Delta Air Lines is ushering in a new best-in-class travel experience for pets and their owners with the exclusive launch of CarePod. The introduction of this state-of-the-art pet travel carrier, which provides many industry-leading features including real-time updates throughout the journey, heralds a new standard of first-class safety and care for pet air travel.
After five years of research, development and testing, on top of a successful two-month trial, CarePod will be exclusively offered at eight U.S. locations: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York (JFK and LaGuardia), San Francisco and West Palm Beach. There will then be a phased approach to roll out the CarePod pet travel carrier across Delta’s U.S. network.
“Continuous innovation is in Delta’s DNA and the launch of the CarePod pet travel carrier, an industry first, is an example of us seeking out innovative partnerships and looking at ways to improve the customer experience throughout all parts of their journey,” said Shawn Cole, Vice President — Delta Cargo. “As the only airline to offer this premium pet travel solution, it represents a significant improvement for the millions of people who want to travel with their four-legged family members.”
The CarePod pet travel carrier has several innovative safety features that make it the ultimate air travel experience for pets:
The CarePod pet travel carrier is a next generation, IATA compliant pet travel carrier, which can accommodate dogs and cats permitted in a 300 series crate, or smaller, and can be booked between three and thirteen days prior to departure. The CarePod can be booked by visiting deltacargo.com or by calling Delta’s Cargo Customer Service Center at 1-800-352-2746.
“We’re thrilled that pet owners can now vacation and fly their pets with Delta’s best-in-class CarePod solution, having the peace of mind that their pets are protected in smart pet travel carriers, that are also digitally supervised by the Delta Cargo Control Center throughout the entire journey,” says Jenny Pan, founder and CEO of CarePod. “With the Delta partnership, we aim to raise the benchmark for pet air travel to allow families and pets to stay connected and travel safely together.”
Delta’s team of specialists and staff veterinarian constantly review processes and policies to identify areas of improvement to ensure the safety and health of pets. The airline has specially trained ground handlers who take care of pets at every step of their journey. Delta also has temperature-controlled holding areas and vehicles in numerous locations and overnight kenneling services. The Cargo Control Center in Atlanta also gives the airline 24/7/365 visibility into all shipments, including pets.
Delta Cargo started working with CarePod in 2018 and the relationship is the latest example of seeking out innovative partnerships to streamline and improve the customer experience. Delta is focused on tech-driven solutions to support the airline’s vision of the future, looking at the challenges throughout the customer journey and coming up with innovative solutions to transform travel to be less stressful and more enjoyable.
For further information on how to book the ultimate air travel experience for pets visit deltacargo.com.
Delta Air Lines will add 13 new daily nonstop flights to Miami International Airport (MIA) from hubs and top corporate travel destinations around the U.S., including new service from Orlando, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City and Tampa.
With this expanded network, Delta will offer 41 daily non-stop options between 10 U.S. airports and Miami, with all flights offering Delta’s award-winning First Class and Delta Comfort+ product, in addition to the carrier’s signature operational reliability and industry-leading service. Delta’s partnerships today extend its Miami reach across the globe to 12 international nonstop destinations, with LATAM offering 10 additional international destinations from Miami.
In addition to providing Delta’s Miami-based customers with more options throughout the airline’s network, Delta’s new flight schedule will be timed to maximize connectivity with LATAM. The two airlines are conveniently co-located at MIA, allowing swifter connecting times for customers.
The new flights will be available for sale beginning Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, and will begin operating by summer 2020.
Delta’s increased service into MIA is part of the carrier’s developing partnership with LATAM, announced late last year. This strategic partnership would bring together the leading airlines in North and South America, offering significantly expanded travel options for customers with access to 435 destinations worldwide.
Together, Delta and LATAM will create the most comprehensive combined carrier network throughout the Americas, carrying more passengers between North and South America than any other partnership. Customers will benefit from significantly expanded travel choices across the Americas and an industry-leading, increasingly seamless customer experience, including reciprocal loyalty program benefits. The enhanced cooperation is subject to governmental and regulatory approvals.
