulatory filing, United Airlines said its flying and revenue are both weaker than previously expected, and it is cutting its schedule for later this year to match the lower demand. United forecast a pretax loss in the third quarter that could extend into the fourth quarter if the virus outbreak continues.

Delta Air Lines said it still expects to post an adjusted pretax profit for the third quarter, but revenue will be toward the lower end of its previous forecast.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the rise in COVID-19 cases won’t derail the travel recovery but will delay it by 90 to 120 days. He said the variant has particularly affected business and international travel, which are both critical to the largest U.S. airlines.

Southwest Airlines reported that leisure travel, too, has weakened, with more cancellations and softer bookings for September and October.

Southwest said, however, that demand over the Labor Day holiday was solid other than cancellations that it attributed to Hurricane Ida’s aftermath, and it said booking patterns for the winter holidays look normal.

Shares of all four airlines fell 1% to 2% minutes after regular trading opened on Thursday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NBC4i.com

Today's Central OH Forecast

Get severe weather email alerts

Don't Miss

Local News

Help wanted: School districts across the region looking for extra support staff

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announces historic $808 million settlement with opioid distributors

Ohio Republican Anthony Gonzalez, who voted to impeach Trump, will not seek re-election

Local faith leaders deliver petition to DOJ asking for an investigation of the Columbus Division of Police

1 dead after shooting in west Columbus

Voter registration drive this Saturday offers free haircuts

More Local News