Tag Archives: Delta Air Lines

Delta’s Seattle growth continues for sixth straight year with 3 new destinations

Delta Air Lines Airbus A319-114 N320NB (msn 1392) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 102205.

Delta Air Lines is kicking off the New Year with a 10 percent increase in peak-day seats at its Seattle/Tacoma hub for summer 2018, driven by the addition of three new destinations as well as more flights and larger aircraft operating between existing routes. The new destinations include Washington-Dulles and Kansas City, which will launch on June 8, and Indianapolis, which will launch on June 18.

New Service to Washington-Dulles, Kansas City, and Indianapolis

Delta will offer one daily round-trip each to Washington Dulles International Airport, Kansas City International Airport, and Indianapolis International Airport. Washington-Dulles service will be operated using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, Kansas City service will be operated using E-175 aircraft, and Indianapolis service will be operated using Airbus A 319 aircraft.


Departs Arrives Aircraft
SEA at 10 p.m. IAD at 6:15 a.m. Boeing 737-800
IAD at 7:05 a.m. SEA at 9:55 a.m. Boeing 737-800
Departs Arrives Aircraft
SEA at 5:15 p.m. MCI at 10:45 p.m. E-175
MCI at 7 a.m. SEA at 9 a.m. E-175
Departs Arrives Aircraft
SEA at 10:10 a.m. IND at 5:40 p.m. Airbus A319
IND at 6:15 p.m. SEA at 7:30 p.m. Airbus A319


Delta adds frequencies and larger aircraft to existing routes

Based on more demand from Seattle customers, Delta will launch additional flights to Las Vegas, New York-JFK, Orlando and Medford during spring/summer 2018 and will expand its summer seasonal service to Cincinnati to year-round. Additionally, Delta will offer seasonal weekend service to New Orleans from Feb. 10 through March 31.

The airline will also use larger aircraft to operate several existing routes, including Austin, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, Phoenix and San Diego.

Growth shows strength of Delta’s Seattle hub

Delta’s significant growth in Seattle to start 2018 speaks to the strength of its Sea-Tac hub. The airline will operate 174 peak-day departures to 54 destinations in July 2018, an increase of 11 departures compared with summer 2017 and 96 departures over summer 2014. Delta’s domestic seats will be up 112 percent over summer 2014, with 80 percent of Delta’s domestic seats served from Seattle on mainline aircraft for summer 2018.

Delta and its joint venture partners Aeromexico, Air France-KLM, Alitalia, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet serve 16 international destinations from Seattle, including Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, London-Heathrow, Paris, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai, Tokyo-Narita, and eight destinations in Canada and Mexico. Air France will also begin direct Seattle-Paris service in March to complement Delta’s existing service. In 2017, the airline added or expanded service to nine destinations, including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Eugene, Lihue, Milwaukee, Nashville, Raleigh and Redmond.  Seattle is also Delta’s primary gateway to Alaska with service to five destinations — Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka.


Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A319-114 N320NB (msn 1392) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 102205.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (Airbus):


Delta to add three new domestic routes from Seattle/Tacoma

Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-832 WL N37700 (msn 29631) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930518.

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to add three new domestic routes from its Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) hub in June. According to Airline Route, the airline will add daily Airbus A319 service from SEA to Indianapolis starting on June 18, 2018.

In addition, starting on June 8, 2018, SkyWest Airlines will add daily Delta Connection Embraer 175 flights between SEA and Kansas City.

Also on June 8, 2018, Delta will add daily mainline Boeing 737-800 service between SEA and Washington (Dulles).

Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-832 WL N37700 (msn 29631) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930518.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (Boeing):

Delta to keep the MD-88s flying until 2020 due to replacement Bombardier CS100 delays

All Delta MD-88s to be retired by 2020

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has been forced to delay the retirement of the last McDonnell Douglas MD-88 until 2020. This was confirmed on the Delta management conference call last week to analysts to discuss Delta’s fourth quarter and 2017 financial results.

