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Delta growth to slow further in first quarter as shutdown weighs



Jan 15 (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc on Tuesday forecast and further decline in revenue growth per mile flow in the first quarter, hit by a partial government shutdown and worries about whether airlines can raise fares in an uncertain global economy.

Shares fell 2 percent to $ 46.80 before the bell.

Delta, the second largest US airline, reported quarterly revenue in line with analysts' estimates and profits that matched the Wall Street consensus by 3 cents per share.

But Delta forecast that year-on-year growth in unit revenue, which compares sales to flight capacity, would be hurt in the current quarter by the timing of Easter, increasing foreign exchange headwinds, and the ongoing US government shutdown, which entered its 25th day.

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9. Hawaiian Airlines

Previous rank : 8

Why it's here : Hawaiian finished last on the TPG list. The Honolulu-based airline's premium ticket prices and Hawaii-centric route network fall victim to TPG new metrics which increased focus on airfare and network size.

8. JetBlue

Previous rank : 4

Why it's here : JetBlue suffered the most significant drop in this year's rankings. The New York-based airline struggle with on-time arrivals, baggage and change fees as well as customer satisfaction. JetBlue's position as a boutique carrier hurts the rankings with respect to the size of its route network as well as the lavishness of its frequent flyer program.

7. Spirit Airlines

Previous rank : 10

Why it's here : Spirit jumped three spots in the rankings due to its improvement in areas such as the number of lost luggage while also benefiting from the missteps of its rivals and the merger of Alaska and Virgin America

(Getty)

6. American

Previous rank : 5

Why it's here : American Airlines didn't make many moves apart from the Virgin / Alaska merger. The airline struggle with on-time arrivals, fees, lost luggage, and customer satisfaction.

(Getty)

5. Frontier Airlines

Previous rank : 9

Why it's here : Frontier Airlines made a surprising jump up the rankings. The ultra-low cost carrier benefited from its route expansion and its improvement in baggage handling.

4. United Airlines

Previous rank : 2

Why it's here : United Airlines rocky 2017 caused it to fall two spots, but not for the reasons you'd expect. United saw market improvement in operational effectiveness with the number of customer complaints down 17% while also decreasing the number of people involuntarily bumped from flights. However, the airline couldn't keep up with its rivals in areas such as airfare and the quality of its airport lounges.

Delta Air Lines

Previous rank : 7

Why it's here : Delta made big strides in airfare, the involuntary bumps, and its frequent flyer program while maintaining its high rankings in on-time performance, lost baggage, and the size of its route network.

2. Southwest Airlines

Previous rank : 6

Why it's here : Southwest improved four spots over the past year thanks to lower airfare and the expansion of its sizable route network. The airline's stellar customer satisfaction score and its free checked baggage policy also helped.

1. Alaska Airlines

Previous rank : 1

Why it's here : Alaska Airlines maintained its top spot in the top three in several key criteria including airfare, on-time arrivals, customer satisfaction, luggage action, and its frequent flyer program. HIDE CAPTION

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Speaking on CNBC, Delta Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said the partial shutdown will cost $ 25 million in lost revenue in January because few government contractors are traveling.

And with some 800,000 government employees, furloughed or working without pay, US airlines are not able to launch new routes or place newly delivered airplanes into service because they need certification from federal officials.

In a note to investors, cowen and co analyst Helane Becker said corporate travel will also be affected by the shutdown and replaced with lower-yielding leisure travel.

Delta also forecast first-quarter earnings between 70 cents and 90 cents per share, below analysts' estimate or 94 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitive.

Both Delta and larger rival American Airlines Inc. estimates estimates earlier this month for fourth-quarter revenue per available seat, raising concerns that an economic deceleration was hurting business travel. The forecasts send their shares sharply lower

RELATED: best airlines in the world

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20. Hong Kong Airlines

Previous rank : 24

Why it's awesome : Hong Kong Airlines has been on an impressive growth streak over the past couple of years. Not only has it rapidly expanded its global network, the carrier has also worked to improve service and product. Hong Kong Airlines is a subsidiary of China's HNA Group

See additional airline information at Skytrax

(Photo by Andrew Chin / Getty Images)

19. KLM

Previous rank : 22

Why it's awesome : Royal Dutch KLM is considered the oldest continuously operating airline in the world. Based out of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, KLM is famous for its bright blue livery and Dutch house liquor bottle figurines. The airline is one half of the Franco-Dutch conglomerate Air France-KLM

KLM also took home the prize for Best Business Class Seat in Europe

See additional airline information at Skytrax. [19659020] (REUTERS / Regis Duvignau)

18. Turkish Airlines

Previous rank : 12

Why it's awesome : Turkish Airlines is the flag carrier of Turkey and has its main hub at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. The airline, with its ability to fly to over 100 countries and over 200 cities worldwide, hopes to turn its home base into a global transit hub.

