Delta Air Lines reports first-quarter pre-tax loss of US$2.9 billion

Delta Air Lines ©AirTeamImages

Delta Air Lines has reported financial results for the first quarter 2021, posting AN adjusted pre-tax loss of US$2.9 billion excluding US$1.2 billion of benefit related to the first payroll support program extension (PSP2), which is partially offset among other items, by the debt extinguishment charges incurred when pre-paying its US$1.5 billion slots, gates and routes term loan

Delta reported adjusted operating revenue of US$3.6 billion a decline of 65% on 55% lower sellable capacity versus the first quarter of 2019. Total operating expense, which includes the US$1.2 billion benefit related to PSP2, decreased US$3.9 billion over the first quarter of 2019.  Adjusted for the benefit related to PSP2 and third-party refinery sales, total operating expense decreased US$3.1 billion or 33% in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2019, driven by capacity- and revenue-related expense reductions, lower salaries and related costs and strong cost management across the business

During the first quarter, cash burn averaged US$11 million per day and turned positive in the month of March with cash generation of US$4 million per day. At the end of the first quarter, the company had US$16.6 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities.  The company had total debt and finance lease obligations of US$29.0 billion with adjusted net debt of US$19.1 billion, which was higher than prior guidance as a result of aircraft financing decisions.

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