Delta and LATAM recently announced plans to launch codeshare sales for select flights operated by certain LATAM affiliates in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru beginning in the first quarter of 2020, pending receipt of applicable government approvals.
The schedule for Delta’s new MIA flights is as follows:
|Direction||Departs||Arrives||Aircraft Type||Service Begins|
|Miami to Orlando||8:35||9:46||Embraer ERJ-175||5/4/2020|
|Orlando to Miami||6:40||7:47||Embraer ERJ-175||5/4/2020|
|Miami to Raleigh-Durham||9:45||11:57||Embraer ERJ-175||5/22/2020|
|Raleigh-Durham to Miami||6:45||9:03||Embraer ERJ-175||5/22/2020|
|Miami to Salt Lake City||9:45||12:51||Boeing 737-800||7/28/2020|
|Salt Lake City to Miami||13:45||20:27||Boeing 737-800||7/28/2020|
|Miami to Tampa||8:45||9:49||Embraer ERJ-175||5/4/2020|
|Tampa to Miami||6:45||7:54||Embraer ERJ-175||5/4/2020|
A portion of travel for some itineraries may be on Delta Connection® carriers.
Photos: Delta Air Lines.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200ER (N860DA) (above) departed Los Angeles International Airport as flight DL 89 from LAX bound to Shanghai, China on January 14, 2020.
The flight crew decided to return to LAX due to a compressor stall after takeoff and never got above 8,000 fleet. In order to lighten the landing weight the crew dropped jet fuel, dousing several students at the Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy, CA.
The plane landed safely.
Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-232 ER N860DA (msn 29951) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 948799.
Delta aircraft slide show:
- Full year 2019 pre-tax income of $6.2 billion and earnings per diluted share of $7.30, a nearly 30% increase over prior year
- Record $1.6 billion profit sharing for Delta’s 90,000 employees
- Full year 2019 operating cash flow of $8.4 billion and $4.2 billion in free cash flow
Delta Air Lines today reported financial results for the December quarter and full year 2019 and provided its outlook for the March quarter 2020.
December Quarter Financial Highlights
- Adjusted earnings per share of $1.70, a 31% increase year over year; above guidance of $1.20 to $1.50 on stronger revenue, lower fuel and a nine-cent net gain related to the unwinding of the GOL relationship
- Total revenue grew to $11.4 billion, up 7% over prior year when prior year period is adjusted for sale of DAL Global Services (DGS)
- Total unit revenue (TRASM), adjusted, increased 2.4%, exceeding expectations on strong holiday travel demand
- Non-fuel operating expense on a unit basis (CASM-Ex) up 4.4% compared to the prior year period, in line with the company’s expectations of 4% to 5%
Full Year Financial Highlights
- Adjusted earnings per share of $7.31, a 30% increase year over year
- Total revenue increased to a record $47 billion, up 7.5% when prior year period is adjusted for third-party refinery sales and the sale of DGS
- Total expense increased 3.9% with CASM-Ex up 2%, in line with the company’s guidance and long-term cost targets
- Delta’s 90,000 employees will share a record $1.6 billion profit sharing payout on Feb. 14
- Generated $8.4 billion of operating cash flow and $4.2 billion of free cash flow
- Returned $3 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases
“2019 was a truly outstanding year on all fronts – the best in Delta’s history operationally, financially and for our customers. Our people, and their commitment to bringing best-in-class travel experiences to our 200 million customers, are the foundation for our success. I’m pleased to recognize their outstanding performance with a record $1.6 billion in profit sharing for 2019,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer. “As we enter 2020, demand for travel is healthy and our brand preference is growing, positioning Delta to deliver another year of strong results, including earnings per share of $6.75 to $7.75.”
For the full year, operating revenue grew to nearly $47 billion, up 7.5% when prior year period is adjusted for third-party refinery sales and the sale of DGS. Premium product ticket revenue increased 9% along with strong double-digit percentage increases from loyalty and third-party maintenance revenue.
