Delta said Wednesday that it expects a key revenue measure to rise by between 1 and 3 percent in the second quarter compared with a year earlier. That is a sign that after falling for two years, average fares are heading back up.
The airline's executives offered their most detailed comments yet about last week's breakdown that led to 4,000 canceled flights and inconvenienced hundreds of thousands of travelers. Executives said the episode will cost Delta
Delta leaders like to boast about the number of days they go without canceling a flight — 64 during January, February and March, they said. More than pride is at stake. Delta claims that its reputation for reliability allows it to charge a premium — prices that are 9 percent higher on average than competitors.
When thunderstorms rolled through
“The storm hit our largest hub during spring break, one of the busiest weeks of the season, and it took us several days to fully recover the operation,” CEO
The effects of the storm lingered through Sunday as planes and crews were trapped out of position — often unable to get to their next flight. Because flights were sold out or close to it, there were few empty seats to accommodate customers from canceled flights.
Bastian said the airline is back to normal and had no canceled flights on Tuesday. Delta is not understaffed, but it will make “significant improvements” to its system for scheduling and tracking aircraft crews, he said.
Chief Operating Officer
The cancellations will cut into second-quarter profit. Delta on Wednesday reported a first-quarter profit of
Earnings adjusted to exclude what the airline considered one-time items were
Revenue dipped 1 percent to
Delta said, however, that so-called unit revenue will rise in the second quarter. That figure dropped in 2015 and 2016 as airlines used cheaper fuel to add flights faster than the growth in travel demand. As a result, average fares fell.
If Delta is right, that windfall for consumers will soon be over.
David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriter