Delta Air Lines reports rising traffic and revenue trend; shows no let-up in air-travel demand

ATLANTA – Delta Air Lines Inc. said Monday that passengers flew more and paid higher average prices than a year ago, indicating that there has been no let-up in solid demand for air travel.

Delta said that a key revenue figure rose 3 per cent last month compared with July 2013. The increase in passenger revenue for every seat flown one mile indicated that the airline was able to fill a few more seats and charge higher average fares.

The airline predicted that the revenue figure would rise by between 2 per cent and 4 per cent for the entire July-through-September quarter.

Delta, the third-largest airline operator, said passengers flew 19.97 billion miles last month, up 2.8 per cent from July 2013. Domestic traffic rose 4.7 per cent while international travel increased just 0.3 per cent.

The airline boosted passenger-carrying capacity by 2.2 per cent — that is usually done by adding more flights or using bigger planes. The average flight was 87.5 per cent full, compared with 87.0 per cent a year earlier. Domestic flights accounted for the increase, while international flights had more empty seats because Delta added capacity.

Shares of Atlanta-based Delta fell 51 cents to $37.07 in midday trading. They began the day up 37 per cent in 2014.