Delta’s operating revenue of $11.4 billion for the December quarter improved 7.2% or $768 million over the prior year (adjusted for the sale of DGS). This was driven by a 9% increase in premium product ticket revenue, an 18% increase in loyalty revenue and a 31% increase in third-party maintenance revenue, which was partially offset by 13% lower cargo revenue.
December quarter passenger revenue by geographic region:
- Domestic revenue grew 7.7% in the quarter on 1.6% higher passenger unit revenue (PRASM) and 6% higher capacity. Domestic premium product revenue grew 11% and corporate revenue grew 6%, driven by strength in business and leisure demand through the holiday period. Revenue and margin improved in all domestic hubs with revenue up 10% in coastal hubs and 6% in core hubs.
- Atlantic revenue grew 0.8% in the quarter on 2.4% higher capacity and a 1.6% decline in PRASM, driven almost entirely by foreign exchange rates.
- Latin revenue grew 6.7% on a 6.3% increase in unit revenue and 0.4% higher capacity. This revenue improvement was driven by continued double-digit unit revenue growth in Brazil and Mexico.
- Pacific revenue was down 0.5% versus prior year on a 4.4% decline in unit revenue primarily due to continued softness in China. This was a 3.2 point improvement versus the September quarter on improved trends in Japan and strong Delta Premium Select performance.
“Our industry-leading operational performance and the unmatched service our people provide are the reasons why more customers than ever are choosing to fly Delta. Investments in reliability, product and service, airports and technology are reshaping customer perception and driving record satisfaction scores and increasing brand preference.” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president. “We delivered $47 billion in revenue in 2019, a more than $3 billion increase when adjusted over prior year, while sustaining a revenue premium to the industry of more than 110%. Demand trends remain healthy and we expect momentum to continue in 2020, with revenue growth of 5% to 7% in the March quarter.”
For 2019, total expense increased 3.9%, driven by higher revenue- and capacity-related expenses, profit sharing, and pension expense, which were partially offset by $501 million lower fuel cost. CASM-Ex for 2019 increased 2% versus prior year, reflecting Delta’s continued investment in our people, product and services.
Total expense for the December quarter increased 6.9% versus the prior year on higher revenue- and capacity-related expenses and profit sharing, which were partially offset by $315 million lower fuel cost. CASM-Ex was up 4.4% for the December quarter compared to the prior year driven by investment in our people, product and services, and a mark-up of benefit-related balance sheet obligations.
Fuel expense decreased 14% relative to December quarter 2018. Delta’s fuel price for the December quarter was $2.01 per gallon, including a $24 million benefit from the refinery.
Non-operating expense for the quarter was $256 million higher versus the prior year, driven primarily by pension expense and lower mark-to-market adjustments on investments, including our investment in GOL, which was sold during the December quarter 2019.
“Non-fuel unit costs for 2019 increased 2% versus prior year, in line with our long-term cost target and reflecting Delta’s continued investment in our people, product and services,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “These investments supporting our long-term growth will continue into 2020, and we expect our non-fuel unit costs will increase 2% to 3% for the March quarter and full year.”
Cash Flow and Shareholder Returns
For the full year, Delta generated $8.4 billion of operating cash flow and $4.2 billion of free cash flow. Full year cash flow is net of $1 billion of voluntary pension contributions, including $500 million made in the December quarter.
The company invested $4.5 billion into the business in 2019 including $954 million in the December quarter. This supported the delivery of 88 new aircraft during the year. The company’s ongoing fleet transformation is driving higher customer satisfaction, premium seat growth and improved fuel efficiency.
For the December quarter, Delta generated $969 million of operating cash flow and $141 million of free cash flow. Delta returned $484 million to shareholders, comprised of $225 million of share repurchases and $259 million in dividends during the quarter. For the full year, Delta returned $3 billion to shareholders, including $2 billion of share repurchases and $980 million in dividends.
“Strong cash generation continues to set Delta apart and enables consistent reinvestment in the business while maintaining cash returns to owners at 70% of free cash flow,” added Jacobson. “We expect to generate free cash flow of $4 billion again this year, putting us on track to deliver a three-year cumulative free cash flow of over $10 billion by the end of 2020.”
