Despite high fuel costs, Delta Air Lines experiences positive growth

Despite high fuel costs, Delta Air Lines experiences positive growth

Delta Air Lines continues to perform well in the current economy. New industry rankings for 2010 reveal that the company has surpassed American Airlines as the world's top traffic carrier, MarketWatch reports.

The Atlanta-based organization has become the largest carrier of passenger and freight traffic due to its domestic and international flights, as well as Delta's acquisition of Northwest Airlines, according to the news source.

In addition, Delta has announced that its results for May 2011 show a 2.2 percent increase in system traffic over results from the same period last year. This was due in part to a 2.2 percent increase in capacity.

Meanwhile, the airline's domestic traffic rose 1.9 percent as a result of a .4 percent increase in capacity. International flights saw a significantly higher increase in capacity at 5.0 percent, which in turn led to a 2.6 percent rise in traffic.

The demand for air travel is helping Delta, Gamut News reports. However, the airline plans to reduce its capacity by 4 percent following Labor Day. In addition, the company plans to tackle rising fuel costs by charging more for fares. On the whole, domestic flights may see a 3 percent cut in capacity. A 25 percent reduction in departure service is expected at Delta's hub in Memphis, Tennessee, while Atlanta could experience a 12 percent drop in capacity.

Internationally, the news outlet reports that Delta plans to cut capacity in Latin America by 4 percent and 3 percent in the Pacific. Reductions between 7 and 9 percent will also be made to routes involving Air France KLM and Alitalia, the airline's trans-Atlantic joint venture partners.

Delta is looking to enhance the travel experience for international fliers who purchase first class tickets and business class air fares, according to the news source. Transoceanic aircraft are equipped with full flat-bed seats as well as in-seat audio and video in the BusinessElite section. For regional flights, the airline is looking to add first class cabins to its 70 and 76 seat jets.

The company expects its earnings to increase in 2012, the news outlet states, with ancillary revenues projected to reach $1 billion by 2013. Delta officials believe the Northwest merger will generate $2 billion in annual revenue by 2012. 

By Jason Faulkner

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