Delta Air Lines today reported financial results for the September quarter 2021 and provided its outlook for the December quarter 2021. Highlights of the September quarter 2021 results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are on page six of the full press release.
"Our September quarter marked an important milestone in our recovery, with our first quarterly profit since the start of the pandemic," CEO Ed Bastian said. "Our revenues reached two-thirds of 2019 levels thanks to the industry-leading operational performance our people delivered through a busy summer, once again showing why they are the best in the business."
"While demand continues to improve, the recent rise in fuel prices will pressure our ability to remain profitable for the December quarter. As the recovery progresses, I am confident in our path to sustained profitability as we continue to provide best-in-class service to our customers, strengthen preference for our brand, while creating a simpler, more efficient airline."
SEPTEMBER QUARTER FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS
- Adjusted pre-tax income of $216 million excludes a $1.3 billion net benefit related to the second payroll support program extension (PSP3) partially offset by debt extinguishment charges and mark-to-market adjustments on our investments
- Adjusted operating revenue of $8.3 billion, which excludes refinery sales, was 66 percent recovered versus September quarter 2019 on capacity that was 71 percent restored. Sequentially versus the June quarter 2021, adjusted operating revenue improved by $1.9 billion, or 30 percent, on an 11 percent increase in capacity
- Total operating expense, which includes the remaining $1.8 billion of benefit related to PSP3, decreased $3.5 billion compared to the September quarter 2019. Adjusted for the benefit related to PSP3 and costs from third-party refinery sales, total operating expense decreased $2.6 billion or 25 percent in the September quarter 2021 versus the comparable 2019 period
- Remuneration from American Express in the quarter was just over $1 billion, up 1 percent compared to September quarter 2019
- Generated $151 million of operating cash flow and invested $619 million back in the business
- At the end of the September quarter, the company had $15.8 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities
- Led the industry on key operating metrics, including a record combined completion factor of 99.72 in August for both mainline and Delta Connection. These operating results and other enhancements to the customer experience supported domestic net promoter scores above September quarter 2019 levels
Forward Looking Statements
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements regarding our estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments or strategies for the future, should be considered “forward-looking statements” under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not guarantees or promised outcomes and should not be construed as such. All forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments and strategies reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the material adverse effect that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our business; the impact of incurring significant debt in response to the pandemic; failure to comply with the financial and other covenants in our financing agreements; the possible effects of accidents involving our aircraft or aircraft of our airline partners; breaches or lapses in the security of technology systems on which we rely; disruptions in our information technology infrastructure; our dependence on technology in our operations; our commercial relationships with airlines in other parts of the world and the investments we have in certain of those airlines; the effects of a significant disruption in the operations or performance of third parties on which we rely; failure to realize the full value of intangible or long-lived assets; labor issues; the effects of weather, natural disasters and seasonality on our business; the cost of aircraft fuel; the availability of aircraft fuel; failure or inability of insurance to cover a significant liability at Monroe’s Trainer refinery; failure to comply with existing and future environmental regulations to which Monroe’s refinery operations are subject, including costs related to compliance with renewable fuel standard regulations; our ability to retain senior management and other key employees, and to maintain our company culture; significant damage to our reputation and brand, including from exposure to significant adverse publicity; the effects of terrorist attacks, geopolitical conflict or security events; competitive conditions in the airline industry; extended interruptions or disruptions in service at major airports at which we operate or significant problems associated with types of aircraft or engines we operate; the effects of extensive government regulation we are subject to; the impact of environmental regulation, including increased regulation to reduce emissions and other risks associated with climate change, on our business; and unfavorable economic or political conditions in the markets in which we operate or volatility in currency exchange rates.
Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties that could cause differences between actual results and forward-looking statements is contained in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and our Quarterly Report for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2021. Caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which represent our views only as of the date of this press release, and which we undertake no obligation to update except to the extent required by law.