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Delta Air Lines announces financial results for the first quarter of 2024

Delta Air Lines has revealed its financial results for the first quarter of 2024 (1Q24) quarter and has also provided an outlook for the second quarter of 2024 (2Q24) which ends in June 2024. The carrier achieved record revenue figures in 1Q24 and saw improvements in pre-tax income, operating income, and earnings per share. 

Highlights from the airline’s earnings call to shareholders and investors held on April 10, 2024, showed the following adjusted results: 

Operating revenue of $12.6 billion, 6% higher than 1Q23.  

Operating income of $640 million with an operating margin of 5.1%.  

Pre-tax income of $380 million with a pre-tax margin of 3%.  

Earnings per share of $0.45. 

Operating cash flow of $2.5 billion 

Free cash flow of $1.4 billion 

Adjusted debt to EBITDAR of 2.9x, down from 3.0x at the end of 2023. 

Return on invested capital of 13.8%, up 2.8% over 1Q23.  

“Thanks to the extraordinary work of our 100,000 people, Delta is delivering the best operational reliability in our history, and we have widened the gap to our competitors,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s Chief Executive Officer. “We were thrilled to recognize their efforts with $1.4 billion in profit-sharing payouts during the quarter,”  

“For the March quarter, we delivered record revenue on outstanding operational performance, enabling strong earnings growth.  We anticipate continued strong momentum for our business, and in the June quarter, we expect to deliver record revenue, a mid-teens operating margin, and earnings of $2.20 to $2.50 per share. We remain confident in our full-year targets for earnings of $6 to $7 per share and free cash flow of $3 to $4 billion,” Bastian added.  

Speaking about the airline’s operating environment and outlook for the next quarter, Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s President said: “We generated record March quarter revenues, 6% higher than the prior year.  Total unit revenue (TRASM) was down 0.7% compared to 2023, including a nearly one-point headwind from Cargo and MRO.  This result was at the high end of our guidance, with the growth rate improving three points from [4Q23].”  

“Strong demand for travel on Delta is continuing into the June quarter where we expect total revenue growth of 5% to 7&% compared to 2Q23. Within this outlook, all geographic entities are expected to achieve unit revenue approximately flat to last year, except Latin, where we expect a double-digit decline as we lap strong performance and continue to profitably invest in the network,” Hauenstein said.  

Eliyahu Yosef Parypa / Shutterstock

According to a company press release, Delta operated the most reliable scheduled service among its competitors in 1Q24, ranking first for both completion factor and on-time performance. Additionally, the carrier was recognized as the top US airline by the Wall Street Journal for a third consecutive year, ranking first in three out of seven categories, including on-time arrivals and involuntary denied boardings. The company was also named as ‘2024 Airline of the Year’ by aviation publication Air Transport World. 

Delta took delivery of seven new aircraft in 1Q24, which included both Airbus A321neo and A220-300 types, the latter of which are over 25% more fuel efficient than the aircraft they are replacing, according to the carrier. According to ch-aviation, the carrier now operates a total fleet of 989 aircraft with a further 332 on order.  

Lastly, of note in 1Q24 was that the airline announced the resumption of its daily service between New York-JFK and Tel-Aviv (TLV) due to restart in June 2024.  

The post Delta Air Lines announces financial results for the first quarter of 2024 appeared first on AeroTime.

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