Category Archives: Delta Air Lines

Delta plans to expand its flagship Airbus A350-900 service to Europe and China

Delta's first Airbus A350, will become N501DN

Delta Air Lines has scheduled its flagship Airbus A350-900 aircraft on one of four daily flights between Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, effective March 31, 2018. Amsterdam will be the first trans-Atlantic destination for Delta’s A350 aircraft, offering customers an elevated travel experience in every class of service throughout their flight. Delta will also deploy the A350 on Detroit-Shanghai service beginning April 19, 2018.

With the addition of Amsterdam, Delta will fly five international routes from Detroit using the A350. The first aircraft is scheduled to enter service later this month between Detroit and Tokyo-Narita on Oct. 30, with service to Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai starting Nov. 18, Jan. 17 and April 19 respectively.

The aircraft features the award-winning Delta One Suite and an all-new cabin of service in Delta Premium Select, as well as an enhanced Main Cabin. Delta is the North American launch carrier for the A350.

Highlights of Delta’s A350 include:

Delta One Suite

The award-winning Delta One Suites offer up to 32 customers a private, personal experience, with a full-height door at every suite for enhanced privacy and comfort. Each suite features a fully flat-bed seat with direct aisle access, as well as more stowage for personal items, larger in-flight entertainment screens and memory foam enhanced comfort cushions.

Delta Premium Select

Designed with comfort in mind, Delta Premium Select offers more personal space with up to 38 inches of pitch, seat width of 18.5 inches, seven inches of recline and adjustable leg and head rests. Customers will arrive well-rested thanks to upgraded pillows, blankets and amenity kits to give them all the travel essentials they need to settle in.

Main Cabin

Customers benefit from free seatback in-flight entertainment on high definition screens, in-seat power ports at every row and high capacity overhead bins. Meanwhile, the A350 features larger windows and optimized cabin pressure, temperature and humidity to help customers feel more refreshed after a long-haul flight.

​The aircraft is equipped with high-speed 2Ku internet connectivity and customers will have access to free mobile messaging while on board through iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-941 F-WZGP (N501DN) (msn 115) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 938227.

 

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Delta Air Lines announces a 2017 third quarter profit

Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N667US (msn 24222) LAX (Brandon Farris). Image: 905925.

Delta Air Lines on October 11, 2017 reported financial results for the September quarter 2017. Highlights of those results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are below and incorporated here.

2017 Sept Earnings Graphic

Adjusted pre-tax income for the September 2017 quarter was $1.7 billion, a $182 million decrease from the September 2016 quarter.  Pre-tax income includes a $120 million reduction from the operational disruption following Hurricane Irma that hit the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and, specifically, Delta’s hub in Atlanta.

“While we faced a number of challenges this quarter, including multiple hurricanes and an earthquake in Mexico, I am proud of how Delta people responded and still delivered an outstanding performance this quarter,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.   “Having just completed the busiest summer travel season in our history, we have good momentum, a determined team and a solid pipeline of initiatives to grow earnings and margins.”

To assist customers and employees in affected regions, Delta operated nine humanitarian flights, added more than 12,000 additional seats to impacted cities and shipped more than 600,000 pounds of relief supplies. In addition, Delta and the Delta Air Lines Foundation made $2.75 million in contributions to Red Cross organizations, while Delta employees contributed $250,000 to the American Red Cross and another $250,000 to the Delta Care Fund that directly supports fellow employees.

Revenue Environment

Delta’s operating revenue of $11.1 billion for the September quarter was up 5.5 percent, or $577 million versus prior year, despite a $140 million reduction from Hurricane Irma.

Passenger revenue increased $328 million, including $160 million from Delta’s Branded Fares initiatives.  Passenger unit revenues increased 1.9 percent on 1.6 percent higher capacity.

Cargo revenue increased 11.5 percent, driven by higher volumes in freight and mail.  Other revenue increased 18.4 percent primarily due to higher loyalty revenue and third-party refinery sales.

“Three of four entities reported positive unit revenues, and we see continued opportunity in business yields.  We expect fourth quarter unit revenues to be up two to four percent with all entities in positive territory by year end,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president.  “Our commercial platform of delivering network efficiency, driving customer innovation and improving customer choice should allow us to deliver sustained positive unit revenue, while maintaining our industry-leading revenue premium.”

