If you’re looking for green shoots in the coronavirus story, here’s one from Delta: even as there’s concerning news this morning about a person in California contracting the virus without having had recent international travel or having been known to come into contact with someone who was infected, there’s some indication that business in China is recovering.
At least Delta Air Lines cargo thinks so. The airline reports that it has regained 10% of its cargo business even without operating its own flights to China. According to the airline’s managing director for cargo sales,
Roughly 80 percent of the capacity in Shanghai and many of the northern cities is back on line. So is 60 percent of the manufacturing capacity in the south. This is for across sectors.
Delta cargo continues to move cargo out of China via Korean Air. Remember that there have been just 3 coronavirus deaths so far in Shanghai, with 276 people confirmed to have the virus recovering, and 5 deaths in Beijing with 248 recovered. On the other hand, Delta only has a window into a very small piece of Chinese cargo (limited data set) and sales people tend to be overly optimistic.
Of course even once the virus has peaked in China, it may continue spreading aggressively elsewhere, so if Delta’s data point is accurate that wouldn’t mean we’re out of the woods by any stretch. Still, it’s nice to have a reason for progress and hope and a reminder that this will eventually pass.