Delta Air Lines Reports Record Quarterly Earnings
Airlines Business / Finance

Delta Air Lines Reports Record Quarterly Earnings

Dallas – Delta Air Lines (DL) today announced its corporate earnings for the September quarter of 2022 and provided its outlook for the fourth quarter of the year.

Highlights of the report include record quarterly revenue and the airline’s second consecutive quarter of double-digit operating margin, operations that returned to industry-leading reliability, and the expectation that the December quarter revenue recovery will “accelerate relative to 2019.” DL is also on track to achieve its target of over US$7 earnings per share and US$4bn of free cash flow by 2024.

“Thanks to the incredible work of our entire team, Delta delivered a strong September quarter with record quarterly revenues and a double-digit operating margin. The travel recovery continues as consumer spending shifts to experiences and demand improves in corporate and international [markets],” said Ed Bastian, DL’s chief executive officer, in a press release. 

Bastian added, “In this environment, we expect December quarter revenue growth to accelerate versus 2019 with an operating margin of approximately 10 percent.”

The CEO also contended that with strong demand and a return to best-in-class operational performance, DL was ahead of its plan for the year on profitability and expected to be free cash flow positive. 

“We’re working towards full network restoration by the summer of 2023, which supports a meaningful step up in profitability and cash flow next year on our path to earn over $7 of EPS and $4 billion of free cash flow in 2024,” said Bastian.

Aircraft A321-271NX (N501DA) is seen departing Logan’s runway 9 this morning – a cloudy day. Photo: Darryl Sarno/Airways

The Numbers

September Quarter 2022 GAAP Financial Results 

  • Operating revenue of US$14.0bn
  • Operating income of US$1.5bn with an operating margin of 10.4 percent
  • Earnings per share of US$1.08
  • Operating cash flow of US$869m
  • Payments on debt and finance lease obligations of US$1.8bn
  • Total debt and finance lease obligations of US$23.2bn at quarter end

September Quarter 2022 Adjusted Financial Results 

  • Operating revenue of US$12.8bn, 3 percent higher than the September quarter of 2019, including a US$35m impact from Hurricane Ian
  • Operating income of US$1.5bn with an operating margin of 11.6 percent
  • Earnings per share of US$1.51, including a 3¢ impact from Hurricane Ian
  • US$11.2bn in liquidity* and adjusted net debt of US$20.5bn at quarter end
N112DU, Delta Air Lines Airbus A220-100 @KPDX. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

Milestones Achieved

Delta reached a major milestone this quarter by achieving an adjusted revenue that was 3% higher and unit revenues up 23 percent compared to 2019. This marked the highest revenue and unit revenue quarter in Delta’s history. 

Delta president Glen Hauenstein said that this is a reflection of “the strength of (Delta’s) brand and diverse revenue streams, with another quarter of record co-brand remuneration and continued premium product outperformance. With corporate travel improving and robust domestic and international demand, we expect December quarter revenue to be up 5 to 9 percent compared to December quarter 2019.”

The full report can be found on the Delta website.

Featured image: N119DU Delta Airlines Airbus A220-100 BCS1 JFK KJFK. Photo: Francesco Checcetti/Airways

John Huston is a marketer, writer, and videographer who's always loved planes, clocked 10 whole hours in a Cessna and can spend hours wandering around ATL. Based in Atlanta, GA, United States.

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