Category Archives: Delta Air Lines

Delta Boeing 717 N998AT slides off the taxiway at Pittsburgh

Delta Air Lines flight DL 2231 from Pittsburgh to the Atlanta hub with Boeing 717-200 N998AT slide off the taxiway at PIT prior to takeoff last night (February 10).

Pittsburgh International Airport issued this statement:

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Delta to take guesswork out of travel with digital concierge; test-drives new pilot with CLEAR

Delta Air Lines is applying its vision to deliver a digital concierge for customers – first unveiled at CES 2020 – to anticipate and address the evolving travel needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams across the company are finalizing a digital experience that will guide customers seamlessly through booking, COVID-test scheduling and document verification – all available via Delta channels.

“We want to take the guesswork out of our customer’s hands and give them a simple, streamlined experience for navigating current travel requirements,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer. “Instead of checking one website to find testing locations and using another app to upload a test result, we’re building the capability to manage all of it through the familiar, customer-friendly booking paths on Delta.com and the Fly Delta app.”

Delta has remained focused on taking the stress out of travel, even as the pandemic brought about new stressors. The airline has led the industry in protecting the health of our employees and customers to ensure a feeling of safety and confidence when deciding to fly. In 2020, Delta launched the airline’s first Global Cleanliness organization and put in place more than 100 layers of protection to ensure a safe experience for our customers and employees. These safety measures include blocking middle seats and limiting onboard capacity for flights departing through March 2021, requiring masks throughout the travel journey, regularly sanitizing high-touch surfaces and replacing onboard industrial-grade HEPA filters twice as often as recommended, and many other safety steps.

The new digital experience will follow a familiar travel flow. Delta will share current travel requirements with customers based on the destination booked, provide them with available COVID-19 test scheduling options and automatically validate their test results.

This integrated suite of digital tools will incorporate learnings from ongoing work with TrustAssure, with whom Delta has partnered since March 2020 to continue to simplify COVID-testing options for customers. Delta is also launching a pilot with CLEAR Health Pass beginning Feb. 18 for passengers traveling from Los Angeles to Honolulu onboard one flight per day – helping the airline better understand how this and other tools can be used to speed up customer re-entry into the U.S. Customer participation in the CLEAR Pass pilot is optional. Delta is also leading the industry by consulting with partners across the travel journey – including the cruise line, hotel and entertainment industries – to align on key standards and additional best practices that can be put in place to reopen travel in the months ahead.

“We have been working since the beginning of the pandemic to better understand not only the problems our customers face today, but the ones around the corner,” said Delta’s Matt Muta, V.P. – Innovation. “We’re excited to be working with innovative partners across this space who are sharing best-of solutions we can leverage and integrate into our platforms.”

 

Delta extends middle seat blocking through April 2021

Delta Air Lines is continuing its industry-leading commitment to provide more space on board as the only U.S. airline to block middle seats and limit capacity on all flights departing through April 30, 2021, ensuring customers can confidently plan and book their spring travel.

The airline has consistently listened to its customers and prioritized their preferences by offering more space through seat blocking and reducing the overall number of people on board each flight since April 2020.

“We want our customers to have complete confidence when traveling with Delta, and they continue to tell us that more space provides more peace of mind,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We’ll continue to reassess seat blocking in relation to case transmission and vaccination rates, while bringing back products and services in ways that instill trust in the health and safety of everyone on board – that will always be Delta’s priority.”

Details on Delta’s seat blocking policy can be found here.

Delta reports a GAAP pre-tax loss of $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter

Delta Air Lines today reported financial results for the December quarter and full year 2020 and provided its outlook for the March quarter 2021.  Highlights of the fourth quarter and full year 2020 results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are on page five and are incorporated here.

“Our December quarter results capped the toughest year in Delta’s history.  I want to thank the Delta people who have risen to the occasion, focusing on delivering results for all of our stakeholders by putting our customers at the center of our recovery,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.  “While our challenges continue in 2021, I am optimistic this will be a year of recovery and a turning point that results in an even stronger Delta returning to revenue growth, profitability and free cash generation.”

Fourth Quarter Financial Results 

  • Adjusted pre-tax loss of $2.1 billion excludes nearly $1 billion of items directly related to the impact of, and our response to, COVID-19, including charges associated with employee pay and benefit changes, which were offset by the benefit of the CARES Act payroll support program (PSP) grant recognized in the quarter
  • Adjusted operating revenue of $3.5 billion declined 69 percent on 62 percent lower sellable capacity (see Note A) versus the prior year period
  • Total operating expense, which includes $930 million of items described above, decreased $5.2 billion over prior year period.  Adjusted for those items and third-party refinery sales, total operating expense decreased $4.6 billion or 47 percent in the December quarter compared to the prior year period, driven by lower capacity- and revenue-related expenses and strong cost management across the business
  • During the December quarter cash burn (see Note B) averaged $12 million per day, marking an approximate 90 percent reduction in cash burn since late March
  • At the end of 2020, the company had $16.7 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities

