Mark Lennihan, Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Delta Air Lines said government spending cuts and weak demand from vacationers are hurting revenue this month.
Lower fuel prices should help to offset the decline, the airline said on Tuesday.
Automatic government spending cuts that took effect last month have been cutting into air travel at some airlines. Delta said demand from last-minute travelers — a category that can include people flying on government business — began to fall in the last part of March, and that demand from leisure travelers is softer, too.
Delta said per-seat revenue will fall 2 percent to 3 percent this month.
In response, the airline has been keeping a lid on flying, aiming to charge more for the seats that it does offer to passengers. During the first quarter, it cut flying capacity by 3 percent. It said capacity will be flat to up 1 percent in the second quarter.
The world's second-biggest airline earned $7 million, or a penny per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. Not counting special items, it would have earned $85 million, or 10 cents per share — better than analysts had been expecting. The company reported net income of $124 million in the year-ago quarter, but excluding special items it lost $39 million, or 5 cents per share.
Revenue rose 1 percent to $8.5 billion, matching analyst expectations.
The first three months of the year are often money-losers for airlines. Delta says this was its best first-quarter operating profit in more than a decade.
Yield, which is one way to measure fares, rose 2.1 percent.
Delta's oil refinery near Philadelphia lost $22 million because of ongoing supply disruptions from Superstorm Sandy and an outage in its gasoline production unit.
- The best Christian workplaces in 2015
- Dave Ramsey says: Face the future with a...
- There's a bipartisan new approach to curbing...
- AT&T, as new owner of DirecTV, offers...
- Michelle Singletary: Reading is fundamental...
- Who wins and loses under Obama's stricter...
- What consumers need to know about chip...
- How Facebook plans to change the world with...
- Why the 9 to 5 factory work isn't... 18
- Salt Lake County cities, school... 18
- Who wins and loses under Obama's... 13
- Higher wages a surprising success for... 11
- Contractor fined for employing children... 4
- There's a bipartisan new approach to... 3
- Which Utah city is ranked highest for... 2
- US manufacturing growth slows in July 1