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Delta Air Lines returns to black in September quarter

Delta Air Lines has reported an adjusted pre-tax income of US$216 million for the three months to the end of September.

The figure, however, excludes a US$1.3 billion net benefit related to the second payroll support program extension, partially offset by debt extinguishment charges and mark-to-market adjustments on investments.

“Our September quarter marked an important milestone in our recovery, with our first quarterly profit since the start of the pandemic,” said Ed Bastian, Delta chief executive.

“Our revenues reached two-thirds of 2019 levels thanks to the industry-leading operational performance our people delivered through a busy summer, once again showing why they are the best in the business.”

The carrier saw adjusted operating revenue of US$8.3 billion, which excludes refinery sales.

The figure is thus 66 per cent recovered versus the September quarter in 2019, on capacity that was 71 per cent restored.

Sequentially versus the June quarter this year, adjusted operating revenue improved by US$1.9 billion, or 30 per cent, on an 11 percent increase in capacity.

Bastian added: “While demand continues to improve, the recent rise in fuel prices will pressure our ability to remain profitable for the December quarter.

“As the recovery progresses, I am confident in our path to sustained profitability as we continue to provide best-in-class service to our customers, strengthen preference for our brand, while creating a simpler, more efficient airline.”

At the end of the September quarter, the company had US$15.8 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities.




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