July 14 (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) reported above-estimates quarterly revenue on Wednesday, saying it will remain profitable for the remainder of the fiscal year as travel demand picks up and international markets pick up due to rapid vaccinations .
Business volumes continued to improve in the second quarter due to higher demand in business-intensive markets like New York and Boston, Delta said, adding that it returned to profitability in June.
“The days of burning money are behind us,” Ed Bastian, Delta chief executive officer, told Reuters.
“Domestic leisure travel has fully recovered to 2019 levels and there are encouraging signs of improvement in business and international travel.”
Shares rose 1.55% to $ 41.97 in pre-trading hours.
Delta said it expects adjusted operating revenue for the September quarter to decrease 30% to 35% year over year, with the median at $ 8.47 billion, up from a Refinitive IBES estimate of 8 . $ 23 billion.
That would be a significant improvement over the 60.4% drop in operating performance in the first quarter.
Delta’s adjusted operating revenue for the second quarter was down 49% from 2019 to $ 6.35 billion, but was above analysts’ average estimate of $ 6.22 billion.
Net income declined to $ 652 million, or $ 1.02 per share, for the three months ended June 30, from $ 1.44 billion or $ 2.21 per share in 2019. It was however, the company’s first quarterly profit since the pandemic began.
With no items, the company lost $ 1.07 per share in the second quarter.
U.S. airlines have rushed to hire more pilots and staff as pandemic-weary people resume travel, driving passenger traffic to its highest level since March 2020 when the COVID-19 crisis reduced demand.
Delta said it hired and continues to hire several thousand people during the quarter.
International travel remains a weak segment, with the United States continuing to restrict entry for many travelers, including from Europe, one of Delta’s largest markets.
“Frankly, it’s a source of great frustration for us,” said Bastian.
Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru, Eric M. Johnson in Seattle, and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; additional coverage from Ankit Ajmera; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Steve Orlofsky
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