2017 Sept Earnings Chart 1
December 2017 Quarter Guidance

For the December quarter, Delta is expecting continued pressure on margins as its unit revenue momentum catches up to the rise in fuel prices that began in July.

2017 Sept Earnings Chart 2

Cost Performance

Adjusted fuel expense4 increased $230 million compared to the same period in 2016 as market fuel prices increased throughout the quarter.  Delta’s adjusted fuel price per gallon for the September quarter was $1.68, which includes $0.03 of benefit from the refinery.

CASM-Ex, including profit sharing increased 4.8 percent for the September 2017 quarter compared to the prior year period which includes pressure from Hurricane Irma-related flight cancellations.  Normalized CASM-Ex, including profit sharing increased 2.6 percent versus the prior year period, driven by employee wage increases, product investments, and accelerated depreciation associated with Delta’s narrowbody fleet initiatives.

Non-operating expense declined $35 million for the quarter due to foreign exchange favorability.

“For the full year we expect non-fuel unit costs to be up approximately four percent as harmonization of profit sharing plans, accelerated depreciation of narrowbody aircraft and pressure from weather-related cancellations have added over a point of pressure to costs from our previous guidance,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer.  “However with the productivity from our fleet, maintenance and technology initiatives combined with the determination of the Delta team, we are confident we can deliver our long-term two percent cost target for 2018 and beyond.”

Cash Flow, Shareholder Returns, and Adjusted Net Debt

Delta generated $1.6 billion of operating cash flow and $471 million of free cash flow during the quarter. The company used this cash generation to invest nearly $1 billion into the business for aircraft purchases and improvements, facilities upgrades and technology, as well as $175 million to complete its 49% ownership of Aeromexico.

Adjusted net debt at the end of the quarter was $8.8 billion, up $2.7 billion versus year end as a result of Delta’s March quarter 2017 unsecured debt issuance used to accelerate pension funding.  The company’s unfunded pension liability has declined by $3.8 billion at the same time from $10.6 billion at the end of 2016 to $6.8 billion at the end of the September quarter.

For the September quarter, Delta returned $769 million to shareholders, comprised of $550 million of share repurchases and $219 million in dividends.  The company completed the 2015 $5 billion share repurchase authorization during the September quarter and December quarter purchases will be made under its 2017 $5 billion share repurchase authorization.

“Delta’s improved financial position was recognized with an investment grade credit rating by Standard & Poor’s this quarter – the third agency to grant Delta this status,” Jacobson continued.  “With strong cash flows and a systematic approach to shareholder returns through share buybacks and dividends, we are committed to maintaining our durable franchise.”

September Quarter Results

Special items for the quarter consist primarily of mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges.

2017 Sept Earnings Chart 3

End Notes

  1. Note A to the attached Consolidated Statements of Operations provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release to the comparable GAAP metric and provides the reasons management uses those measures.
  2. CASM – Ex, including profit sharing: In addition to fuel expense, Delta believes adjusting for certain other expenses is helpful to investors because other expenses are not related to the generation of a seat mile. These expenses include aircraft maintenance and staffing services Delta provides to third parties, Delta’s vacation wholesale operations and refinery cost of sales to third parties. The amounts excluded were $387 million and $247 million for the September 2017 and September 2016 quarters, and $975 million and $845 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Management believes this methodology provides a more consistent and comparable reflection of Delta’s airline operations.
  3. Normalized CASM-Ex, including profit sharing: Delta’s new pilot contract was ratified on December 1, 2016 and was retroactive to January 1, 2016. As a result, Delta recognized $380 million in retroactive wages and other benefits in the December 2016 quarter. On a normalized basis, approximately $140 million of this amount related to the September 2016 quarter. We believe that adjusting this period allows investors to better understand and analyze the company’s core operational performance on a year-over-year basis.
  4. Adjusted fuel expense reflects, among other things, the impact of mark-to-market (“MTM”) adjustments and settlements. MTM adjustments are defined as fair value changes recorded in periods other than the settlement period. Such fair value changes are not necessarily indicative of the actual settlement value of the underlying hedge in the contract settlement period. Settlements represent cash received or paid on hedge contracts settled during the period. These items adjust fuel expense to show the economic impact of hedging, including cash received or paid on hedge contracts during the period. See Note A for a reconciliation of adjusted fuel expense and average fuel price per gallon to the comparable GAAP metric.
Copyright Photo: The Boeing 747-400 fleet will be retired by the end of 2017. Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N667US (msn 24222) LAX (Brandon Farris). Image: 905925.

