How the Delta variant could actually help the economy

New York (CNN Business)As the Covid-19 Delta variant continues to spread, companies are warning that they expect pandemic fears to harm their businesses. The hospitality and entertainment industries, in particular, are feeling the pain.

Although economists don’t expect a repeat of the kind of shutdowns that gutted industries in 2020, the risks posed by the variant have businesses on edge.
Here are some of the companies that have already warned about the Delta variant’s threat to their bottom line.

    Southwest Airlines

      Southwest Airlines (LUV) is seeing a decrease in bookings and an increase in cancellations this month, according to a recent regulatory filing. The airline said this pattern is “believed to be driven by the recent rise in Covid-19 cases associated with the Delta variant.” This is a shift from the company’s July prediction that it would be profitable in the third and fourth quarters based of strong booking trends for leisure travel.

      Airbnb

      Airbnb warned that the Delta variant is going to disrupt travel. The company saw a dip in demand in July, and on an earnings call, Airbnb’s chief financial officer David E. Stephenson said it’s likely due to “summer peak” and the Delta variant. “We anticipate that the impact of Covid-19 and the introduction and spread of new variants of the virus, including the Delta variant, will continue to affect overall travel behavior, including how often and when guests book and cancel,” the company said in its earnings letter to shareholders.

      Disney

      The Delta variant is putting a dent in Disney (DIS)‘s film and television productions as well as park attendance. “We continue to see disruption of film and television production, as well as live sports events, depending on local circumstances,” the company said in a recent letter to investors. And when it comes to park attendance, “The primary noise that we’re seeing right now are really around group or convention cancellations,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said.

      Tyson Foods

      Tyson Foods (TSN) is struggling, particularly when it comes to labor. The company “increased wages and created flexible shifts” but “the Delta variant has been a disruptor,” Tyson Foods president and CEO Donnie King said during a recent earnings call. “Labor is our single biggest issue we face, not only in chicken, but also in our other businesses,” King said. “We were on a good trajectory and then the Delta variant showed up, and we’ve taken a step back as a result of that.”

        Norwegian Cruise Line

        Fears surrounding the Delta variant have resulted in a bookings dip for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH). “We have seen a modest decrease in our net new booking activity during the month of July when the Delta variant has surfaced,” Frank J. Del Rio, the company’s president and CEO said during a recent earnings calls. But he’s feeling hopeful about the future. “We think this is a transitory, temporary phenomenon,” he said.
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