Even though political unrest and security concerns have made life more complicated for Turkish Airlines, the carrier's high quality service, and product offerings remain unchanged.

Turkish is a member of Star Alliance and won the Skytrax award for Best Airline in Europe six years in a row before release the title to Lufthansa last year.

(Photo by Vladimir Shtanko / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

17. Air New Zealand

Previous rank : 19

Why it's awesome : In 2018, Air New Zealand reclaimed the titles of World's Best Premium Economy Class and World's Best Premium Economy Seat from Aussie rival Qantas, the Kiwi carrier remains one of the industry's finest long-haul carriers.

In economy class, families can opt for the airlines innovative Skycouch that transforms into a bank of three economy seats into a flat activity area.

See additional airline information at Skytrax

(Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)

16. Austrian Airlines

Previous rank : 17

Why it's awesome : Austrian Airlines has a series of labor disputes in recent years, with its high level of service intact. In 2018, the Lufthansa-owned carrier, once again, took home the prize for Best Airline Staff Service in Europe. The Austrian flag carrier boasts a newly renovated long-haul Boeing 767-300ER and 777-200 jets flying out of its base in Vienna.

Economy fliers gave the Star Alliance member high marks for its efficient and effective service, as

(REUTERS / Heinz-Peter Bader)

(REUTERS / Heinz-Peter Bader). Etihad Airways

Previous rank : 8

Why it's awesome : Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, with its Airbus and Boeing fleet traveling to about 100 destination. The airline has become famous for its trademark Residence flying apartments as well as its first-class and class-class suites.

(Natalie Naccache / Bloomberg via Getty Images]

14. China Southern Airways

Previous rank : 23

Why it's awesome : Even though Air China and China may get more attention, China Southern is the largest airline in the Middle Kingdom.

The Guangzhou-based airline also won the award for Most Improved Airline, Best First Class in China, and Best First Class Lounge in China

See additional airline information at Skytrax. Japan Airlines

Previous rank : 16

Why it's awesome : Japan's flag carrier is one of the most respected airlines in the world. Reviewers on Skytrax praised Japan's second-largest airline for its attentive service, well-coordinated ground staff, and comfortable cabin.

For 2018, Japan once again won the award for Best Economy Class Airline Seat.

See additional airline information at Skytrax

(Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA / AFP / Getty Images)

12. Swiss International Air Lines

Previous rank : 14

Why it's awesome : Swiss International Air Lines emerged in 2002 from the now defunct Swissair and is now a member of the Lufthansa corporate family. In 2016, the Basel-based carrier became the first in the world to operate the next generation Bombardier C-Series airliner.

Though some fliers found economy seat comfort to be varnished, most recently the cabin crew for its friendly service and the Airline for its wide assortment of complimentary adult beverages

Plus, the complimentary Swiss chocolate is always a favorite

See additional airline information at Skytrax.

(REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann)

eleventh Qantas

Previous rank : 15

Why it's awesome : Even with strong competition from Virgin Australia, Qantas has been resurgent over the past couple of years. The airline received praise for its strong customer service and in-flight entertainment. And then there's Qantas' calling card – it has a fatality-free safety record in the jet era.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.

(Photo by James D. Morgan / Getty Images )

10th Thai Airways

Previous rank : 11

Why it's awesome : Thai Airways has long been an industry leader for quality service, so it's surprising to find the Thai national carrier high up on the list. Though its most sophisticated products are its business and first-class services, fliers found its economy seats to high quality as well.

Economy fliers on skytrax also noted the crew's friendly demeanor and delectable dining options. , Thai Airways once again took home the award for the World's Best Economy Class, the World's Best Economy Class Onboard Catering, and the World's Best Airline Spa Facilities.

See additional airline information at Skytrax. [19659020] (Photo by CV Grinsven / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

9. Garuda Indonesia

Previous rank : 10

Why it's awesome : Garuda Indonesia has experienced a dramatic turnaround in recent years. The Indonesia flag carrier has undertaken extensive fleet renewal and service improvement measures for the trust of both fliers and safety regulators

Economy fliers have raved about the airline's comfortable seats and selection of Southeast Asian cuisine.

In 2018, Garuda's flight attendants took home the award for the World's Best Cabin Crew for the third year in a row

See additional airline information at Skytrax.