SkyWest to acquire 20 additional aircraft, will expand its relationship with Delta and Alaska

Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N252SY (msn 17000612) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936861.

SkyWest, Inc. has announced additional order of 20 new aircraft and new flying agreements

  • Order includes 15 70-seat Embraer E175 SC aircraft expected to be delivered and placed into service with Delta Air Lines in 2018
  • Order includes five 76-seat Embraer E175 aircraft expected to be delivered and placed into service with Alaska Airlines in late 2017 and early 2018`
  • Terms and economics similar to prior contracts with each partner

    SkyWest, Inc. has reported that it has entered into aircraft purchase agreements and capacity purchase agreements to acquire and fly 15 additional new aircraft with Delta Air Lines and five additional new aircraft with Alaska Airlines. Expected delivery dates for the 20 aircraft run from September 2017 through the end of 2018. These aircraft will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest.

    Of the 20 aircraft, 15 Embraer E175 SC aircraft will fly under an agreement with Delta in a 70-seat configuration. The E175 SC aircraft has an E175 airframe and can be retrofitted to 76 seats in the future. The agreement with Alaska includes five Embraer E175s, with a 76-seat configuration, similar to aircraft SkyWest has previously placed into service with Alaska.

    Combined with last month’s announcement for 25 new aircraft, this announcement results in a cumulative order of 45 new aircraft. Similar structurally to SkyWest’s acquisition of 104 E175s, SkyWest expects to invest approximately $161 million in cash to acquire these 45 aircraft, and to finance the balance of the purchase price with debt. The expected delivery dates for the 45 aircraft run from September 2017 through the end of 2018, with the majority of the deliveries scheduled for mid-2018.

 

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N252SY (msn 17000612) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936861.

Delta Connection:

Alaska SkyWest:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N186SY (msn 17000606) ONT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 938865.

Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N186SY (msn 17000606) ONT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 938865.

Delta to offer free mobile messaging in flight

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

From an airplane 30,000 feet in the air, a text message pops up on a smart phone on the ground. “Looks like my flight is arriving ahead of schedule,” the message reads. “Should be ready for pickup 15 minutes early.”

Beginning Oct. 1, 2017 Delta Air Lines will become the first U.S. global carrier* to offer free mobile messaging, providing more customers access to free messaging than any other carrier. The airline will also have the most aircraft enabled with free messaging.

This new, complimentary capability will enable customers to stay fully connected with those on the ground and exchange real time messages in flight with friends, families, colleagues, and clients via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The enhancement is part of Delta’s multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience.

Free messaging will be available on all Gogo-enabled Delta flights, including all aircraft with two or more cabins. Customers will be able to access free messaging through Delta’s Wi-Fi portal page, airborne.gogoinflight.com. Free mobile messaging will be for text use only and does not support the transfer of photo or video files.

 

In addition to mobile messaging, Delta continues expanding High-Speed Wi-Fi, seat-back entertainment screens and free entertainment to give travelers more choice and flexibility in how to spend their time from takeoff to touchdown.

 

Delta’s High-Speed Wi-Fi, powered by Gogo’s 2Ku Wi-Fi technology, is delivering next-generation technology that provides consistent, uninterrupted coverage anywhere in the world, including over oceans. Delta has the largest current fleet of Gogo 2Ku aircraft and the largest commitment to 2Ku of any airline in the world. Over the next two years, Delta is set to install over 600 aircraft with High-Speed Wi-Fi for domestic and international flights.

The airline’s High-Speed 2Ku Wi-Fi gives customers an at-home experience in flight, including the ability to stream video and use work-related networks, such as VPN, globally. Unlike prior versions of in-flight technology on Delta, customers may now use Wi-Fi from gate to gate on 2Ku-enabled aircraft. To date, the airline has installed 200 aircraft with the improved Wi-Fi technology.