Full Year 2020 Financial Results 

  • Adjusted pre-tax loss of $9.0 billion excludes a net of $6.6 billion of items primarily related to the impact of, and our response to, COVID-19
  • Adjusted operating revenue of $15.9 billion declined 66 percent on 61 percent lower sellable capacity versus the prior year
  • Total operating expense, which includes $4.3 billion of COVID- related and other items, decreased $10.8 billion over prior year.  Adjusted for those items and third-party refinery sales, total operating expense decreased $16.0 billion or 40 percent in 2020 compared to the prior year

Delta delivers COVID-19 vaccine shipments as part of global effort to beat pandemic

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

Delta people have been on the front lines of the global pandemic since the very beginning by providing essential travel. Now, our people are on the front lines supporting COVID-19 vaccine shipments – most recently from Detroit to Atlanta and San Francisco – following successful shipments of test vaccines earlier this year.

These critical vaccines are being shipped with the highest priority on Delta aircraft, with the entire journey monitored in Delta’s unique Vaccine Watch Tower that enables full end-to-end visibility for all vaccine shipments. With 24/7 centralized monitoring and customer reporting, the Tower works closely with Flight Operations to ensure the safe and secure transportation of the vaccines at the required temperature.

“Within three hours of being engaged, Delta Cargo had the vaccines in hand and on their way. Our successful COVID-19 vaccine shipments this week prove what we’ve known for a long time: that we’re ready and able to take on more in the all-hands-on-deck domestic and global distribution effort of this life-saving vaccine,” said Rob Walpole, Vice President – Delta Cargo. “Our vaccine task force, which was created months ago to understand the shipping requirements and work with healthcare and pharmaceutical experts, has built scalable critical shipment capabilities to support this effort.”

Delta’s extensive experience in shipping vaccines involves years of building an operation validated by Pharma industry standards and includes being the first U.S. passenger airline to receive IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Pharma Logistics Certification at our Atlanta hub and headquarters. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta offered four tailored pharmaceutical shipping options that meet specific temperature requirements for vaccines – ensuring integrity through the entire journey.

With large warehouses and cooler facilities in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York-JFK and Seattle, as well as a network of 49 certified Pharma airports across the globe, Delta has the necessary infrastructure in place to support COVID-19 vaccine shipments. In addition to robust domestic shipment capabilities to support rapid distribution within the U.S., Delta has a broad and nimble global distribution network in coordination with strong airline partners – providing worldwide reach with stop-gap reliability and greater ability to warehouse and ship vaccines from more global hubs.

Delta Cargo launched a Cargo Charter operation in March to provide safe and reliable transportation of goods around the globe by working primarily with Delta’s established world-leading logistics partners.  Delta dispatched idled aircraft on cargo-only flights to transport millions of pounds of supplies quickly and safely.  Delta has operated over 1,800 cargo charter flights since February and is now averaging 30 cargo-only flights globally each week, carrying medical and PPE equipment, pharmaceuticals, U.S. mail, home office supplies and food.

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Delta’s first COVID-tested flight departs Atlanta, charting path to global recovery

Delta Air Lines made this announcement:

Delta customers with essential travel needs can now fly from Atlanta to Amsterdam without having to quarantine after arrival, and with the knowledge that their fellow passengers and crew are COVID-19 negative after undergoing pre-flight testing protocols.

Tuesday’s COVID-tested flight, with no quarantine after arrival, is the first of two the global carrier is launching this week, with an Atlanta to Rome option starting Saturday, Dec.  19.

“Air travel is the backbone of the global economy. In normal times, it supports more than 87 million jobs and contributes to $3.5 trillion in GDP worldwide,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President -Alliances and International. “The arrival of a vaccine is fantastic news, but it will take time for it to become widely available around the world. It’s for this reason we have worked tirelessly with the authorities and our partners to create a blueprint for travel corridors that will enable air travel to safely resume.”

Delta is the first U.S. airline to offer COVID-free, quarantine-free flights between the U.S. and Europe, which allow customers to avoid quarantine after testing negative for the virus prior to travel and upon arrival in the Netherlands and Italy.

COVID-tested flights to Amsterdam are operated in conjunction with Delta’s trans-Atlantic partner KLM and will depart four days a week, with both carriers operating two frequencies each. Delta, meanwhile, will operate service to Rome three times a week. These flights are clearly identified in the Delta.com booking process so customers can see which flights require the new testing process.

Both trial programs will be available to all citizens permitted to travel to the Netherlands or Italy for essential reasons, such as for certain specified work, health and education reasons. Customers who are transiting via Amsterdam to other countries will still be required to follow entry requirements and any mandatory quarantine in place at their final destination.

