Delta Variant Slows Near-Term Bookings As Cruisers Hesitate

Delta’s stock plunged after the airline reported a slowdown in bookings that could last through the peak summer season. The company is attempting to offset this by offering $100 off flights to Europe and $200 off flights to Asia, but the market is still not convinced.

Delta has recently been experiencing a delta variant cases. This is when the load on the system has increased and passengers are hesitant to book flights.

As the cruise industry recovers, a recurrence of COVID instances linked to the Delta version is putting a damper on short-term reservations.

According to Travel Weekly, analyst Patrick Scholes of Truist Securities has seen a “significant slowdown in bookings over the last eight weeks,” which he attributes to a change in consumer confidence “clearly due to the COVID-19 delta variation.”

Celebrity Edge Return Trip Report

Scholes’ discussions with executives at major travel companies specialized in cruise travel informed Truist’s September Demand & Price Survey.

“Travel executives tell us that keeping up with daily changes in visitation and vaccination requirements has been very difficult for both customers and sales agents,” Scholes said.

“Because of the constantly changing regulations and restrictions, some prospective cruisers have decided against booking a cruise holiday and instead choose for a land-based vacation. COVID-related warnings/restrictions have been issued on many major cruise locations in the last two weeks, for example.”

READ MORE: By Next Month, Half of Carnival Corporation’s Fleet Will Be Afloat

Bookings surged in early summer as cruise ships started to return to operation, but plummeted as the new strain of the virus took hold, according to Jason Ader, CEO of SpringOwl Asset Management, in a recent interview with CNBC.

“For a few of months, travel demand exceeded 2019 high levels. Because of the delta variation, it has slowed in the past 60 days, so I don’t believe anybody knows where this ball will end up,” Ader added.

nassau bahamas

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas.

Scholes said in the Truist study that the formerly favorable advance booking speed for 2022 sailings compared to the same time last year for 2020 cruises has now gone negative in all locations, particularly for winter sailings in the Caribbean.

He also said that although price has been stable, this may not be the case in the future. The combination of additional ships expected to return and a jittery market may drive discounts.

In the most recent report, there is some positive news for cruise companies. Onboard extras, including as drink packages, restaurant upsells, and other discretionary goods, are “spending like never before,” according to Scholes.

Customers haven’t shown much worry about reports of small outbreaks aboard ships, which has delighted travel agency and cruise company officials. “In our view, very little negative consequences from very modest breakouts is promising for an industry that is under the media microscope,” Scholes wrote.

READ ON FOR THE REST OF OCTOBER: Royal Caribbean Announces Protocols

The delta variant symptoms in vaccinated adults is a condition that can be seen in people who have received the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella.

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