Delta currently has 108 McDonnell Douglas MD-88s in service.

The retirement target date has been pushed back due to the delays with the replacement Bombardier C Series aircraft. Delta has 75 copies of the Bombardier CS100 on order (below). Deliveries were previously expected to begin later this year. This target date is likely to slip.

Delta is also adding Airbus A321s to replace the MD-88s.

Above Image and Photo: Delta Air Lines.

Delta is negotiating with Bombardier to ensure all 75 Bombardier CS100s are assembled in Mobile, AL as insurance there will be no import traiffs imposed on Canadian-built aircraft.

Boeing has previously accused Bombardier of dumping the aircraft on to the US market after Bombardier reported a $500 million (CA) loss due mainly to three orders it negotiated probably at a loss.

Delta is now being forced to spend more money on the aging MD-88s for maintenance until the type is fully replaced.

On October 16, 2017 Airbus and Bombardier Inc. announced they are partnering on the C Series aircraft program. The agreement brings together Airbus’ global reach and scale with Bombardier’s newest, state-of-the-art jet aircraft family, positioning both partners to fully unlock the value of the C Series platform and create significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.

Under the agreement, Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise to the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), the entity that manufactures and sells the C Series. At closing, Airbus will acquire a 50.01% interest in CSALP. Bombardier and Investissement Québec (IQ) will own approximately 31% and 19% respectively.

Airbus has a assembly plant in Mobile, AL for its Airbus aircraft.

Negotiations continue between Delta and Bombardier.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-88 N998DL (msn 53370) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 402860.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show:


Delta Air Lines announces fourth quarter and full year 2017 profit

Delta Air Lines Airbus A321-211 WL N308DN (msn 7233) DCA (Jay Selman). Image: 403528.

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) on January 11, 2018 reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2017.  Highlights of those results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are below and incorporated here.

Adjusted pre-tax income for the fourth quarter 2017 was $1.0 billion, despite a $60 million impact from the combination of December’s power outage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Winter Storm Benji.  For the full year, adjusted pre-tax income was $5.5 billion, a $621 million decrease relative to 2016.

“Delta people rose to the challenges of 2017 to produce solid financial results, industry leading operational reliability and strong improvements in customer satisfaction, and it’s an honor to recognize their achievements with $1.1 billion in profit sharing,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.   “Looking ahead to 2018, we expect to drive solid earnings growth by growing our top line 4 to 6 percent, improving our cost trajectory and integrating our international partner network.  As a result, we are able to increase our previous full-year guidance to $6.35 to $6.70 per share due to additional benefits from tax reform.”

Revenue Environment

Delta’s operating revenue of $10.2 billion for the December quarter was up 8.3 percent, or $787 million versus prior year.  Total unit revenues excluding refinery sales increased 4.4 percent for the December quarter.

Passenger revenue increased $527 million, including $200 million from Delta’s Branded Fares initiatives.  Passenger unit revenues increased 4.2 percent, including 0.5 points from one-time revenue adjustments, on 2.3 percent higher capacity.

Cargo revenue increased 14.4 percent, driven by higher volumes and yields.  Other revenue improved 17.9 percent primarily due to higher loyalty revenue and a $150 million increase in third-party refinery sales.

For the full year, Delta’s operating revenue of $41.2 billion was up 4.0 percent, or $1.6 billion versus prior year.  Total unit revenues excluding refinery sales increased 2.4 percent on 1.0 percent higher capacity.

“We enter 2018 with significant momentum and every entity delivering positive passenger unit revenue for the first time in five years, driven by a robust demand environment and improving business fares,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president.  “We expect to deliver total unit revenue growth of 2.5 to 4.5 percent in the March quarter and leverage our unrivaled domestic network, international partnerships, and solid pipeline of commercial initiatives to deliver similar performance each quarter throughout 2018.”