About Atlanta-Amsterdam testing process 

Those traveling to Amsterdam must test negative from a PCR test taken five days before arrival in Amsterdam as well as a negative rapid test at Atlanta airport prior to boarding. A second PCR test will then be carried out on landing at Schiphol Airport and once a negative result is received, customers will not need to quarantine. Both airport tests are included in the price of the ticket.

About Atlanta-Rome testing process 

Customers traveling to Rome must obtain a negative PCR test 72 hours before scheduled departure as well as a negative rapid test at Atlanta airport prior to boarding. A second rapid test will then be completed on arrival at Rome-Fiumicino and if negative, no quarantine is required.

Delta continues to put safety and health at the core of everything it does. Through the Delta CareStandard it has put in place more than 100 safety and cleanliness initiatives across its operation based on key insights from experts at Mayo Clinic, Purell, Emory University and Lysol. These include blocking middle seats through March 30, 2021, ensuring rigorous mask compliance, electrostatically cleaning cabins before every flight and more.

Meanwhile, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep international customers informed of potential COVID-19 exposure through contact tracing.

Delta and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to offer COVID-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

Trans-Atlantic partners Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are launching COVID-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam, effective Dec. 15. The airline partners have worked with the Dutch government, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to deliver a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program that will allow eligible customers to be exempt from quarantine on arrival after receiving a negative PCR test result on landing in the Netherlands.

The COVID-tested flights will operate four times per week from Atlanta to Amsterdam, with Delta and KLM operating two frequencies each. Only passengers with negative test results will be accepted on board. The flights will initially run for three weeks and, if successful, the airlines hope to extend the program to other markets.

Customers will be able to choose the COVID-tested flights when they purchase their tickets online or opt for one of the alternative Delta or KLM daily flights between Atlanta and Amsterdam that are not covered within the trial program.

Entry requirements for the Netherlands normally include 10 days of quarantine.  However, by completing a negative PCR test five days before arrival in the Netherlands and self-isolating until departure, customers can choose to complete the quarantine ahead of their departing flight. No quarantine will be required upon arrival once the customer tests negative via a second PCR test at Schiphol airport.

This new protocol will be available to all citizens permitted to travel to the Netherlands for essential reasons, such as for certain specified work, health and education reasons Customers who are transiting via Amsterdam to other countries will still be required to follow entry requirements and any mandatory quarantine in place at their final destination.

To fly on Delta and KLM’s COVID-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam, customers will need to:

  • Take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test 5 days before arrival in Amsterdam.
  • Take a rapid antigen prior to boarding at the Atlanta airport.
  • Take a PCR test directly upon arrival at Schiphol.

Delta brings proven COVID-19 vaccine transport capabilities to shipments across the globe

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

Delta has proven capabilities for transporting COVID-19 vaccines after successful shipments earlier this year. With large warehouses and cooler facilities in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York-JFK and Seattle, and a network of 49 certified Pharma airports across the globe, Delta has capabilities in place to support vaccine shipments at home and around the world.

In addition to robust domestic shipment capabilities to support rapid distribution with the U.S., Delta has a broad and nimble global distribution function in coordination with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo that enables end-to-end compliance and assurance for customers across our broad network.

Delta has introduced enhancements to our existing pharmaceutical delivery protocols to support safe, swift distribution, including:

  • The highest level of access and boarding priority
  • A Vaccine Control Tower with 24/7 centralized monitoring and customer reporting
  • Pharma-ready Cargo-only charter options for operations within and outside our existing network

Delta has extensive experience in shipping vaccines and was the first U.S. passenger airline to receive IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Pharma Logistics Certification at our headquarters and Atlanta warehouse. We already offer four tailored pharmaceutical shipping options which meet specific temperature requirements for vaccines ensuring integrity through the entire journey.

Delta launches industry’s first contact tracing for travelers returning to U.S.

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

  • By sharing five simple pieces of information, customers can help U.S. government and health officials reduce instances of potential exposure and provide travelers with important public health information
  • Delta leads industry effort to track global pandemic, protect customers
  • The submission of contact information will be a required element of Delta’s COVID-19 testing program enabling quarantine-free entry to Italy beginning Dec. 19      

Delta is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep international customers informed of potential COVID-19 exposure through contact tracing. Along with our nine global airline partners, we are working with government agencies, health officials and aviation authorities to offer safer travel at every point in your journey.

Beginning Dec. 15, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to ask customers traveling to the U.S. from an international location to voluntarily provide five pieces of data to aid contact tracing and public health follow-up efforts, including:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Address in the U.S.
  • Primary phone
  • Secondary phone

Independent studies have shown that the many layers of protection Delta has already put in place are effectively minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and contact tracing adds one more important layer to our efforts to ensure safety throughout travel,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We want customers to feel safe when they return to travel, and this voluntary program is another way we can provide additional reassurance to customers and employees alike.”

