21 MARCH 2022


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Article from BTNews 21 MARCH 2022

Delta at the Aviation Club *

A packed Aviation Club lunch last Tuesday saw a return of Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Airlines (he was also guest of honour in 2014) in what was termed a ‘fireside chat’ with Club Chairman Karl Brünjes. 

He said that the terrible war in Ukraine had no impact on US originating traffic, noting that 8 March had been the busiest in the airline’s history. “I have not seen a stronger demand day for travel in my career”, he said.

He added that the Russian invasion had prompted a brief drop in sales, but otherwise consumers were not being put off by the rise in the cost of living and other factors, including spiralling fuel costs.

Carriers had weathered the pandemic, he said. “It has been the worst period that companies and the industry has ever been through, but we are through”.

Bastian said he was “not at a point of nervousness” about rising fuel prices. “We have seen $100 (a barrel) for many years over time. We were quite successful when it moved over $100”.  He hinted at an impact on fares later in the year pointing out that Delta is not hedged “none of the US majors are, so we need to pass that on to the marketplace”.

He was optimistic. “In the US there is a lot of inflation, and fuel is at record levels, but the US consumer has savings. A lot of the spending has been on home improvements, etc, but there’s now a shift away from goods and services and that’s fuelling demand, not just at the moment, but for the summer”.

Airlines had a role to play in reuniting families and getting the corporate world moving, he said. “We realise the role we play and that is a noble role. Consumers will rally to our side and we are seeing just that”.

In answer to a question from BTN’s Malcolm Ginsberg he made it quite clear that Delta was firmly now established at Heathrow, offered a summer series to Edinburgh and was working closely with partner airline Virgin Atlantic.


Index/Home page

OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Jill Smyth, Ealing

I have visited Russia a few times in the last 20 years and met many friendly and helpful people. As soon as they dispatch the criminal Putin I might go again. And I am keeping off Vodka.