US airline companies had a 5pm deadline to submit their applications for a share of $25 billion in cash grants. The problem: if the following letter from Delta CEO to his employees is representative of the broader industry, that $25 billion will last about two weeks.
In a memo from CEO Ed Bastion to his workers, the CEO unveiled that the situation for US carriers is hopeless and getting worse, as Delta traffic is down 94%, cash burn is $60 million per day, and Q2 revenue is expected to be down 90%. To wit:
As we move into April, we continue to see our passenger volumes and revenues drop. For example, on Saturday we had about 38,000 customers flying, versus our normal late-March Saturday of 600,000. Unfortunately, even as Delta is burning more than $60 million in cash every day, we know we still haven't seen the bottom.
This month our schedule will be at least 80 percent smaller than originally planned, with 115,000 flights cancelled. I wish I could predict this would end soon, but the reality is we simply don't know how long it will take before the virus is contained and customers are ready to fly again.
The passage of the CARES Act, which provides emergency relief for airline employees nationwide, was welcome news. We submitted our application this morning to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for our share of the worker-protection grants. We appreciate the decisive action of our nation's leaders to protect our people.