Delta Airlines has posted a $652 million net income in Q2 2021, its first quarterly profit since the global COVID-19 pandemic began, the carrier says it now expects to stay in the black for the rest of the fiscal year.
The airline attributes the profit to billions of dollars in government aid for U.S. airline workers’ salaries, a vaccination-led travel rebound, as well as a strong rise in quarterly revenues, which topped analyst estimates.
Delta’s second-quarter adjusted operating revenue fell 49% from 2019 to $6.35 billion, a marked improvement from the 60.4% slump in the first quarter and above analysts’ average estimate of $6.22 billion.
Excluding items such as government payroll support, the company lost $1.07 per share in the second quarter.
The airline further says domestic leisure travel has fully recovered to 2019 levels, with passenger traffic reaching its highest levels since March 2020. However, one segment that remains weak is international travel as the United States continues to restrict entry to many travellers, including from Europe, one of Delta’s biggest markets.