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Delta Air Warns of Q4 Pre-Tax Loss as Fuel Prices Rise




A Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900 aircraft takes off from Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia on October 28, 2020. REUTERS / Loren Elliott

Oct. 13 (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) on Wednesday warned of a pre-tax loss for the fourth quarter due to a sharp rise in fuel prices, pushing down its shares before the bell.

Oil prices have reached multi-year highs, threatening the pace of a recovery in the airline industry. Fuel costs alone accounted for nearly 20% of Delta’s adjusted operating expenses in the third quarter.

Delta shares were down 1.24% to $ 43 in pre-market trading.

The carrier expects to benefit from strong vacation demand and improved international and corporate travel as the United States reopens its borders in November to fully vaccinated travelers from 33 countries, including China and the United States. most of Europe.

As a result, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said 2022 would be a good year for recovery after the coronavirus pandemic plunged air travel into its worst slowdown on record.

“As the restrictions are lifted, we are going to see tremendous demand,” Bastian said in an interview. “There is a great interest and a strong demand, not only for consumers, but also for companies coming to the United States”

While third-quarter domestic passenger revenue was 72% of the comparable period in 2019, international passenger revenue recovered to 42% from pre-pandemic levels, the airline said.

Bastian said the company’s revenue is expected to return to 2019 levels in 2023.

Delta, the first major U.S. airline to release third quarter financial results, is forecasting an adjusted fuel price per gallon of between $ 2.25 and $ 2.40 for the fourth quarter. The adjusted fuel price per gallon was $ 1.94 last quarter.

Adjusted operating revenue for the third quarter fell 34% to $ 8.28 billion from 2019, with a fast-spreading variant of Delta slashing demand for air travel in August and early September.

Net income fell to $ 1.21 billion, or $ 1.89 per share, in the quarter ended September 30, from $ 1.50 billion, or $ 2.31 per share, in 2019.

Excluding items, the company earned $ 194 million, or 30 cents per share.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Jane Merriman

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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