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Delta CEO predicts positive cash flow by spring

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian predicted that the company will reach positive cash flow by the spring in a Friday memo obtained by The Hill.

Bastian sent a memo to Delta staff expressing cautious optimism for the year ahead, forecasting that the company will go through “two distinct phases during the next 12 months.”

"The first will look a lot like 2020, with travel demand deeply depressed and our focus on ensuring the health and safety of our people and customers,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT“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,” Bastian continued. “We continue to expect that we will achieve positive cash flow by the spring.”

The chief executive did acknowledge that he expects “the next 12 months to be even more challenging” than 2020, saying the company will “need to be nimble, ready to adjust our course and adapt to an ever-changing environment” amid the uncertainty.

Bastian had told investors in October that the airline intends to pay down its debt once it has positive cash flow. Like most airlines, Delta took a hit this year, with revenues dropping 76 percent to $3.1 billion in the third quarter compared to in 2019. The company had banned middle seats until March 30 amid concerns about the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

Travel boosted in the days surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas, with millions of people being screened by the Transportation Security Administration, despite health officials warning against it as coronavirus has surged in the country.

The U.S. surpassed 20 million COVID-19 cases on New Year’s Day.

This article originally appeared on The Hill

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