In 2019, Delta achieved a number of milestones across its five key strategic pillars.
Culture and People
- Delta people earned $1.6 billion in profit sharing and $87 million in Shared Rewards, recognizing the outstanding performance of Delta’s 90,000 employees through 2019.
- Contributed over $60 million and 800,000 volunteer hours in 2019 as part of Delta’s commitment to the communities we serve. Introduced The Great Delta Give-Back, reinforcing commitment to the communities Delta serves around the world by providing employees an annual paid day of service.
- Delivered 281 days of zero mainline cancellations and 165 days of zero system cancellations through 2019, an improvement of 12% and 15%, respectively, versus 2018.
- Reached record completion factor in 2019 on a system and mainline basis, with mainline completion factor of 99.83%.
- Carried an all-time record 204 million customers in 2019, 6% more than prior year with a record load factor of 86.3%.
- Achieved 2% fuel efficiency improvement through fleet renewal and other initiatives. Delta also entered into an agreement with Gevo for 10 million gallons annually of sustainable aviation fuel.
Network and Partnerships
- Strengthened global partnerships in all international entities with: the announcement of a strategic alliance with LATAM Airlines Group including completion of a tender offer to acquire a 20% equity stake; the equity investment in Hanjin-KAL the largest shareholder of Korean Air; approval by the U.S. DOT for anti-trust immunity for the expanded joint venture between Delta, Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic.
- Announced a combination between Delta Private Jets and Wheels Up, a private aviation company, to create one of the world’s largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft, with over 190 aircraft and 8,000 customers in the combined company.
- Extended Delta’s global reach with new service between Amsterdam-Tampa, Boston-Edinburgh, Boston-Lisbon, Minneapolis-Mexico City, Minneapolis-Seoul, New York JFK-Bogota, New York JFK-Mumbai and Seattle-Osaka.
Customer Experience and Loyalty
- Announced an 11-year contract renewal between Delta and American Express with contribution increasing from $4.1 billion in 2019 to nearly $7 billion by 2023, including a complete relaunch where cardholders will enjoy more ways to earn miles.
- Added a record number of new SkyMiles Members in one year with the number of new Members increasing at more than triple the rate of just three years ago and added record 1.1 million new Delta American Express cardholders, marking the third consecutive year of more than one million new cardholders.
- Debuted an industry-leading international Main Cabin experience designed by flight attendants to elevate and differentiate the customer experience on Delta featuring thoughtful touches like welcome cocktails, hot towel service, bistro-style dining and more.
- Took delivery of 88 new aircraft including the A220-100 and A330-900neo, with in-flight entertainment, spacious overhead bins and memory foam cushions throughout the aircraft for additional comfort.
- Released the updated FlyDelta app, providing automatic international check-in, integrated security wait times and the ability to pre-select meals in Delta One and domestic First Class.
- Awarded the No.1 airline in Business Travel News Airline Survey for a record ninth consecutive year, sweeping all 11 categories.
Investment Grade Balance Sheet
- Reported a 1.7x adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio, toward the lower end of our long-term leverage ratio target of 1.5x to 2.5x adjusted debt to EBITDAR, which is expected to allow Delta to maintain investment grade ratings through a business cycle.
- Completed a $1.5 billion unsecured debt offering through a mix of five- and 10-year notes at a blended rate of 3.24%, the lowest unsecured rates achieved by Delta for these lengths of maturity in its history. The proceeds from this offering were used to fund the acquisition of the 20% equity stake in LATAM Airlines Group.
December Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results
Adjusted results primarily exclude the impact of mark-to-market (“MTM”) adjustments.
Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-941 N403DX (msn 1931) NRT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 948780.
Delta aircraft slide show (Airbus):
Sarcos Robotics made thus announcement:
The Guardian XO is designed for use in industries where lifting and manipulation of heavy materials or awkward objects is required and isn’t easily handled by standard lift equipment. Potential uses at Delta could include handling freight at Delta Cargo warehouses, moving maintenance components at Delta TechOps or lifting heavy machinery and parts for ground support equipment.
