The stock price of Delta Airlines Inc. (DAL) remained mostly indifferent to the news that the carrier is expanding its operations from some of the west coast markets. The Atlanta-based carrier announced that it will launch a non-stop daily service from Seattle to San Francisco and expand its flight counts from Las Vegas and Los Angeles to the eastern coastal city.
Delta will launch six new non-stop flights between San Francisco and Seattle on Mar 29, 2014, and increase it to seven on Jun 5, 2014. Meanwhile, the premier passenger carrier will add two non-stop daily flights between Seattle and Las Vegas and Los Angeles, which will later increase to five and seven daily flights.
Delta has strengthened its position in Seattle, adding several international routes, which include some of the busiest destinations in the world like Amsterdam, Beijing, Paris and is waiting to get the green light to launch a service to London and Seoul. The new flights will allow passengers in the West Coast to avail these international flights.
Delta’s partner carrier Compass Airlines will use two Embraer SA (ERJ) E-175 aircraft to provide service between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Meanwhile, SkyWest Inc. (SKYW), another affiliate of Delta, will use CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 to operate between Seattle and Las Vegas.
Delta’s archrival United Airlines – the wholly owned subsidiary of United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) – also continues to enhance its operations in the domestic market. The company has added non-stop flights from Chicago to Elmira, State College and Topeka in addition to launching a new service between Indianapolis to San Francisco.
Delta’s operating performance for the month of September has been quite impressive on solid growth in its international market. Domestically, however, the company registered a modest growth.
We believe that enhancing its presence within the country will allow the company to improve its domestic figures. At the same time it will also bolster its international performance by providing connecting flights from the West Coast destinations, which are three of its most popular hubs proving services to the east.
Delta currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).