Delta CEO Ed Bastian apologized on Wednesday for the carrier's flight disruptions and said the company's performance has already improved.
During a call with analysts on Wednesday, Bastian said Delta's performance throughout the second quarter "has not been up to our industry-leading standards" and that the company has invested in measures to restore its "operational integrity, including earlier boarding procedures and operational buffers."
"I'd like to sincerely apologize to those who have been impacted by cancellations, delays, and long wait times over the last two months," Bastian said.
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So far, "July is off to a very good start, with a 99.2% completion factor through the first 11 days of the month, which is exactly on par with the same holiday period in 2019," he said.
Over the last seven days of that period, Bastian said the carrier had only 25 cancellations worldwide on over 30,000 departures and 84% of its flights have arrived on time.
Industry officials say airlines cut 15% of the flights they planned for between June through August in order to become more reliable. However, throughout the summer, the entire industry continued to cancel and delay flights due to bad weather, staffing shortages and air traffic control constraints.
The issue, Bastian said, isn't hiring but "but a training and experience bubble."
"Coupling this with the lingering effects of COVID and we've seen a reduction in crew availability and higher overtime," he said, adding that "the issues we're facing are temporary."
Consumer demand remains strong into the fall, according to Bastian who projected that revenue will be up between 1% and 5% compared to pre-pandemic times.