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Delta Air Lines Reports First Quarter Net Loss of $940 Million or $1.48 per Diluted Share

Delta Air Lines has reported a first quarter net loss of $940 million or ($1.48) per diluted share on a revenue decline of 11 percent versus 2019 to $9.35 billion. The carrier’s adjusted Q1 net loss was $784 million or ($1.23) per diluted share.

Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900 - Courtesy Delta Air Lines/PRNewswire

On Wednesday (April 13, 2022), Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) reported their first quarter financial results for the period ending March 31, 2022. The carrier reported a first quarter net loss of $940 million or ($1.48) per diluted share and an adjusted net loss of $784 million or ($1.23) per diluted share. Delta’s first quarter operating revenue totaled $9.35 billion, down 11 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019 (year-over-three). The airline’s first quarter cargo revenue increased 51 percent compared to the same period in 2019 to $289 million. At March 31, 2022, Delta Air Lines had $12.8 billion in liquidity including cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities.

In Wednesday’s announcement, Delta Air Lines’ Chief Executive Officer, Ed Bastian, said,

“With a strong rebound in demand as omicron faded, we returned to profitability in the month of March, producing a solid adjusted operating margin of almost 10 percent. As our brand preference and demand momentum grow, we are successfully recapturing higher fuel prices, driving our outlook for a 12 to 14 percent adjusted operating margin and strong free cash flow in the June quarter. I would like to thank the Delta people, who once again enabled our best-in-class operational performance, provided an unmatched customer experience and continue to power our industry leadership each and every day.”

Further commenting on the carrier’s financial results, Delta’s President, Glen Hauenstein, said,

“Delta is well-positioned to capitalize on robust consumer demand and an accelerating return of business and international travel. The strength of Delta's brand has never been more evident with record-setting performance for co-brand card acquisitions, co-brand spend and SkyMiles acquisitions in March. In the June quarter, we are successfully recapturing higher fuel prices and expect our revenue recovery to accelerate to 93 to 97 percent with unit revenue up double digits compared to 2019.”

Delta’s Q1 2022 total operating expenses increased $679 million compared to the first quarter of 2019 to $10.1 billion. During the first quarter, the company generated $1.8 billion of operating cash flow and $197 million of free cash flow after investing $1.6 billion in the business (primarily related to aircraft purchases and modifications). Delta’s first quarter total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) was up year-over-three eight percent to 18.04 cents, while cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 29 percent versus Q1 2019 to 19.56 cents. On an adjusted basis, first quarter CASM excluding fuel costs, or CASM-Ex, increased year-over-three by 15 percent to 13.24 cents. For the first quarter, Delta’s co-brand compensation from American Express increased 25 percent to $1.2 billion versus Q1 2019.

Delta Air Lines' First Quarter 2022 Financial Results - Courtesy Delta Air Lines/PRNewswire

Further commenting on the company’s first quarter financial results, Delta Airlines’ Chief Financial Officer, Dan Janki, said,

“Thanks to the team's hard work, we maintained a competitive cost structure in the March quarter amid a dynamic operating environment, an important driver of our financial recovery. As demand continues to recover and we restore additional capacity in the second half of the year, we expect our non-fuel unit cost comparisons to 2019 will improve to up mid-single digits, keeping us within our full year non-fuel unit cost guidance range. Our intense focus on non-fuel costs will serve us well moving ahead as we scale the airline and better utilize our fleet and our facilities.

“During the March quarter we generated free cash flow, continued to pay down debt and finished the quarter with nearly $13 billion in liquidity. Reducing debt is our top financial priority as we target investment-grade metrics and $15 billion of adjusted net debt by the end of 2024.”

At March 31, 2022, Delta had total debt and finance lease obligations of $25.6 billion with an adjusted net debt of $20.9 billion at an average weighted interest rate of 4.3 percent. The company’s air traffic liability at the end of the first quarter was $9.1 billion, up $2.8 billion versus December 31, 2021, and up $2.5 billion compared to Q1 2019. During the quarter, Aeroméxico emerged from bankruptcy, and Delta now holds a 20 percent stake in the reorganized company.

As part of their fleet renewal program, Delta took delivery of their first Airbus A321neo at the end of March, and expects to take delivery of 26 of the aircraft type by the end of the year. Delta’s goal for 2022 is to use at least six percent less fuel per available seat mile compared to 2019. The company has committed to purchase 155 fuel-efficient A321neos through 2027.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is the global U.S. airline leader in safety, innovation, reliability and customer experience. The carrier operates over 4,000 daily flights across more than 275 destinations on six continents. For the last decade, the carrier has led the industry in operational excellence, while maintaining their reputation for award-winning customer service.

In trading Wednesday morning (April 13, 2022), shares in Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) were 4.09% higher at $40.20/share (9:57 AM EDT).

Source: Delta Air Lines/PRNewswire


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