Delta was the first airline to post Q3 results, and they did not disappoint. Net income was up $173M compared with the same quarter in 2018, to almost $1.5b.
Once again, we find visualizing the year-over-year results the best way to provide full context into how the airline is trending. For Delta, the trend is positive.
Even though the lower fuel prices were a tailwind for Delta, the massive growth in domestic revenues is the story. Undoubtedly, some of these revenues came at the expense of United, American, and Southwest’s grounded 737 Max’s. Delta saw the opportunity to grab market share, and took it. The result is a 7.8% increase in domestic passenger revenues.
Two numbers that warrant watching over the next few quarters are the Pacific passenger revenues, and the cargo revenues. These could be indicators of global economic challenges, or simply blips on the map from any number of variables.
Even with the impressive results, guidance for Q4 was lower, further suggesting growing economic headwinds. Tariffs on Airbus deliveries also weigh on the airline’s outlook.
The remaining U.S. airlines will begin reporting their Q3 results over the coming weeks.