Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) on Thursday posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings and said it would ramp up hiring across all categories to meet its recent increase in demand.
For the three months ended September, the airline said it earned USD 2.32 per share, beating Wall Street’s call for USD 2.26 per share. A year ago, the Company posted earnings per share of USD 1.80.
Revenue grew 6.5% to USD 12.56 Billion during the period, short of the average estimate of USD 12.601. Revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric, rose 1.1%.
“Our powerful brand and competitive strengths drove another quarter of great results for our people, customers and owners,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our people bring our brand to life on every flight and I’m pleased to recognize their outstanding efforts with over USD 1 Billion in profit sharing accrued so far this year.”
For its December quarter, Delta is forecasting earnings in the range of USD 1.20 to USD 1.50 per share, and expects revenues to grow by more than 5% from the prior year period.
Delta, who doesn’t fly the grounded Boeing 737 Max, said it has picked up passengers from competing carriers like Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) and American Airlines Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL), weakened by the plane’s grounding. Ed Bastain said Delta’s pilots are continuing to work overtime to pick up additional flights.
Mr. Bastain added that the Company will be expanding its workforce this year and next by 12,000 as the airline expands its operations. Current Delta flight attendants and member of the ground crew also received a 4% wage increase on October 1.