Delta Airlines’ Financial Performance Leads to Profit at its Year End

Delta Airlines’ financial performance has reported a profit in its 2022 year-end results released on January 13th. Many airlines have had difficulty this year even though pandemic restrictions were lifted because of mass delays and cancellations caused by staff shortages due to many being laid off during the pandemic when demand was less.

Like other North American Airlines, Delta Airlines had to deal with mass delays and cancellations during the Independence Day celebrations in the US and Canada. However, many airlines are recovering, and Delta Airlines is no exception.

Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines’ financial performance, like many airlines, is improving. | © Andrea Ongaro/Travel Radar

Delta Airline’s Financial Performance

At its year-end on December 31st, Delta Airlines’ financial performance posted a net income of 1.318 billion US dollars. This profit is not as high as in pre-pandemic 2019, where the net income was 4.767 billion US dollars for the year-end 2019. One can see that there has been a reduction in net income of 72%. This means that Delta Airlines still has some way to go before reaching the profit level seen before the pandemic.

In terms of quarterly profit, the company made a profit of 828 million US dollars which is better than the previous quarter, which was 695 million dollars. So while it still has some way to go, Delta Airline’s performance is generally progressing upward.

In terms of revenue, Delta Airlines’ financial performance has resulted in year-end operating revenue (revenue from its services) of 50.582 billion dollars. In pre-pandemic 2019 the payment at the year-end was 47.007 billion US dollars. There has been an improvement in revenue of 8% in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic 2019, meaning Delta Airlines’ financial performance has improved in terms of money received, showing that the company is attracting more customers than in pre-pandemic times. However, costs have increased considerably because net income has been reduced by 72% despite the rise in revenue.

Delta Airlines aircraft
Delta Airlines’ financial performance has not reached pre-pandemic levels. | © Getty Images

The Company’s Response

In terms of Delta Airlines’ financial performance, the company responded that it was rebuilding its fleet and expected to benefit from economies of scale in the next year, reducing expenses. What this essentially means is that when there is more demand, the company can bulk-buy items or use fewer larger planes which carry more passengers, meaning it could benefit from discounted costs for more items or, for example, a reduced fuel cost per customer as more seats available on a particular plane are occupied.

In other announcements, the company has received the Cirium Platinum Award for being the most on-time airline in the last quarter leading in October, November and December, despite very adverse weather over Christmas. In terms of Delta’s financial performance, the company is continuing to pay off its debts, potentially improving its position with lenders.

As one can see, Delta Airlines’ financial performance has resulted in an overall profit for this year. However, it still has some way to go before reaching pre-pandemic levels. However, the problems appear primarily centred around high costs, which, as we know, are affecting all airlines due to events such as the war in Ukraine. However, Delta Airlines’ financial performance has improved compared to the previous quarter. We have to wait to see how this progresses.

What do you think about Delta’s latest financial reports? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Amuthan Chandrarajan
Amuthan Chandrarajan
Aviation Reporter - Amuthan has a background in residential and commercial real estate. He also has a keen interest in aviation and travel and has visited many countries. Amuthan has a sound knowledge of business and finance.  He has gained a Master of Business Administration and has become a Chartered Management Accountant.