With the surge in air-travel demand, Delta Air Lines DAL decided to add flights to European cities next summer. As part of its efforts to expand operations across the trans-Atlantic, DAL will have 8% more available seats in the coming summer than in the same season of 2022.
In the summer of 2023, Delta will operate flights (either new or resumed after the pandemic) to destinations like London-Heathrow, Paris, Geneva, Stuttgart and Berlin. Expressing delight on the impending expansion, Joe Esposito, Delta’s senior vice president of Network Planning, said, “With nearly 620 weekly flights and connectivity to 32 destinations in Europe and beyond, customers will have a wealth of iconic destinations to explore and an unmatched journey to enjoy across the pond.”
Delta’s trans-Atlantic schedule from New York JFK next summer will be the largest ever, including more than 220 weekly departures to 26 destinations. As part of this schedule, DAL will operate daily flights between Gatwick and New York JFK from Apr 10, 2023. The carrier has not operated flights on the route since 2008.
DAL will resume daily service to Berlin from JFK on May 25. Also, for the first time since 1993, the airline will fly to Geneva from New York JFK. Also, the airline will boost its operations to Rome by adding a third seasonal flight from May 25. The flight to Rome will operate daily.
From Atlanta, Delta will add 11 flights a week to three trans-Atlantic destinations. As part of the expansion from Atlanta, DAL will operate seasonal flights (five times a week) to Edinburgh from May 25. It also aims to bolster its trans-Atlantic operations from Los Angeles. The services include flights to Paris from May 8, marking the resumption of the route post-pandemic. It will also fly to London-Heathrow from Mar 25, 2023, for the first time since 2015.
The move to expand trans-Atlantic capacity seems prudent, given that passenger revenues are rising with the rebound in air-travel demand. Delta’s revenues in second-quarter 2022 came in at $13,824 million, which not only beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13,608.9 million but also soared 94% from the year-ago quarter’s figure.
To highlight the buoyancy in air-travel demand, let’s recap the top-line performance of two other U.S. carriers.
At American Airlines AAL, operating revenues were $13,422 million in the second quarter, increasing 79.5% year over year. Revenues also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13,409.8 million. This massive year-over-year jump reflects upbeat air-travel demand. Buoyant air-travel demand is also reflected in the 12.2% increase in total operating revenues from the second-quarter 2019 actuals despite operating at an 8% lower capacity.
In the June quarter, passenger revenues, accounting for the bulk of the top line (91.1%), increased to $12,223 million from $6,545 million a year ago, driven by strong summer-travel demand, mainly on the domestic front.
At United Airlines UAL, operating revenues of $12,112 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $12,033.7 million in the second quarter. Revenues increased more than 100% year over year owing to upbeat air-travel demand. The optimistic air-travel demand scenario is also evident from the total operating revenue increase of 6.2% from the second-quarter 2019 levels.
The massive year-over-year increase in United Airlines’ top line was driven by more than a 100% rise in its passenger revenues (accounting for 89.4% of the top line) to $10,829 million. Moreover, passenger revenues at UAL inched up 3.3% from the second-quarter 2019 reading.
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