Kimberly Redmond | |

As air travel plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Air Lines posted a net loss of $12.4 billion in 2020 – the company’s largest loss ever.


On Thursday, the Atlanta-based carrier reported a quarterly loss of $755 million and $12.4 billion in losses for all of 2020, a year that Chief Executive Ed Bastian called “the toughest in Delta’s history.”


The full-year loss compared with a $4.8 bil...

Reuters | |

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo on Friday that he continues to expect that the company will achieve positive cash flow by the spring.

In his new year note to employees, Bastian said that company will likely “experience two distinct phases during the next 12 months.” The first phase will be similar to 2020, he said.

“The second phase will begin only when we reach a turning point with widely available vaccinations that spur a significant return to travel, particularly business travel.”

Reuters | |

American Airlines is set to restart U.S. Boeing 737 MAX commercial flights on Tuesday, another milestone for the U.S. planemaker as it tries to move past its deepest crisis in its 104-year history.

The MAX was grounded in March 2019 for 20 months after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people. The grounding was lifted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last month after Boeing agreed to software upgrades and new safeguards on a key flight control system linked to both fatal crashes.

Reuters | |

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday said it was finalizing the first-ever proposed standards regulating greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes.

The EPA said its new requirements for airplanes used in commercial aviation and for large business jets would align the United States with international standards.

In 2016, the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed on global airplane emissions standards aimed at makers of small and large planes, including Airbus SE and Boeing Co, which both have backed the standards.

AP News | |

A U.S. Labor Department judge says the head of the Federal Aviation Administration helped Delta Air Lines retaliate against a pilot who raised safety concerns while he was an executive with the airline.

An administrative law judge for the department ruled that Stephen Dickson and other Delta executives steered a human-resources procedure so that the pilot would undergo a psychiatric evaluation that independent doctors deemed unwarranted.

Reuters | |

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1.28 million passengers on Sunday at U.S. airports, the highest number since mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic slashed travel demand.

The number of U.S. air travelers is still about 50% lower than the same date last year, but Sunday was the sixth day in the last 10 that volume surpassed 1 million. The rise comes despite public health officials urging Americans to avoid holiday travel this year as coronavirus cases have jumped.

Reuters | |

American Airlines is beginning the phased return of furloughed workers after the U.S. Congress passed a pandemic aid package with $15 billion in payroll support for airlines, its executives said in a staff memo on Tuesday.

“While pay and benefits will be restored right away, people will be asked to return to the operation in phases,” Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in the memo, released by American.

Air passenger traffic is down by about 70% versus a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the travel industry. U.S. airlines furloughed tens of thousands of employees when an initial $25 billion in federal payroll support that banned job cuts expired in October.

Reuters | |

British Airways, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic said on Monday they will allow only passengers who test negative for the coronavirus to fly to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The decisions follow a request from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that the airlines voluntarily agree to screen passengers on flights to Kennedy airport after the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus strain in Britain.

Dozens of countries, though not the United States, closed their borders to Britain on Monday, causing travel chaos.

Reuters | |

A bipartisan legislative deal unveiled by U.S. lawmakers on Sunday will grant U.S. airlines $15 billion in new payroll assistance that will allow them to return more than 32,000 furloughed workers to payrolls through March 31, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The support is part of $45 billion earmarked for the transportation sector in a $900 billion package for COVID-19 relief.

Amtrak, the nation’s largest passenger railroad firm, is due to receive $1 billion while $14 billion will go to public transit systems and $10 billion to state highways, a senior Democratic aide said.

Reuters | |

United Airlines is telling some flight attendants whose colleagues test positive for COVID-19 to keep flying and monitor for symptoms, three employees told Reuters, raising concerns among staff about the policy.

“Most of us feel that’s unsafe,” said one of the employees. Reuters also viewed around a dozen comments in a private online group for United flight attendants, which expressed unease and frustration about loose quarantine and contract tracing protocols by the airline.

United’s major rival American Airlines, by contrast, removes all crew from service when they have worked with an infected person, a policy decision American flight attendants and the union representing them affirmed.