Exploring how advanced tools and tech can better support employees is one way Delta aims to improve workplace safety while extending its industry lead in operational performance for customers.
Delta plans to test the technology in a pilot location during the first quarter of 2020, giving employees the opportunity to experience the tech in a real-world setting and provide additional feedback on its functionality.
In addition to enabling superhuman strength for extended periods, the robotic suit may also level the playing field in terms of physical capacity. Roles that have historically been limited to those who meet specific strength requirements could potentially be performed by a more diverse talent pool, thanks to wearable robotics.
Delta first started working with Sarcos in 2018 as part of its “X-TAG”, or exoskeleton technical advisory group, representing the aviation sector. This council includes ten of the Fortune 100 across a variety of industries, including industrial manufacturing, oil and gas, utilities, logistics, construction, automotive, aviation and aerospace.
Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:
- CEO Ed Bastian delivers opening keynote; Delta becomes first major airline to keynote and exhibit at CES
- New human-driven innovations transform air travel into a part of your journey to look forward to
- In-house tech and partnerships with Lyft, Misapplied Sciences and Sarcos Robotics start bringing future vision to life in 2020
On the world’s largest tech stage, Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced several technology innovations that are transforming the future of travel, rolling out this year and beyond, including transformation of the Fly Delta app, PARALLEL REALITY™ display screens, captivating entertainment options, full-body wearable exoskeletons and an AI machine learning operations platform.
Joining Bastian to outline Delta’s vision from the CES main stage Tuesday were Delta customer service and innovation leaders Sandy Gordon and Nicole Jones; Lyft Co-Founder & President John Zimmer; Albert Ng, CEO of Misapplied Sciences; acclaimed film writer and director Lulu Wang; and Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen. Read their bios
Attending CES? Visit the Delta booth (#14035, Central Hall) to experience these innovations for yourself.
FLY DELTA APP EVOLUTION
Delta is transforming its popular Fly Delta app into a comprehensive digital concierge that will streamline the day-of travel experience starting with an expanded partnership with Lyft. Learn More
PARALLEL REALITY™ TECHNOLOGY
Delta, in partnership with Misapplied Sciences, will pilot the first-ever PARALLEL REALITY™ display experience, allowing many customers traversing the airport to see personalized content on a single screen simultaneously – and in their preferred language. Learn More
CAPTIVATING CONTENT + REFRAME PARTNERSHIP
Delta’s in-house startup Delta Flight Products created the world’s first wireless in-flight entertainment system, and soon the airline will test new features allowing customers to take more control over their in-flight experience – while emphasizing gender parity in entertainment offerings through a partnership with ReFrame. Learn More
OPERATIONS AI MACHINE LEARNING PLATFORM
Delta, the global leader in operational reliability, is implementing an AI-driven machine learning platform that analyzes millions of data points to help the world’s best operations decision makers further minimize customer travel disruptions. Learn More
SARCOS WEARABLE ROBOTICS
Delta is partnering with Sarcos Robotics to test the world’s first full-body, self-powered and untethered wearable exoskeleton, Guardian XO, which is designed to enhance strength and endurance while reducing the risk of injury. Learn More
GENDER EQUITY PARTNERSHIPS
As part of its efforts to seek diversity and promote inclusion, Delta will partner with the Society of Women Engineers and Girls Who Code to increase gender representation in tech roles at the airline and in the STEM workforce. Learn More
INVESTING IN SUSTAINABILITY
The theme of sustainability is woven into nearly every announcement in Delta’s keynote, demonstrating the brand’s ongoing commitment. In addition, Delta is investing in efforts that reverse the effects of deforestation in countries such as Kenya and Uganda to make all its flights to and from CES 2020 carbon neutral. The airline will also invest in verified projects to offset the carbon footprint of air travel associated with Global Citizen’s Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream campaign.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian is interviewed by CNBC:
The following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (M-F 3PM – 5PM) today, Tuesday, January 7th.
