Delta Air Lines’ (DAL) Q3 2017 Earnings Call

Ed Bastian – CEO

Recovered quickly from hurricane irma

“We generates 6% topline growth, a 16% operating margin and $1.6 billion of operating cash flow while facing pressure from rising fuel prices and $120 million headwind from Hurricane Irma. We rebounded quickly from Irma and were the first airline to resume service in most of the key airports in Florida”

Glen Hauenstein – President

Businesses expected to increase corporate travel

“Based on advance bookings, leisure yield, and demand strength continues and we are seeing further improvements in business fares. Indeed our last survey of corporate travel managers showed more than 85% project their spend will be maintained or increased in the fourth quarter and into 2018. This is a 9 point improvement from last year’s numbers and the best fourth quarter result since our survey debuted in 2011. It is also consistent with the trend we’ve seen in our corporate contracted revenues where fares and volumes have recently been in positive territory concurrently for the first time in three years”.

Business and leisure travel outlook

“I think the transatlantic has been on the strength of business demand and really that plays to our strong suit, given our concentration in the business centers in Europe. Leisure has been a different story. It’s been more about incremental traffic and lower yields and I think that will continue through the fall and winter….Europe is coming out of a multi-year recession. US economy is strong and people are traveling for business, which plays to the strength of carrier that’s embracing the business model as opposed to the leisure model.”