Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) stock settled 2% lower Tuesday to $55.62 per share after the carrier reported its load factor in November compared to last year was off 1.8 points to 84%, as 4% capacity growth outstripped a 1.8% increase in passenger traffic. Domestically, the ratio of filled seats was off 2.8 points.
The Dec. 3 performance update also showed a 4.1% drop in cargo traffic to 158,823 cargo ton miles, continuing a yearlong trend that has seen the key metric for cargo business fall 8.5%.
Meanwhile, Delta and LATAM Airlines said they have agreed on codeshare arrangements for flights operated by LATAM affiliates in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru beginning in the first quarter of 2020. The collaboration, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is the first major step in aligning operations after Delta announced plans in September to take a 20% stake in LATAM. With codesharing, each airline can market flights operated by the other carrier on its own schedule, making it easier for passengers to find and schedule connections and earn miles.
The three new codeshare agreements signed with Delta will offer LATAM customers increased connectivity between 74 onward destinations in the U.S. and Canada and 51 onward destinations for Delta passengers in South America via hubs in New York; Miami and Orlando, Florida; Los Angeles; Lima, Peru; Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia; and Quito, Ecuador.
LATAM said it also plans to establish codeshare agreements between Delta and its subsidiaries in Chile and Brazil next year.
Air cargo experts say the Delta-LATAM joint venture holds excellent potential to increase cargo capabilities and revenue.
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