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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.

Shares of Azul and Air China have rallied more than 79% and 19%, respectively, in the past six months. Meanwhile, the SkyWest stock flaunts an excellent earnings history, having outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the previous four reported quarters, the average being 16.9%.

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