Delta Air Lines Offers Reason To Be Optimistic About Coronavirus

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.

(HT: AirInsight)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. @ Gary — Plus, we have our Great Leader and his Great Assistant, who invented healthcare in Indiana. We will be fine.

  2. Considering how Gov Pence refused to take measures to reduce the spread of HIV in his state, we should all be scared of his ability to curb the spread of coronavirus. There is no realm of leadership in a person who allows his mystical religious beliefs to overcome the reality of science.

  3. “According to the airline’s managing director for cargo sales,”

    A bit like when you hear of some new computer virus research, undertaken by a company that sells, erm, Antivirus software.

    I’ll listen to the WHO when it comes to advice about Covid-19, not someone from sales….

  4. Of course you know Trump is a scientific genius. Pence has no experience at all in the health care field. Trump likes to use yes men to run his administration like his new defense secretary with no experience.

  5. Is everything about Trump and the Republicans? I’m sure there are some very intelligent people that read this blog, but by reading the comments the default seems to be the same tired ideology. If nothing else, you’ll have 5 more years to fine tune the hatred……

  6. The virus has almost certainly peaked in China, unless something radically changes. That’s obvious. The problem is that 2 nasty clusters have occurred in South Korea and Italy. The Italian outbreak is particularly troubling because travellers are spreading it quickly. and widely. If there’s going to be a true pandemic, it will be because of the Italy infection, or perhaps from travellers from a “third world” country like Iran. It won’t be from more cases in China.

  7. @Rog
    Pence has kicked it off by stating the desire to coordinate ( ie control) public statements from health officials. I’d give that arrangement a lifespan of about 5 minutes in the event he seeks to censor or obfuscate.

  8. There are a bunch of f*king a*sh*le commentators here trying to politicize the coronavirus. Have you no shame. ‘The coronavirus is serious business, which is hurting worldwide economics and killing people.

    For normal people, back to travel, I was flying through Seoul yesterday. All the staff on Korean air were wearings masks. I do not even know what my stewards and stewardesses looked like, because of the masks. About 90% to 95% of the people in the Incheon Airport were wearing masks. The PA system was asking people to wear masks. I did not have a mask and did not know where to buy one, so I was not. I felt a little out of place with no mask.

  9. The virus is a hoax folks it will be gone like magic
    but no worry the VP is also praying the virus away so you can all be safe
    As for masks and ventilators it all depends on if you praised Trump and the administration and then you may get priority with bonus points and the very medical equipment your city may need
    Anyone that needs to get a test just step right up and get one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *