Delta counts H1N1-related losses at $250 millionby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Delta Air Lines, the parent company of Northwest Airlines, says it could suffer a big revenue hit this year due to the H1N1 flu virus.
The virus has aggravated conditions for an already weakened airline industry, which has been reeling from reduced business travel, as well as rising fuel costs.
At the company's annual shareholders meeting, Delta's chief executive Richard Anderson said the H1N1 flu virus has further crimped demand for travel, and that it could cost the airline $250 million in lost revenue this year.
As a result, Anderson said Delta, the world's largest airline, is putting fewer seats in the air to hold down costs. He said the company has significantly scaled back flights to Mexico and Latin America during the second quarter. Some of that capacity will return later this year.
Weak demand for service to Asia has also prompted Delta to fly fewer planes there. International travel has typically been a big moneymaker for airlines.