Delta Air Lines has warned that it will lose approximately $2 million more than forecast each day in the fourth quarter due to slowing travel demand amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, but has kept a target to halt its cash burn next spring.
"We've seen some slowing of demand and forward bookings as COVID cases have risen across the US," chief executive Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees.
Delta now expects its cash burn to hover between $12 million and $14 million per day in the fourth quarter, which is more than the $10 million to $12 million range that it forecast in October.
Airlines are hoping that vaccine prospects will start lifting demand throughout 2021, but do not expect a full recovery for some time. Delta's fourth-quarter revenue could fall to just 30% of 2019 levels, which was $11.44 billion, it said.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based carrier is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep international customers informed of potential COVID-19 exposure through contact tracing.
Delta said that it will ask customers traveling to the United States from an international location to voluntarily provide five pieces of data to aid contact tracing and public health follow-up efforts beginning December 15.