WILFRED FROST: CES kicking off in Las Vegas. More than just tech companies are making headlines this year. Delta Air Lines announcing a number of new ventures, including plans for a digital concierge service that expands the airlines relationship with Lyft, and a new venture into robotics. Delta is exploring the use of exoskeleton suits its employees can wear to help with lifting heavy cargo or machinery. Joining us now, live from CES in a first on CNBC interview is Ed Bastian, the Delta Air Lines CEO. Ed, a very good afternoon to you. Thanks for joining us.
ED BASTIAN: Hey, Wilf. Thanks for having me. A lot of excitement going on out here.
WILFRED FROST: I bet. We’ve had great coverage from our colleagues all day. And delighted for you to be a part of it. Ed, tell us, what will you launching there at CES? I guess not typical for an airline to be there. It’s very much app-based expansion.
ED BASTIAN: Yeah, it was great. We were — we delivered — I delivered the opening keynote for CES. The first time an airline had ever done that. In fact, the opening question that the CEO of CES gave me is why is an airline here? And it gave me the opportunity to tell our story. And our story really is about all of the investment we’ve made to improve the quality of our operations. We’re the on-time leader. We’ve got the most reliable, highest performance airline in the industry. Investing billions in dollars, in the in-flight experience. And now, we’re doing the same to improve the ground experience. And you see our airports going up in many parts of the country and the improvements. We need to bring technology alongside that, whether it’s digital, whether it’s the Fly Delta app, whether it’s new technology like parallel reality. And that was our opportunity to describe that.
WILFRED FROST: And in terms of the new technology aspect, to what extent is it only really for on the ground services for the consumer? I mean, you were disappointed that free WiFi on all flights is still not a reality.
ED BASTIAN: Well, we’re working on free WiFi. We’re committed to getting to free WiFi. But it has to be WiFi that has the expectations that consumers deserve: high-quality content, high-quality bandwidth and speed. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re on the path to getting there. And as I said this morning we will get there within the next two years. Sooner if we can. And then when we get there, we have to make it the same price on the ground, which is generally free.
COURTNEY REAGAN: So, Ed, you explained a little bit about technology helping the operations of Delta. What about on sort of on the consumer-facing side? When we all travel, it’s become stressful experience. Obviously, there are many players that tie in together, from the TSA and security, the airline itself, as well as the airport operations. But have been really announced any technology for making my experience potentially less stressful?
ED BASTIAN: Sure, well that was one of the key themes for the presentation, is that we need to find ways to destress consumers as they’re traveling. And we all know that there’s stress in the environment, particularly in the ground experience. So, we announced, together with Lyft, a closer integration. So, when you’re traveling on Delta, yew the Fly Delta App, you’ll be able to monitor your arrival or destination information through Lyft. They’ll have cars there available waiting for you. We unveiled a vision of the future, because it was really a visionary presentation going out over the next five years, whereby you don’t even need to bring your bag to the airport. Because we know how much stress is involved in bringing your bag and checking it or trying to get an overhead bin for it. Why not have the opportunity to have us get your bag from your home to your destination, so it’s waiting for you when you arrive at that hotel. If you’re in a business meeting, you can go directly to the business meeting. Or, if you’re going to a new city, you have a chance to go explore it. I mean, there’s many, many things that we’re doing. But we’ve got the credibility, because we’ve got the core reliability performance of the airline fixed. And now it’s our opportunity to bring technology to make a real difference with our consumers.
WILFRED FROST: And I wanted to ask you about Boeing, if I may, another story relating to the timing of the return of the 737 Max today. Today, the airline saying that it’s going to push for a simulator training for all pilots moving forward. But either way, there’s been a delay after delay as to when this plane might return. To what extent do industrial executives like yourself losing fate in the company, whenever it makes any target, whether it’s related to the 737 Max return or anything else, are you losing faith in the ability of this company to make – to meet the promises it makes?