Additionally, Delta offers customers more aircraft with seatback entertainment than any airline in the world, installing its 500th aircraft with seat-back entertainment in July. With a commitment to install over 600 aircraft with seat-back screens by the end of 2018, in partnership with Panasonic, Delta is putting choice in the hands of the customer. In addition to investing in seat-back entertainment, customers can also choose to stream Delta Studio to their personal devices on the airline’s entire mainline fleet as well as all two-class regional aircraft.

*U.S. Global Carrier = U.S.-based airlines operating trans-oceanic routes: Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines​

Delta and Virgin Atlantic update their network between the U.S. and the U.K.

New 242-ton version, delivered August 25, 2015

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic have announced updates to their respective summer 2018 schedules to optimize their joint network between the United States and the United Kingdom. The strong partnership between the two airlines is focused around offering customers more convenient travel options and the best travel experience across the Atlantic.

Effective March 24, 2018, Delta will introduce the Airbus A330 aircraft on its New York-JFK, Atlanta and Detroit routes to London-Heathrow. The A330 aircraft, which are equipped with Wi-Fi and feature 34 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin will bring Delta’s onboard customer experience to a new level as well as increase the number of seats on these U.S. routes to London-Heathrow. Highlights of Delta’s A330 service on-board service include:

  • Fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin, arranged in a ‘herringbone’ configuration with individual aisle access.
  • Chef-curated meal options in Delta One, featuring locally sourced ingredients and regionally-inspired meals in the Main Cabin, served with complimentary beverages.
  • Customizable TUMI amenity kits in Delta One, plus a sleep kit with travel essentials for passengers in the Main Cabin and Delta Comfort+.
  • Complimentary in-flight entertainment with Delta Studio at every seat, including Hollywood titles, over 1,000 hours of TV, music and games.
  • Wi-Fi available for purchase.
  • RFID checked baggage tracking updates available direct to mobile devices through the Fly Delta App.​

In addition, beginning March 25, 2018, Virgin Atlantic and Delta will optimize their schedule between New York-JFK and London-Heathrow to offer eight daily frequencies. Virgin Atlantic will operate six daily services and Delta two, providing customers with conveniently timed flight choices throughout the day.

 

The airlines’ joint summer 2018 schedule includes a total of 37 peak daily nonstop flights between the U.S. and the U.K. Of these, 26 flights will operate between London-Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. and 11 flights will operate between Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, London-Gatwick and Edinburgh to p­­opular U.S. cities.

The joint venture partnership between Delta and Virgin Atlantic continues to grow, allowing both airlines’ customers to benefit from a high-quality and complementary travel experience with customer service being a key priority. In 2016, the joint venture connected almost five million customers on over 23 routes to over 200 destinations in the U.S.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-302 N823NW (msn 1628) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 931837.

Delta announces its summer 2018 trans-Atlantic schedules

Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-232 LR N702DN (msn 29741) "The Spirit of Atlanta" LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 932543.

Delta Air Lines has announced it be offering more nonstop options to Europe from its Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Atlanta, and Detroit hubs and more next summer.

Further schedule and service detail is as follows:

Los Angeles

New Boeing 777-200LR service will link Angelenos nonstop to Paris and Amsterdam beginning June 16, 2018. in addition to more than 100 onward destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India via easy connections on Delta’s joint venture partners Air France and KLM:

 

LAX – Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL156 LAX at noon CDG at 7:55 a.m. (next day) Tue/Thurs/Sat
DL157 CDG  at 3:15 p.m. LAX at 6:25 p.m. Wed/Fri/Sun

 

LAX – Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL78 LAX at noon AMS at 7:55 a.m. (next day) Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun
DL79 AMS  at 3:35 p.m. LAX at 6:25 p.m.  Mon/Tue/Thur/Sat

 

New York-JFK

Delta’s largest trans-Atlantic gateway will expand next year with new seasonal service to the Ponta Delgada-Azores beginning May 24, 2018 year-round service to Lagos, Nigeria, beginning March 24 and an upgraded offering on New York-JFK to London-LHR with new A330 service.