Chart 1.2

2018 First Quarter Guidance

For the first quarter, Delta is expecting improving revenues and the benefit from tax reform to partially offset fuel cost increases and the period of highest non-fuel expense growth for the year.

Chart 2.2

2017 Cost Performance

Adjusted fuel expense2 increased $349 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 December quarter was $1.93, which includes $0.03 of benefit from the refinery.

CASM-Ex3 including profit sharing decreased 0.4 percent for the December 2017 quarter compared to the prior year period driven by the impact of Delta’s pilot agreement ratified in the December 2016 quarter. The pilot agreement resulted in $475 million of expense in the prior year period and included a $380 million retroactive payment for the first three quarters of 2016.

Normalized CASM-Ex4 including profit sharing increased 5.6 percent versus the prior year period, driven by continued investments in Delta’s people, product and operation, as well as pressure from accelerated depreciation due to aircraft retirements.

For the full year, CASM-Ex including profit sharing increased 4.3 percent compared to 2016. Excluding profit sharing, 2017 CASM-Ex increased 4.7 percent driven by targeted investments in Delta’s employees, fleet, and product.

Non-operating expense increased $36 million for the December quarter due to higher interest expense from Delta’s unsecured debt financing primarily used to fund its pension plan, as well as foreign exchange pressures.

“Our focus for 2018 is to bring our unit cost trajectory back in line with our long-term 0 to 2 percent target,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer.  “We have a line of sight to achieving our cost goal, and expect our March quarter to be the peak of our non-fuel expense growth as we lap investments in our business and higher levels of depreciation, and the savings from our fleet and efficiency initiatives begin ramping up as we move through the year.”

Cash Flow, Shareholder Returns, and Adjusted Net Debt

Delta generated $1.7 billion of adjusted operating cash flow and $435 million of free cash flow during the quarter. The company invested $850 million into the business for aircraft purchases and improvements, facilities upgrades and technology. The company also spent $450 million to purchase its 10 percent stake in Air France-KLM.

Delta generated $6.8 billion of adjusted operating cash flow and $2.0 billion of free cash flow for the full year, and invested $3.6 billion into the business and $1.2 billion in equity stakes in partner airlines.

During the December quarter, Delta announced an order for 100 state-of-the-art Airbus A321neo aircraft with deliveries beginning in 2020 and a long-term commitment with Pratt & Whitney for Delta TechOps to be a major maintenance, repair and overhaul provider for the PW1100G and PW1500G engines, powering Delta’s A321neo and C Series aircraft.

Adjusted net debt at the end of the quarter was $8.8 billion, up $2.6 billion versus the prior year largely as a result of a $2.5 billion increase in unsecured debt, primarily issued to accelerate pension funding.  The company’s unfunded pension liability declined by $3.6 billion from the end of 2016 to $7.0 billion at the end of 2017.

For the December quarter, Delta returned $541 million to shareholders, comprised of $325 million of share repurchases and $216 million in dividends. For the full year, Delta returned $2.4 billion to shareholders, comprised of $1.7 billion of share repurchases and $731 million in dividends.

Tax Reform

As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Delta recognized a one-time charge of $150 million in the December quarter from the estimated impact of the inclusion of foreign earnings and revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities. This one-time charge is being excluded from Delta’s results as a special item. For 2018, Delta expects the reduction in the corporate tax rate will result in an all-in book tax rate for the company of 22-24 percent.

Fourth Quarter Results

Special items for the quarter consist primarily of the impact from tax reform noted above and mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges.

Chart 3.2




Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A321-211 WL N308DN (msn 7233) DCA (Jay Selman). Image: 403528.
Delta Airbus aircraft slide show (current livery):

Delta named 2017’s “Most On-Time Global Airline”

Delta Air Lines has issued this statement:

Delta Air Lines was named the World’s Most On-Time Airline among mainline carriers by the aviation data and analytics company FlightGlobal, incorporating FlightStats, and is the first U.S. airline to earn the industry-leading distinction in the nine years FlightGlobal’s FlightStats has presented its OPS Awards, according to a release by the company Tuesday.

