Delta recorded a $180 million impairment charge for the retirement of seven 767-300ERs last year.
The airline has been gradually adding back flights, but air travel is still down more than 50% during some periods. That’s in spite of a spike over the Christmas travel period when, on certain days, more than 1 million people passed through the nation’s airport security checkpoints, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees in a memo that “as difficult as 2020 was, in many ways, I expect the next 12 months to be even more challenging” because of the uncertainty. He said he expects travel demand to remain “deeply depressed” until vaccinations are widely available. But, he said, he thinks the airline eventually will stop burning through cash and return to positive cash flow by spring.