United Airlines CEO: Economy is getting better at dealing with COVID variants
Dec. 01, 2021 3:17 PM ETUnited Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL)LUV, DAL, AALBy: Brian Stewart, SA News Editor21 Comments
- United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said Wednesday that while the Omicron variant will "certainly have a near-term impact" on bookings, he sees signs that the economy has improved its handling of emerging strains of COVID.
- "We're much better at dealing with this as a society," the head of the United (NASDAQ:UAL) told CNBC.
- Kirby predicted that the pandemic recovery will see repeated hiccups as more variants appear. However, over time, the new strains will have less of an impact on business.
- "I think [Omicron] will be three steps forward, one step back, whereas Delta was two steps forward and one step back and the next variant will be four steps forward and one back," Kirby said.
- The United CEO predicted a dip in revenue as a result of Omicron but projected a less pronounced decline than the firm saw from the Delta variant.
- Amid worries about the Omicron variant, UAL declined nearly 6% in Wednesday's intraday trading, falling to $39.67 at about 3:15 PM ET. With the slide, the stock has come within striking distance of its 52-week low of $39.18.
- Since this summer, the major airlines have largely traded in lockstep with each other. UAL, Delta (NYSE:DAL), American (NASDAQ:AAL) and Southwest (NYSE:LUV) are all down approximately 20% since the last week in June.
- During the same period of time, the S&P 500 index gained almost 8%: