Frontier Airlines lowers forecast after delta variant hurt bookings

Key Points
  • Frontier Airlines posted better-than-expected results.
  • The carrier warned that the coronavirus delta variant has weighed on bookings over the past week.
Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 takes off from Los Angeles international Airport on August 27, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
AaronP | Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

Frontier Airlines posted better-than-expected quarterly results but warned that the Covid delta variant is hurting demand.

Frontier said Wednesday it expects, at best, to break even in the third quarter, compared with a previous forecast to post a profit, because of the fast-spreading variant.

"Within the last week, we have noted softening in the level of bookings over seasonal norms that we believe is directly related to the increased COVID-19 case numbers associated with the Delta variant," the carrier said in a quarterly report. "The impact of the Delta variant on bookings, and the duration of that impact, are difficult to predict."

Shares were down more than 1% in Thursday morning trading.

CEO Barry Biffle said the widespread availability of vaccines will likely blunt the effect of the delta variant.

Denver-based Frontier, which went public this spring, reported net income of $19 million for the second quarter, thanks to a boost in federal aid. That compares with a loss of $50 million a year earlier. Revenue nearly tripled to $550 million in the second quarter from a year earlier. That was above the $548.4 million analysts expected.

Stripping out one-time items, Frontier's per share loss was 24 cents a year, narrower than the 30 cents analysts expected.

Correction: An earlier version misstated how many earnings calls Frontier has had.