Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL) is in the spotlight following a $1.5 million sale by CEO Ed Bastian. The sale of DAL stock comes as air travel over the Labor Day Weekend surpassed air travel volume during the 2019 LDW.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stated it had screened more than 8.7 million travelers last weekend, an increase from the 8.6 million travelers screened during the same weekend in 2019. In addition, last weekend marked the first holiday weekend since the onset of the coronavirus that air travel was greater in comparison to holiday weekends in 2019.
However, airlines have been dealing with staffing shortages, weather delays and air traffic control issues. Since the Friday before Memorial Day, more than 55,000 flights have been cancelled. FlightAware spokesperson Kathleen Bangs explained:
“I think they truly thought they would have enough employees return, and hire enough new ones, to meet the demand, but as we’ve all seen, they did not.”
With that in mind, let’s get into the details of Bastian’s sale.
DAL Stock: CEO Ed Bastian Sells 47,500 Shares
On Aug. 31, the CEO sold 47,500 shares at an average price of $31.58. After the sale, Bastian still owns 399,212 shares. Furthermore, the sale was not transacted via a prearranged 10b5-1 plan. Company insiders and executives often use this plan to schedule their sales to avoid accusations of insider trading.
The transaction marks Bastian’s second sale of the year. On May 23, he sold 27,664 shares at an average price of $39.55. Bastian has not yet purchased shares of DAL this year.
In the past year, Delta insiders have made 27 open market buys and 32 sales. That’s equivalent to 441,516 shares purchased and 417,015 sold for a net activity of 24,501 shares purchased.
Last month, Bastian informed the Department of Transportation (DOT) that Delta had issued $6 billion worth of refunds, or more than 11 million tickets, since 2020 due to disrupted flights. Around 20%, or $1.2 billion, of refunds were issued this year.
The disruptions drew the ire of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who warned of consequences if more transparency surrounding the disruptions was not disclosed. On the bright side, Buttigieg believes that air travel will improve as the holiday season nears. He also stated the DOT is “really pressing” airlines to deliver the best customer service, and encouraged disgruntled flyers to file a complaint with the DOT.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.