Delta Announces Its First Profit Since The Beginning Of The Pandemic


Delta Air Lines on Wednesday reported a second-quarter profit of $652 million for the first time since the start of the pandemic and the latest sign that the airline’s recovery is continuing well. The carrier reported revenue of $7.1 billion.

Delta also stated that there are promising indications that business is returning to normal, and that booking trends are improving as customers buy more tickets, and average daily sales exceed Delta’s domestic expectations by 20 percent.

“Domestic leisure travel has fully reached 2019 levels and there are encouraging signs of improvement in business and international travel,” said Ed Bastian, the airline’s CEO.

Business traveler numbers were down 60 percent in June compared to 80 percent in March, and corporate travel rebounded as offices reopened during the quarter, according to the airline.

Despite these encouraging signs, Delta’s quarterly profits, backed by $1.5 billion in federal stimulus money, are still down 55 percent from the same quarter of 2019. His income fell 43 percent from two years ago.

The number of people flying in the United States for vacation or to visit friends and family rose to pre-pandemic levels, but Delta’s revenue from domestic travel fell 45 percent from 2019 due to a decline in business travel.

Revenue from trips to Latin America decreased by only 36 percent, while longer flights over the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean brought about 85 percent less revenue. Cargo revenues increased by 35 percent.

Delta also offered a preview of what it expects to fare in the quarter, which spans July, August, and September: passenger capacity will drop 28 to 30 percent and revenue 30 to 35 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Delta announced plans to purchase 29 used Boeing 737 aircraft and lease seven used Airbus A350s.will replace older aircraft, some of which the carrier has removed from its fleet. This decision resulted in improvements in fuel efficiency that increased by more than 7 percent in the second quarter compared to 2019.

Delta became the first major airline to report financial results for the second quarter. American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are expected to announce their earnings next week.

American offered a preview of those results in a securities filing Tuesday, saying it expects to report losses of $35 million and gains of $25 million for the quarter.

“We are clearly moving in the right direction,” the airline’s CEO Doug Parker and chairman Robert Isom said in a staff memo on Tuesday. “Our revenue and expense performance in the quarter exceeded expectations, achieved while restoring the operation to full capacity and safely carrying record numbers of passengers.”

Travel within the United States has decreased by nearly 20 percent compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration survey data. Summer is the industry’s busiest season, but it’s unclear what fall will look like at a time when corporate travel typically increases.


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