Delta reports increased cargo activity despite net losses
The first quarter of 2011 brought mixed results for Delta Air Lines: Although the carrier’s net loss was $318 million, cargo revenue increased by 42 percent, or $74 million. Delta attributes much of the airfreight growth to higher volume and yield.
Passenger revenue was another area of growth. With numbers 13 percent higher than those in the first quarter of 2010, Delta credits the growth to a 12 percent increase in yield on 1 percent higher traffic. What’s more, Delta reports, the total operating revenue for the first quarter of 2011 was $7.7 billion, a 13 percent jump from 2010.
Still, Q1 brought numerous challenges for the Atlanta-based carrier. Delta’s net loss from January to March was $128 million higher than it was in 2010, and the airline decreased planned capital expenditures for 2011 by $300 million.
These numbers are largely the result of soaring fuel prices, Delta executives say. With rates 30 percent higher than those in the first quarter of 2010, Delta has adjusted its business plan to reflect the changes.
“Fuel is the biggest challenge facing this industry, and Delta is actively reducing capacity, implementing fare actions, hedging our fuel needs and attacking our cost structure in order to offset fuel's impact on our earnings,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson said in a statement.