I know, I know. I’ve been picking on the folks at Delta lately for their oh-so-stylish gushing press release.
Yes, well they need to be picked on for that.
But on the financial side, I realized that I had not talked about the airline’s recent earnings numbers here — numbers which we at PBB just analyzed as part of our PlaneBusiness Airline Industry Relative Performance Analysis for the second quarter.
Because Delta reported earnings so late in the quarter, and because they are in bankruptcy, the number that caught most people’s attention when the numbers were finally announced was the huge loss the airline reported for the quarter. The airline posted a loss of $2.2 billion. But net income before special items and reorganization was $175 million. More impressively, operating income was $369 million, up from a loss of $129 million for the same quarter last year. Operating revenue was up 9.6% while operating expenses were down 2.1%.
Okay, let’s look at the operational numbers — which we took a harder look at in our quarterly analysis.
The airline saw yield up 15%, passenger revenue per ASM was up 17%, and cost per ASM was up 5%. Cost per ASM excluding special items and fuel was up 5.5%.
Bottomlne, Delta has now climbed out of the muck and mire of the basement. In fact, looking at the airline’s revenue performance quarter over quarter, we see an airline that took top honors of the group of airlines we track in our quarterly analysis. Besides Delta, that group includes JetBlue, Southwest, US Airways, Continental, Alaska, United, America West (AWA and LCC are still compared as separate entities), Northwest and American.
The airline that posted the lowest quarter over quarter increase in revenue? American Airlines.
But the news only gets better for Delta, as it not only posted the largest increase in revenues quarter over quarter, it also produced the lowest increase in expenses. (Continental posted the largest increase of the group.)
Not surprisingly Delta also posted, by a very wide margin, the largest increase in profit margin for the entire group.
This is good stuff.
We were also glad to see the airline put their regional flying up for bids this week. It sounds like Delta is going to mix up its current regional mix a bit — and that is also good thing. We had been critical of the airline previously because they had not yet renegotiated these contracts — so we see progress being made here as well.
Although I’m sure if you are an employee of one of the airline’s regional partners, this is necessarily good news.
Unless you work for SkyWest or ASA.
All that flying was reaffirmed shortly after Delta entered the dank and dark halls of bankruptcy court.