Delta Air Lines on Wednesday posted its first quarterly profit since the coronavirus pandemic began, boosted by U.S. government aid and a vaccination-led travel rebound, and said it expected to remain profitable for the rest of the year.
Net income reached $652 million, or $1.02 per share, in the three months to June 30, helped by billions of dollars in government aid for U.S. airline workers’ salaries as well as a strong rise in quarterly revenues, which topped analyst estimates, Reuters reported.
“Travelers are reclaiming their lives and returning to the skies,” Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian told investors, while saying the company was mindful of the risks that new COVID-19 variants pose to the recovery.
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“Domestic leisure travel has fully recovered to 2019 levels, and there are encouraging signs of improvement in business and international travel,” Bastian said.
Delta’s second-quarter adjusted operating revenue fell 49% from 2019 to $6.35 billion, a marked improvement from the 60.4% slump in the first quarter and above analysts’ average estimate of $6.22 billion.
Excluding items such as government payroll support, the company lost $1.07 per share in the second quarter.
Delta said it hired several thousand people during the quarter and continues hiring.
Looking ahead, Delta said it expects adjusted operating revenue for the September quarter to be down 30% to 35% from two years ago, with the midpoint at $8.47 billion, above a Refinitiv-IBES estimate of $8.23 billion.
Plataforma Informativa de Aviación Comercial líder en América Latina.