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The delta variant may ruin the travel industry, US airlines warn

United, Southwest, American and other airlines say travel demand is dipping because of the delta variant.

Passengers arrive from Billings, Montana, on the first flight to the new Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City.
Passengers arrive from Billings, Montana, on the first flight to the new Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Multiple airlines are worried that the delta variant’s surge and the rising of COVID-19 cases will limit travel this fall and holiday season, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Multiple airlines are worried that the delta variant’s surge and rising COVID-19 cases will limit travel this fall and holiday season, according to The Wall Street Journal.

  • Airlines said travel is taking a hit because of the delta variant.
  • The setback, though, will be short, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to CNBC, several U.S. airlines even lowered their financial forecasts for the upcoming quarter, saying that there’s been fewer bookings because of rising COVID-19 cases.

However, air travel often experiences a dip in the late summer months because schools are reopening and families travel less, according to CNBC. Still, “the fast-spreading delta variant has exacerbated the drop in demand,” airlines said, according to CNBC.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the rise of COVID-19 cases will delay the travel demand for 90 to 120 days, according to Bloomberg.

  • The variant has primarily impacted business and international travel, Bastian said, per Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Southwest said that its Labor Day weekend travel demand was solid. The company said any cancellations may have been due to Hurricane Ida, which recently hit Louisiana and other Southeastern states, according to Bloomberg.