Executives at Delta Air Lines are unhappy the current strain of the coronavirus which is fast spreading throughout the United States shares the same name as their company.
The Coronavirus Delta variant was previously known as the Indian variant, and is based on the mutation's origin.
The names were officially changed by the World Health Organization in May, using the Greek alphabet to prevent stigma and simplify discussion, but that does little to stop people making a connection between already-established brands which also share the name.
Executives with Delta Air Lines are unhappy the latest coronavirus variant shares the same name as the companyInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'We just call it the variant,' Delta CEO Ed Bastian, pictured, said in an interview
'We just call it the variant,' Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in an interview to the Wall Street Journal.
Bastian says so far there has been no significant lull in bookings as a result of the connection. 'We haven't seen any drop off at all,' Bastian confirmed.
'We prefer to call it the B.1.617.2 variant since that is so much more simple to say and remember…,' said Dr. Henry Ting, Delta Air Lines' chief health officer in a tweet.
The airline, which is based in Atlanta was named after Mississippi Delta region where the carrier began as a crop duster.
Delta, which in pre-pandemic times would fly 750 aircraft to more than 300 destinations around the world, has been the butt of some jokes by their competitors.
'We prefer to call it the B.1.617.2 variant since that is so much more simple to say and remember…,' said Dr. Henry Ting, Delta Air Lines' chief health officer in a tweet
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The airline says despite the crossover, there has been no drop off in bookings. On Wednesday Delta Air Lines reported its first quarterly profit since the pandemic devastated the airline industry more than a year ago
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby was jokingly asked at a virtual Q&A at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. how he arranged to have the latest variant named after the airline.
'I did enjoy giving Ed Bastian a hard time when I saw him a few weeks ago,' Kirby said.
Bastian isn't too concerned with the Delta variant affecting the business with the WHO already identifying other named strains of the disease.
'There's other variants coming up behind it.' he said. The WHO has noted Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda as 'variants of interest.'
The coronavirus pandemic lead to a difficult year in travel with demand for flights decimated. Major airlines lost $35 billion last year, according to the Journal.