Delta Air Lines reported a pre-tax loss of $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2022 but expects a return to profit in the current quarter as travel demand reaches “a historic high”.  

According to a statement made by Delta on April 13, 2022, the airline ended the first quarter of the year with $12.8 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities.  

During the quarter, which ended on March 31, 2022, the carrier also managed to generate $1.8 billion of operating cash flow and $197 million of free cash flow, after it succeeded in making a $1.6 billion investment into its fleet renewal, particularly the purchases of aircraft and plane modifications. 

The airline said it took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft and plans to add 26 aircraft of the type later this year. The company has committed to acquiring a total of 155 A321neos through 2027. 

The company also said that its adjusted operating revenue of $8.2 billion for Q1 2022 was restored to 79% of the pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019.  

Despite the pre-tax loss, Delta shared a promising outlook for the current quarter, which is due to end on June 30, 2022.  

“In the June quarter, we are successfully recapturing higher fuel prices and expect our revenue recovery to accelerate to 93 to 97 percent with unit revenue up double digits compared to 2019,” President of Delta Air Lines, Glen Hauenstein said in the statement. 

Speaking to Reuters on the day the financial results were released, Delta’s chief executive officer, Ed Bastian said the airline was currently noticing “the strongest period of bookings” the company has ever seen in its operating history. 

“The demand environment that we have today is at a historic high,” Bastian said. 

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