Delta Air Lines reports strong profits for March quarter

Delta Air Lines today reported financial results for the March 2016 quarter, including adjusted pre-tax income of $1.56 billion, a $966 million increase over March 2015 quarter.

Adjusted net income was $1 billion or $1.32 per diluted share.

“We have started 2016 with tremendous momentum, generating over $1.5 billion in adjusted pre-tax income, delivering industry-leading operations including 49 days of perfect mainline completion factor for our customers, and reaching our goal of becoming an investment grade company.

“With these results, the Delta people have proven again that they are the very best in the industry,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s incoming chief executive officer. 

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“We will continue to be disciplined with our business in the face of volatile fuel prices, strengthen our foundation, and prove our position as the airline that consistently delivers top results for our employees, our owners and the customers and communities we serve.”

Delta’s operating revenue for the March quarter decreased 1.5 per cent, or $137 million, driven by $125 million in foreign currency pressures and a $5 million impact from the recent events in Brussels. 

Passenger unit revenues declined 4.6 per cent, including two points of impact from foreign currency, on a 2.7 per cent increase in capacity.

“The momentum with our commercial initiatives, including corporate share gains, Branded Fares, and our partnership with American Express, allowed us to maintain our top line performance in the March quarter despite 40 per cent lower market fuel prices and $125 million of pressure from foreign currency,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s incoming president. 

“We are forecasting a unit revenue decline of 2.5 – 4.5 per cent for the June quarter.

“While this is an improvement over our March quarter performance, we are focused on getting unit revenues back to a positive trajectory and we will make adjustments to our fall capacity levels if we are not making sufficient progress over the coming months.”