Delta Air Lines announces first quarter profit

Delta Air Lines announces first quarter profit

Virgin Atlantic’s US shareholder Delta Air Lines recorded its best first quarter performance in its history.

Pre-tax profits rose by $150 million year-on-year to almost $600 million in the three months to March.

The Atlanta-based airlines which carries more than 170 million passengers a year, gained from the strength of the dollar and lower fuel prices.

Operating revenue improved by 5%, or $472 million, in the period as traffic rose by 3.6% on a 5% increase in capacity.

Chief executive Richard Anderson said: “Delta’s business is performing well, producing the best March quarter, both operationally and financially, in Delta’s history.

“While the strong dollar is creating headwinds with international revenues, it also contributes to the lower fuel prices which will offset those headwinds with over $2 billion in fuel savings this year.

“We are looking at June quarter operating margins of 16-18% with over $1.5 billion of free cash flow—these record results and cash flows show that the strong dollar is a net positive for Delta.”

The results include $136 million in profit sharing, “recognising Delta employees’ contributions toward meeting the company’s financial goals”.

The airline said it used its strong cash generation to return $500 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases and to make $904 million in pension contributions.

 

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