Delta faces ‘staggering’ Q2 loss in face of COVID-19

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) posted a $3.9 billion pretax loss for the second quarter, ending June 30, on a more than $11 billion drop in revenue from last year.

Ed Bastian, the Atlanta-based carrier’s CEO, said the dramatic loss “illustrates the truly staggering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business.”

The airline had anticipated a continued deterioration in revenue since earlier this year when it grounded more than 90% of its passenger flights due to government travel restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Delta’s total revenue for Q2 reached about $1.5 billion, down 88% compared to the prior year, with total unit revenue down 21%. Cargo revenue dropped 42% to $108 million.

The airline benefited earlier this year from $1.3 billion in CARES Act relief funding from Congress and launched a $2.5 billion restructuring plan, which included the announcement of accelerated aircraft retirements.