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Delta Air Lines CEO says the Delta variant hasn’t affected bookings

Company officials said bookings haven’t slowed down ‘at all’

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Photo (c) Stefonlinton - Getty Images
Cases of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 are on the rise nationwide, but Delta Air Lines says travelers don't appear to be taking that news to heart when it comes to planning trips.

The airline says bookings on its flights haven’t suffered as a result, with CEO Ed Bastian noting that customers are still booking flights at the same pace.  

“We haven’t seen any impact at all from the variant,” Bastian said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” citing bookings 60 to 90 days in advance. “As the news of the variant’s spreading, we haven’t seen any slowdown at all. We’re learning to live with this.”

Delta reported its second-quarter results on Wednesday, and the company’s quarterly revenue exceeded analyst expectations. Other airlines have also said they have bounced back from the depths of the pandemic, at least when it comes to leisure travel bookings. Business travel is recovering at a slower pace, but Bastian said domestic leisure travel is at “if not beyond” pre-pandemic levels. 

The CEO noted that 72% of Delta’s employees are fully vaccinated and that a “vast majority” of customers surveyed said they have been vaccinated. 

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Editor's note: The story has been slightly modified to better delineate that the rise in Delta variant cases has not affected consumers' decisions to travel. Parallels between the name of the COVID-19 variant and the airline mentioned in the story are coincidental. 

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