Delta Posts Higher Traffic in May

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Leading U.S. passenger carrier Delta Air Lines (DAL) witnessed better traffic in May 2013, due to healthier international activities in Latin America, Atlantic and Pacific regions.

The company’s airline traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs, which implies revenue generated per mile per passenger – increased 1.4% year over year to 16.8 billion. Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) for the month nudged up 0.7% from May 2012 to 19.8 billion.

The load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers improved 70 basis points from the fifth month of 2012 to 84.8%. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (:PRASM) improved 0.5% year over year, supported by higher unit revenue generated in the company’s New York airports. The company registered a completion factor of 99.9%, with nearly 86.2% of its flights on schedule.

For the first five months of 2013, Delta generated RPMs of 75.4 billion (down 0.2% year over year) and ASMs of 91.8 billion (down 1.3% year over year), while load factor was 82.1%, up 90 basis points.

Delta – the second largest airline company in the U.S. after United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) – is well positioned for the coming days owing to its various strategic initiatives such as route launches, renovation of airport terminals, revamping of fleet structures and profitable acquisitions.

Recently, Delta re-launched seasonal nonstop service between Pablo Ruiz Picasso airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, with four weekly flights. The company will execute the operation through The Boeing Company’s (BA) 757-200 aircraft, in association with the partner – Air France KLM.

Delta operates with the likes of Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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