Delta Air Lines said it is expecting a strong 2024 as it released its financial results for the December quarter and full year 2023.

“2023 was a great year for Delta with industry-leading operational and financial performance. Our people and their commitment to deliver unmatched service excellence for our customers is at the foundation of Delta’s success. We are thrilled to recognise their outstanding work with $1.4 billion in profit sharing payments next month,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.

“In 2024, demand for air travel remains strong and our customer base is in a healthy financial position with travel a top priority. We expect to grow full year earnings to $6 to $7 per share and generate free cash flow of $3 to $4 billion, further strengthening our financial foundation.”

Full Year 2023 Adjusted Financial Results

  • Operating revenue of $54.7 billion, 20 percent higher than the full year 2022
    Operating income of $6.3 billion with an operating margin of 11.6 percent
    Pre-tax income of $5.2 billion with a pre-tax margin of 9.5 percent
    Earnings per share of $6.25
    Operating cash flow of $7.2 billion
    Free cash flow of $2.0 billion
    Adjusted debt to EBITDAR of 3.0x, down from 5.0x at the end of 2022
    Return on invested capital of 13.4 percent, up 5 points over 2022

“With industry-leading operational performance and best-in-class service delivered by our people, more customers than ever are choosing Delta. In 2023 we delivered a record $54.7 billion in revenue, 20 percent higher than 2022. Premium and non-ticket revenue has reached 55 percent of total revenue, supporting Delta’s differentiated financial results from the industry,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president.

“With strong demand for international travel and a positive inflection in the domestic environment, we expect March quarter adjusted revenue to be 3 to 6 percent higher than the prior year.”

“With our outlook for continued revenue growth, we expect March quarter unit revenues to be flat to down 3 percent over 2023,” Hauenstein said.

“The midpoint of this outlook implies a two-point sequential improvement in unit revenues on a year-over-year basis. The March quarter includes a headwind from higher international mix, the normalization of travel credit utilization and lapping a competitor’s operational challenges in the year ago period.”

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