ED BASTIAN: Well, Wilf, as you know, we don’t fly the 737 Max. So, we’re not directly impacted by that issue. We’ve been monitoring it. We’ve been in touch with Boeing around it. Yes, we have to — we do have concerns regarding what it will mean for future development, and future technology innovation in our space. We have basically two suppliers in our space, we have Airbus and we have Boeing. And we need Boeing to get through this crisis. We need them to get focused on the innovation and the development of the new technology for the new aircraft that we’re waiting to order. And they continue to push our industry forward, not just from an efficiency with cleaner emissions, but also better comfort for our customers. So, I have confidence in Dave Calhoun. I’ve known Dave for a long time. I think he’s the right man for the job. We’re staying in close touch. But it is frustrating, yes.
WILFRED FROST: That said, that frustration aside, Ed, is there a part of you that actually weirdly welcomes further delays in the 737 Max? Of course, the original tragedies aside, because you don’t fly the plane? Have there been some gains in market share for you because of the delays in the 737 Max’s return?
ED BASTIAN: No. We’re not – we’re hoping for that plane to get in the sky. You know, you’re right. We have on the margin some additional revenue and some additional share that we’ve gained because the plane has not been flying. But all the other airlines that do fly the plane I think gave a good job of covering off their key competitive markets. You know, the great thing about airplanes is they move, and they can go fly to different revenue pools to make sure they’re protecting their key markets. So, we’ve had some marginal benefit. When it does come back, I’m sure there will be marginal negative impact. I think it will be small for us. But, you know, we really want — it’s not good for any of us to have that plane out of the sky.
COURTNEY REAGAN: Ed, there’s been a lot of focus on the energy market this week, as you well know, after the events in Iran after the assassination of the General there. What is your outlook for jet fuel prices? I know the airline stocks got taken down a bit yesterday, as energy prices moved higher albeit preparing some of those losses by the end of the session. So, how are you focused on the cost of jet fuel going forward this year?
ED BASTIAN: Well, we watch it closely, Courtney, as you can imagine. You know, we’ve built our business to be able to sustain short-term shocks like this. And we talk about short-term shocks going from $60 to $70 a barrel. You know, we’ve been built on a model where we had to cover over $100 a barrel not that long ago. So, I think the industry is in a good spot. I know Delta is in a very good spot. We’ve built our business to cover oil and we expect oil to be on range-bound somewhere between $60 and $80 a barrel, where it’s been for the last several years. If it gets above $80, obviously there’s some decisions that we’ll have to take over time. But right now, there’s no change to our strategy. We’ve got a great plan for 2020 and we’re not seeing any real negative impacts from, you know, the most recent short-term spike we’ve seen this week.
WILFRED FROST: Ed, I wanted to ask you about the investment you made in LATAM Airlines Group. Is that a sign that you think the domestic airline travel market is somewhat saturated in ex-growth? And if, at the moment, 72% of your revenue comes from the domestic market, where will that number by in five years? Significantly lower than 72%?
ED BASTIAN: Well, it’s a fair point. Because over time — not yet, but over time the domestic market will become relatively saturated. You see how congested air travel can be at times in our key markets. You know, we’re building bigger airplanes and we’re building bigger airports, but we’re not building new destinations in the domestic market to fly. You know, we’re doing well. We’re growing 5-7% a year. And we’ll continue. And I see that growth rate staying pretty strong over the next couple of years. But over time, certainly as we enter the next century of our future, which will be happening in the next few years, international, I think is the place we need to be. That’s why we’re investing in Latam. And, a great airline, they have 40% market share throughout all of South America. A really important future partner for us. That’s why we’re investors in Virgin, Air France, KLM, Korean, China Eastern. We have taken a contrarian view that we need to get inside these other airlines, not just as commercial partners, but as equity owners to try to bring a longer-term opportunity for us and for them to the future.
WILFRED FROST: Ed, great to speak, as always. Thanks for joining us.
ED BASTIAN: Appreciate you guys having me.
WILFRED FROST: Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines joining us from CES in Las Vegas.
Delta Air Lines will add two spoke routes from the Atlanta hub on July 6, 2020:
Boise – daily with Airbus A320
Spokane – daily with Boeing 737-800
In addition, according to Airline Route, the carrier will resume the Salt Lake City – Memphis also on July 6, 2020.
Data aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):