Delta Air Lines is one of the biggest airlines in the United States. During the on-going pandemic, the airline has decided that it will leave the middle seats of its flights empty. This is to ensure that social distancing is maintained. As per the CEO of Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian, the number one reason why people are choosing Delta Air Lines is its empty middle seat policy. This was found by the airline after conducting a proper survey amongst its customers. Ed Bastian has also promised that the airline will extend the policy beyond September 30 as well.
Delta Air Lines to Maintain the Policy for Foreseeable Future
When asked how long this policy will remain in place, Ed Bastian said that it could be either until the end of the year or early 2021. The airline will give customers what they want. As soon as the customers/passengers start feeling comfortable in flying with others, the airline will remove the empty middle seat policy.
The rival airlines such as United said that they are not going to leave their middle seats empty. Other airlines believe that it is just raising the cost of airfare without any apparent benefit. Everyone knows that social distancing can’t be maintained inside an aircraft because of the less distance between two seats.
Even the International Air Transport Association (IATA) commented that leaving middle seats empty inside an aircraft won’t do any good. This is because the distance between the two seats after leaving the middle seat empty is still too close.
As for the Delta’s financial condition, it is going through some heavy losses at the moment. The airline posted a net loss of $5.7 billion against its profit of $1.4 billion a year ago. But Ed Bastian said regardless of that, the airline won’t have to fire any employees. This is because some of the airline’s employees have agreed to for early retirements. Along with this, some employees have also agreed to go on voluntary unpaid leave.