In 2017, Delta’s mainline operation saw 85.94 percent of flights arrive within 14 minutes of the scheduled arrival time, the industry’s widely used definition of on-time, according to FlightStats.1

“We are extremely proud of what Delta employees have been able to accomplish in service to our customers to drive a safe and reliable global operation,” said Gil West, Delta’s Executive Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “The results reported by FlightStats are humbling and yet another proof point that Delta employees worldwide are redefining operational excellence. Hats off to all Delta employees who come to work every day looking for ways to make meaningful improvements to the airline and continue to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”

Delta was also recognized as North America’s most on-time major carrier—a title that takes into account the Delta Connection regional operation. FlightStats reports that Delta, together with its regional partners, saw 84.06 percent of flights arrive on time in 2017, based on FlightStats’ analysis of flight status and arrival data pulled from over 600 global sources and data feeds.2

Delta flies more than 180 million customers annually on approximately 5,000 daily mainline and Delta Connection flights. The airline achieved its strong operational performance in 2017 despite a string of hurricanes in the U.S. and Caribbean, and a snow storm at Delta’s largest hub in Atlanta in December. Still Delta recorded several company bests, including a record 242 days in 2017 without a mainline flight cancellation and 90 days in which mainline and Delta Connection were cancel-free.3

[1] Based on Flightstats 2017 arrival time data for all Delta mainline flights flown system-wide.

[2] Based on Flightstats 2017 arrival time data for all Delta mainline and Delta Connection flights flown system-wide.

[3] Based on Delta’s internal statistical reporting of all Delta and Delta Connection flights scheduled between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 1, 2018.


Delta says goodbye to the last Boeing 747

Delta Air Lines on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, ferried its last Boeing 747-451 (N674US) to the Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona. Flight DL 9771 departed from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (above) bound for Marana. The last Delta Boeing 747 is now resting in the desert. After operting several charters during the Christmas – New Years holidays and making a goodbye tour, the last 747 was retired from the fleet with this ferry flight. Employees were permitted to go on the last flight to the desert including a couple who decided to marry on the last flight.

Delta Air Lines issued this statement and photos:

For Delta flight attendant Holly R. and pilot Gene P., the 747 is more than the beloved Queen of the Skies. It was a matchmaker at 35,000 feet.

“We met nine years ago on the 747-400,” Gene said. “Since then we’ve spent years flying this airplane together around the world. In a lot of ways we really grew up on the 747, so it’s a fitting salute to say goodbye with this milestone. For us, it’s really a way of showing that as one life ends, another one begins.”

The couple, who married on board Delta’s final 747 passenger flight, met on the upper deck of a 747-400 flying U.S. troops to Kuwait.

“We met at row 75,” Holly said. “I will never forget that day, and just feel so blessed that we are able to take this awesome aircraft on its last flight.”

Holly began her career at Northwest Orient in 1985, becoming a Delta flight attendant when the airlines merged. Gene began his career in 1977 with Braniff Airways, later joining Northwest Airlines and becoming a Delta pilot after the merger.

After their initial meeting, the two cultivated their relationship while flying on the 747 together. As single parents living in different states, the two kept their relationship long distance.

“Every month Gene and I would look at our schedules and bid on flights together and every once in a while we’d get to fly together,” Holly said. “There were times where we wouldn’t get on the same rotation and we’d be apart for a month and a half, but for us, it just worked.”

Nine years later, Holly and Gene decided to tie the knot. Knowing their love of aviation and the Queen of the Skies, Holly and Gene opted for a unique venue, getting married on Delta’s final 747 passenger flight from Atlanta to the desert, where the plane will retire.