Customers and those in their itinerary can voluntarily participate in our contact-tracing program if they are:

  • Flying on any Delta-operated flight
  • A foreign national and/or a U.S. passport holder traveling to the United States as your final destination

Under the new process, we are working with the CDC to streamline contact-tracing efforts by directly and securely transmitting the five requested customer data points to the CDC via U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This will give the CDC access to the data in moments, dramatically decreasing the time it takes to notify affected customers via local health departments.

By connecting with customers more quickly and providing public health follow-up, health authorities can help reduce instances of potential exposure and slow the spread of the virus.

Currently, in the event of confirmed COVID-19 case with travel while infectious, the CDC requests a passenger manifest from Delta to identify all customers seated two seats around the confirmed case. This information is then transmitted to the appropriate local health departments for follow-up, with each department taking responsibility for passengers in their own jurisdiction.

Data is central to our vision for the future of travel, and we understand our vision is only as good as the trust customers place in us to protect their identity and information. All data submitted by customers through this voluntary collection process is sent to the CDC using established channels between airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the Advance Passenger Information System. We will retain this information for no longer than is necessary to achieve the contact tracing and public health follow-up objectives, or as required by Customs and Border Protection.

Protecting our customers’ security and privacy are top priorities for all Delta employees, and customers can be confident their information will be treated with the same level of care we take for your safety throughout your travel journey.

Contact tracing required for our Atlanta-Rome testing program

Last week we announced our partnership with the Aeroporti de Roma and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to launch a first-of-its-kind trans-Atlantic COVID-19 testing program that will enable quarantine-free entry into Italy. Participating customers who are eligible to travel will be granted an exemption from quarantine restrictions on arrival into Italy.

As part of this pilot program, contact-tracing information collection will be mandatory for all customers flying to the U.S. This pilot and our ongoing contact-tracing efforts are crucial steps to resuming international travel safely.

Contact tracing bolsters the Delta CareStandard

Contacting tracing is one of the latest ways we are ensuring the safety of our employees, customers and their communities. From blocking middle seats through March 30, 2021, requiring masks throughout the travel experience and rolling out more than 100 actions for your safety – our Delta CareStandard – we are continuing to adapt as the pandemic evolves.

Delta to launch first quarantine-free, COVID-free travel to Europe through new testing protocols

Delta Air Lines, the Aeroporti di Roma and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have joined in a first-of-its-kind trans-Atlantic COVID-19 testing program that will enable quarantine-free entry into Italy, in accordance with a decree expected to be issued soon by the government of Italy.

“Carefully designed COVID-19 testing protocols are the best path for resuming international travel safely and without quarantine until vaccinations are widely in place,” said Steve Sear, Delta President – International and Executive Vice President – Global Sales. “Safety is our core promise – it’s at the center of this pioneering testing effort and it’s the foundation of our standards for cleanliness and hygiene to help customers feel confident when they fly Delta.”

Delta has engaged expert advisors from Mayo Clinic, a global leader in serious and complex healthcare, to review and assess the customer-testing protocols needed for Delta to execute a COVID-tested flight program.

“Based on the modeling we have conducted, when testing protocols are combined with multiple layers of protection, including mask requirements, proper social distancing and environmental cleaning, we can predict that the risk of COVID-19 infection – on a flight that is 60 percent full – should be nearly one in a million,” said Henry Ting, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Value Officer, Mayo Clinic.

Delta has also worked closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health to develop a blueprint for governments to reopen important international travel markets.

“The State of Georgia and the Italian government have demonstrated leadership in testing protocols and practices that can safely reopen international travel without quarantine requirements,” Sear added.

Starting Dec. 19, Delta’s dedicated trial will test customers and crew on newly relaunched flights from Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Rome-Fiumicino International Airport. The tests will exempt from quarantine on arrival in Italy all U.S. citizens permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons, such as for work, health and education, as well as all European Union and Italian citizens.

To fly on Delta’s COVID-tested flights between Atlanta and Rome, customers will need to test negative for COVID-19 through:

  • A COVID Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken up to 72 hours before departure
  • A rapid test administered at the airport in Atlanta before boarding
  • A rapid test on arrival in Rome-Fiumicino
  • A rapid test at Rome-Fiumicino before departure to the United States

Customers also will be asked to provide information upon entry into the U.S. to support CDC contact-tracing protocols.

Aeroporti di Roma earlier this year implemented a successful intra-Italy COVID-tested flight trial with Delta’s Italian codeshare partner Alitalia and is the only airport in the world to have obtained the maximum five-star rating from Skytrax on its anti-COVID health protocols. Rome-Fiumicino Airport serves over 40 million passengers a year and has been rated Europe’s Best Hub Airport for a third year in a row by Airports Council International.