] 8 thereof. Hainan Airlines

Previous rank : 9

Why it's awesome : Founded in 1993, Hainan is the only Chinese airline to hold the coveted Skytrax five-star rating. In four short years, the airline surged from 22nd place all the way into the top 10. With a brand-new fleet of more than 160 Boeing and Airbus jets, Hainan is expanding rapidly throughout Asia, Europe, and Australia.

Reviewers on Skytrax praised the airline for its attentive service and quality business class accommodations.

Hainan also won the award for Best Airline in China and Best Airline Cabin Crew in China

See additional airline information at Skytrax.

(Reuters / Stringer)

7th Lufthansa

Previous rank : 7

Why it's awesome : Europe's largest airline has surged into the top 10 over the past couple of years. Customers have praised Lufthansa for its exceptional service and overall product quality. For the most part, Lufthansa's long-haul service is good, but for the best results, it would be wise to aim for the fleet's newer A380 superjumbos and 748 -8 Intercontinental jumbo jets

In addition to a top-10 finish, the German national airline also took home the prize for Best Airline in Europe and Best Business Class in Europe.

See additional airline information at Skytrax

(REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach)

6. Cathay Pacific Airways

Previous rank : 5

Why it's awesome : Although Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong, fell back one spot from last year, the airline still retains its place as one of the most respected carriers from the Pacific rim. With a fleet of long-range Boeing 777-300ER jets and a business strategy centered on offering high frequency flights, Cathay is one of the finest flying experiences in Asia.

Skytrax reviewers gave the airline high marks for seat comfort, Service quality, and in-flight entertainment.

See additional airline information at Skytrax

(Justin Chin / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

5. EVA Air

Previous rank : 6

Why it's awesome : Taiwan's EVA Air (pronounced ee-vee-ay) was founded in 1989 and is an offshoot or global container-shipping giant Evergreen Group. The Taipei-based carrier has grown immensely in the past two decades and now operates on large fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body jets. The airline is credited with pioneering the "premium economy" cabin

See additional airline information at Skytrax

(Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

4 . Emirates

Previous rank : 4

Why it's awesome : Over the past 30 years, Dubai's Emirates has developed into one of the world's premier long-haul carriers. Operating almost exclusively through its palatial hub at Dubai International Airport, the carrier's largest fleet of airbus A380 superjumbos and Boeing 777 wide-body jets.

Emirates state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system includes a wide selection of video and music options on demand, and even for live television and sporting events on its "ice" entertainment system-equipped aircraft. In fact, Emirates has taken home Skytrax's award for Best In-Flight Entertainment 14 years running

See additional airline information at Skytrax.

(Natalie Naccache / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

third All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Previous rank : 3

Why it's awesome : All Nippon Airways continues its march towards the top of the rankings. ANA is the largest international carrier in Japan and home to one of the world's largest fleets of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. ANA drew high praise from Skytrax reviewers across the board for cleanliness, service, and safety. Many of its planes feature slide-forward-style reclining seats that increase overall privacy, as well as power and USB outlets just in economy.

ANA also won Best Airline Staff in Asia and Best Cabin Crew in Japan. See additional airline information at Skytrax

(Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

2. Qatar Airways

Previous rank : 1

Why it's awesome : Qatar Airways falls back one spot to second

The Doha-based airline received praise from reviewers for its seat comfort and flight entertainment. In fact, the airline boasts the second best in-flight entertainment system and economy class offering in the world The airline links over 150 destinations across the globe and is expanding its fleet to include the latest generation of long-haul airliners including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350

Qatar also took home the award for Best Airline in the Middle East, World's Best Business Class, and Best First Class Airline Lounge.

See additional airline information at Skytrax. 19659020] (Photo by Marina Lystseva TASS via Getty Images)

1. Singapore Airlines

Previous rank : 2

Why it's awesome : Singapore's standout service makes for a pleasant journey during which flight attendants are trained to treat customers with extreme care and respect. Personal TVs with plenty of entertainment options and hot towels served before take-off are just some of the economy perks.

The airline's home base at Changi International Airport is one of the finest facilities in the world and has been named by Skytrax as the best airport in the world five years in a row

The airline also took home the awards for Best Airline in Asia, World's Best First Class, and World's Best First Class Airline Seat.

See additional airline information at Skytrax

(Nicky Loh / Bloomberg via Getty Images) HIDE CAPTION

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Delta said on Tuesday that unit revenue will be in a range between flat to up 2 percent in the first quarter, compared with 3.2 percent growth in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

On an adjusted basis, the airline earned $ 1.30 per share for the fourth quarter, above the $ 1.27 per share expected by analysts.

Total operating revenue rose 5 percent to $ 10.74 billion, in line with the Wall Street estimate.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by James Emmanuel and Jeffrey Benkoe)


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