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Posted: April 12, 2017

Delta lost $125 million, canceled 4,000 flights in domino effect after storms

A Delta airlines plane is seen as it comes in for a landing.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A Delta airlines plane is seen as it comes in for a landing.


Severe storms moved into the south on April 3 and created havoc for several days for tens of thousands of Delta travelers as the airline was forced to cancel 4,000 flights.

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The company wasn’t able to return to normal operations until Sunday -- six days later.

The financial impact of the storms on Delta was an estimated $125 million.

It was an “impact that in my 20 years at the airline we’ve never seen,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said.

>> Related: Hundreds of bags abandoned after thousands of Delta flight cancellations

“Delta currently estimates the storm will reduce its June quarter pretax income by $125 million,” Bastian said.
He also apologized to the affected travelers.

Delta passengers wait in line in hopes of catching their flight out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday, April 7, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

“We hold ourselves to a high standard, and we apologize to all of our customers who were impacted by last week’s events,” he said. “I also want to thank the Delta people for working through some incredibly tough conditions to take care of our customers and reset our operation. They proved again they are the best in the business.”

>> Related: Delta Air Lines paid woman $11,000 not to fly, other passengers’ bags go without them

Bastian acknowledged that the company needs to invest in improvements to its crew scheduling and information systems, and said the problem was not understaffing.

“There were seven different thunderstorm cells that happened at a rapid-fire basis starting from early morning to evening” on April 5, Bastian said. “We had the virtual shutdown of Atlanta for the better part of an entire day,” combined with busy spring break travel that left little room to rebook customers.

>> Related: Man’s body stranded for two days during Delta flight cancellations

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

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