Delta has announced that it will be reducing capacity by 40 percent over the next few months and parking up to 300 aircraft as a result of the “unprecedented revenue impact” of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The move marks the largest capacity reduction in the company’s history. Delta is also eliminating all flights to continental Europe for the next 30 days.
“The speed of the demand fall-off is unlike anything we’ve seen—and we’ve seen a lot in our business,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees. “The situation is fluid and likely to be getting worse. But what hasn’t changed is this: Delta remains better-positioned to weather a storm of this magnitude than ever before in our history … We will get through this, and taking strong, decisive action now will ensure that we are properly positioned to recover our business when customers start to travel again.”
According to Bastian, he intends to forego 100 percent of his salary for the next six months. Additional steps Delta is taking include deferring new aircraft deliveries, reducing capital expenditures by at least $2 billion for the year and offering voluntary short-term, unpaid leaves. The company has also frozen hiring and plans to significantly reduce the use of consultants and contractors.