Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) announced it is raising the majority of its employee wages by 4% as demand for flights continues to climb ahead of the upcoming spring and summer travel season. This will be the first salary increase since the fall of 2019 before the pandemic began.
“We continue to be optimistic in our ability to generate a profit this year,” Bastian wrote in a memo to employees.
According to a memo sent to Delta employees from CEO Ed Bastian, travelers are returning to the sky as covid restrictions ease, corporate offices reopen, and international regulations are lifted. Bookings are on an upward trend, specifically for domestic leisure travel.
The shift is a positive turn from the start of the COvid-19 pandemic when revenue tumbled 95%, marking “the most difficult and challenging time in the history of our company,” Bastian said.
“We’ve come a long way since the darkest days of 2020,” Mr. Bastian said.
The airline industry continues to recover, it continues to battle staffing shortages, similar to many other affected U.S. industries. Consequently, Delta pilots protested at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport just last week, citing that they have been forced to work exhausting hours and overtime.
“Every workgroup has probably worked more in the rebuild than they would like to, and we’re committed to getting the staffing levels right over time,” Delta president Glen Hauenstein said this week.
Additionally, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fuel costs have skyrocketed. At an investor conference on Tuesday, Delta executives revealed that the airline predicts customers will be willing to pay an extra USD15 to USD20 each way in order to offset the increasing fuel costs.
“We’re monitoring the impact the situation in Ukraine is having on global fuel prices,” Mr. Bastian said in the memo.