“I love this plane – it truly feels like home to me,” Holly said. “I feel very fortunate that the 747 was based in Detroit. I was able to fly with the same crews and we really became a family. It’s always been my favorite plane, and it’s absolutely a love of Gene’s – he loves it like he loves me. We’re so fortunate to able to give her a farewell with the memory of a lifetime. It was meant to be.”

Farewell Tour with "All Hail The Queen - Farewell Tour" emblem

Above Copyright Photo: Michael Carter. N674US shows its wear as it approaches Los Angeles on January 1, 2018 on its Farewell Tour.

After the two said “I do” alongside some of their closest friends and colleagues, they shared a champagne toast and cake.

“I am very sad to say goodbye to one of the most iconic airplanes that’s ever been made, but we’re thrilled and proud to have this lifelong memory of getting married on the last passenger 747 flight in the United States,” Gene said.

The newlyweds will make a home together in Minnesota, and will continue their Delta careers based in Minneapolis.

Above and below photos: Delta. Employees were permitted to write send-off messages on the aircraft.

Delta Air Lines Boeing aircraft slide show (current livery):

Below Copyright Photo (all others by Delta): Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N674US (msn 30269) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 907046.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N674US (msn 30269) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 907046.

Delta proactively cancels flights as Nor’easter continues north along the Atlantic coast

Delta Air Lines issued this story and photos:

Delta employees at airports throughout the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England are preparing for a strong Nor’easter, the first major storm of 2018, expected to produce high winds, bitterly cold temperature several inches of snow accumulation. Boston could see as much as 15 inches at the airport.

In anticipation of the severe winter weather, Delta will proactively cancel more than 400 mainline and Delta Connection regional flights Wednesday evening and Thursday, primarily at New York JFK International and LaGuardia airports as well as Boston’s Logan International. Additional cancellations are possible.

Winter storm 2018 - Jan 3

Airports along the storm’s eastern seaboard path could see deicing delays and possible cancellations as well, depending on the track and severity of the storm.

In order to facilitate an efficient restart to the operation once the storm passes, Delta will reposition some aircraft away from the New York and Boston airports so they can be flown in as soon as conditions improve and runways are cleared of snow.

Customers are encouraged to visit Delta.com or the Fly Delta Mobile App to check the status of their flight before arriving at the airport. The airline Tuesday issued a winter weather advisory for much of the east coast stretching from north Florida to Maine, allowing customers with flexible travel plans to adjust their itineraries around the winter storm without incurring a change fee.

The same winter storm has already produced snow, ice and mixed frozen precipitation at airports in the Southeast. Delta suspended its operations at Savannah/Hilton Head International and Brunswick Golden Isles airports due to snow and ice accumulation on the runways and taxiways.

Noon Wednesday Update

Storm forces suspension of operations at two Southeastern airports

Delta has suspended operations at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and Brunswick Golden Isles Airport in Georgia Wednesday due to severe weather—resulting in snow and ice accumulation on runways and taxiways—from a powerful Nor’easter making its way north along the eastern seaboard.

Operations are tentatively expected to restart midday Thursday after a facilities assessment. Daytime flights to Myrtle Beach and Charleston, S.C., have also been canceled Wednesday, though are expected to restart Wednesday evening.

Additional cancellations are expected at coastal airports in the storm’s path across the mid-Atlantic, New York area and New England region.

Delta has so far canceled 45 mainline and Delta Connection flights as a result of the storm.

Customers are encouraged to check Delta.com or the Fly Delta Mobile App for the most up-to-date flight status information.

The airline  issued a severe weather waiver for Tallahassee, Gainesville and Jacksonville, Fla.; Valdosta, Brunswick, Savannah and Augusta, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., among other airports. Late Tuesday, Delta expanded its winter weather waiver to include airports across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Photos: Delta Air LInes.

Route Map: Between the US and Caribbean and Latin America and trans-Atlantic routes: