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Delta's Traffic Rises But Load Factor Falls in February

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Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL - Free Report) reported traffic figures for February 2019. Consolidated traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), came in at 15.11 billion, up 2.9% year over year.

Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) climbed 3.4% to 18.65 billion on a year-over-year basis. Consolidated load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers contracted 40 basis points (bps) to 81.1% due to capacity expansion exceeding traffic growth.

Additionally, the carrier recorded an on-time performance (mainline) of 81.6% and a completion factor (mainline) of 99.9%. Approximately, 13.32 million passengers boarded Delta in the month.

In the first two months of 2019, the company generated consolidated RPMs of 31.68 billion (up 4.4% year over year) and ASMs of 39.43 billion (up 4.7% year over year). Load factor in the period was 80.3% compared with 80.6% at the end of the same time frame a year ago.

Delta’s employee-friendly measures are encouraging. In February, the carrier paid $1.3 billion to its employees through profit sharing. This marks the company’s second largest profit-sharing pool. Last year too, the carrier shelled out $1.3 billion to its employees through profit-sharing.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Delta carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Azul (AZUL - Free Report) , Air China Ltd. (AIRYY - Free Report) and SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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