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Delta Reports $1.2 Billion Net Loss for 2009

January 26, 2010 By: George Dooley

Delta Air Lines today reported financial results for the December quarter and full year 2009.  Key points include: a net loss excluding special items for the December 2009 quarter was $225 million. This result is $285 million better than the prior year quarter on a combined basis excluding special items.   Delta's net loss was $25 million for the December 2009 quarter.

Delta's net loss for 2009 was $1.2 billion, including $169 million in special items.  Excluding special items and $1.4 billion of fuel hedge losses, Delta's net profit for 2009 was $291 million. Delta ended 2009 with $5.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity, a $400 million increase year over year. Delta said it continued its successful integration of Northwest Airlines and received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for a single operating certificate at year end.

"2009 was a difficult year by any measure and my thanks go out to the Delta people for their hard work through this challenging time," said Richard Anderson, Delta's CEO.  "As a result of the strategic pieces we put in place in 2009 and the strong momentum of our merger integration, Delta is now positioned to capitalize on the economic recovery under way and expects to generate positive RASM improvements each month of this year."  

In related news Delta said it will invest $1 billion, or about $300 million per year, through mid-2013 to improve the customer experience in the air and on the ground. The capital investment will improve the consistency and level of service provided to Delta's BusinessElite, First Class and elite-level flyers, as well as increasing the efficiency of the airline's fleet. 

Planned enhancements include:
*    Installing full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on 90 trans-oceanic aircraft, including 14 Boeing 767-400ERs, 52 Boeing 767-300ERs, 16 Boeing 747-400s and eight Boeing 777-200ERs. Upon completion, each of these fleets will have full flat bed seats on all aircraft.
*    Adding in-seat audio and video on demand throughout Economy Class on 16 Boeing 747-400 and 52 Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. With these additions, Delta will offer personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all wide-body aircraft.
*    Adding First Class cabins to 66 CRJ-700 aircraft operated by Delta Connection carriers ASA, Comair and SkyWest, bringing to 219 the number of regional aircraft with First Class seating.
*    Completing the modification of 269 pre-merger Northwest aircraft to feature Delta's signature blue leather seats, updated lighting and enhanced cabin amenities such as increased overhead bin space on pre-merger Northwest 757-200s.
*    Installing winglets on more than 170 Boeing 767-300ER, 757-200 and 737-800 aircraft to extend aircraft range and improve fuel efficiency by as much as five percent.
*    Renovating and expanding Delta's Los Angeles Sky Club lounge, and introducing new Sky Club locations in Seattle, Philadelphia and Indianapolis.

"Delta's planned fleet and product investments mark the most significant investment we have made in our customers in more than a decade," said Anderson. "Our premium travelers tell us that the comfort of a flat bed seat with direct aisle access, a first class experience on regional jets and in-flight entertainment are important factors in their choice of carrier."


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