 

JFK – Azores (PDL)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL417 JFK at 8:30 p.m. PDL at 7:30 a.m. (next day) excluding Mon/Wed
DL217 PDL  at 9:15 a.m. JFK at 10:30 a.m. excluding Tue/Thurs

 

JFK – Lagos (LOS)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL415 JFK at 10:55 p.m. LOS at 2:50 p.m. (next day) Mon/Wed/Fri
DL215 LOS  at 11:30 p.m. JFK at 5:30 a.m. (next day) Tue/Thurs/Sun

 

Atlanta

At Delta’s Atlanta hub, the world’s most travelled, new daily seasonal service to Lisbon on Boeing 767 aircraft will begin May 24, 2018 and run through Sept. 4, 2018.  Delta’s Atlanta hub will make it easier for U.S. customers to visit Portugal with convenient one-stop connections from over 150 destinations in the U.S.

 

ATL – Lisbon, Portugal (LIS)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL122 ATL at 7:30 p.m. LIS at 8:45 a.m. (next day) Daily
DL123 LIS  at 10:30 a.m. ATL at 2:45 p.m. Daily

 

Detroit

Delta will add a third daily round-trip between Detroit and Paris beginning May 16, 2018 in addition to Delta’s and Air France’s existing service. The new flight will provide customers more choice and offer additional connections in Paris to over 100 destinations in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

 

DTW – Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL96 DTW at 3:50 p.m. CDG at 6:00 a.m. (next day) Daily
DL99 CDG  at 1:10 p.m. DTW at 4:10 p.m. Daily

 

Orlando and Indianapolis

Previously announced year-round service will begin March 30, 2018 from Orlando to Amsterdam and on May 24, 2018 from Indianapolis to Paris, bringing easy connections to more than 100 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India to customers in the Sunshine and Hoosier states.

 

Orlando (MCO) – Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL126 MCO at 9:45 p.m. AMS at 12:45 p.m.(next day) Daily to 5x weekly
DL127 AMS  at 1:15 p.m. MCO at 5:40 p.m. Daily to 5x weekly

 

IND – Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
DL500 IND at 6:20 p.m. CDG at 8:45 a.m. (next day) Daily to 5x weekly
DL501 CDG  at 1:15 p.m. IND at 4:35 p.m. Daily to 5x weekly

Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-232 LR N702DN (msn 29741) “The Spirit of Atlanta” LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 932543.

Delta customers, employees begin saying ‘goodbye’ to iconic Boeing 747-400

Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) NRT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 913623.

Delta Air Lines issued this statement:
Delta customers and employees began saying their goodbyes to the airline’s iconic Boeing 747-400 fleet as the aircraft operated its final Tokyo-Narita to Honolulu flight. It then made a rare appearance on two domestic flight legs earlier this month.

 

After arriving in Honolulu from Tokyo-Narita for the last time, the aircraft was routed through Los Angeles on its way back to Detroit. The flights from Honolulu to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to Detroit were expected to be the final domestic 747 flights by any U.S. airline before two 747s were sent from Detroit to Orlando last week to help assist with Hurricane Irma evacuation efforts.

Employees in Honolulu paid tribute to the aircraft, which regularly operated the Honolulu-Narita route, with traditional Hawaiian customs by fashioning a maile lei big enough to fit over the top of the aircraft as a sign of respect (below). The team also held a gate celebration, and several employees held back tears as the group sang Aloha Oe and watched the aircraft depart Honolulu for the last time.

Photo Above: Delta Air Lines.

The Los Angeles team also had a chance to say their goodbyes to the “Queen of the Skies.” Employees lined the ramp at LAX and waved orange wands as it made its late-night departure to Detroit. Employees in Detroit met the aircraft when it landed, though the 747 will continue flying through Detroit for a few more months.

A group of 50 Delta Diamond Medallion customers joined in on the festivities as well. When one member of a Diamond Medallion Facebook group saw that the 747 would be flying two domestic legs, he notified other members of the group, who jumped at the chance to take one last flight on the aircraft. The group booked nearly the entire Delta One cabin and some of the Main Cabin as well, and they flew in from all over the country to catch one last ride on the 747.

​​Additionally, employees in Los Angeles hosted a reception for the group in the Delta Sky Club, and each member of the group received model 747 aircraft as a parting gift. All customers on the flight received commemorative ear buds in celebration of the final scheduled domestic flight.

Delta expects the remaining 747s in its fleet to be retired by the end of 2017. The retiring aircraft will be replaced by the Airbus A350.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) NRT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 913623.

Endangered Species List: