United Airlines CEO expects demand recovery to continue despite new variants

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FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop
FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

July 21, 2021

(Reuters) – United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby said on Wednesday that he expects a recovery in travel demand to continue “largely unabated” despite a resurgence in COVID-19, spurred by the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Speaking to investors after second-quarter results, Kirby noted, however, that a temporary pullback in reopenings is possible and harder to predict due to political dimensions.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru)