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Airlines May Hit Near Record Revenues in Second Quarter

July 19, 2010 By: George Dooley

Starting with today’s second quarter earnings release by Delta Air Lines and ending on July 29 with Southwest Airlines report, estimates the nine largest U.S. airlines will report an accumulated $1.77 billion in net profits on $31.5 billion in revenues.

This updated estimate is at the high end of the May 18 projection that the nine largest U.S. passenger airlines will end the second quarter with over $1.4 billion in profits and could increase to $1.8 billion if fuel prices remain at or below current levels.

Leading the way in estimated second quarter profit margins is US Airways at 8.17 percent followed by Alaska at 7.8 percent, Southwest at 7.74 percent, Continental at 7.67 percent, Delta at 6.46 percent, United at 6.25 percent, Air Tran at 5.65 percent, JetBlue at 3.04 percent and American Airlines at .03 percent. Average secnd quarter profit margin for all nine airlines is estimated at 5.63 percent, said. ("profit margin" is the ratio of net profits/total operating revenue.)

If AirlineFinancials.Com’s secnd quarter 2010 estimates hold true, excluding 2007, they will be the highest secnd quarter profits in the last 10 years. Further, 2010 industry revenues are estimated to be the second highest in the history of the airlines topped only by 2008. projects all of the airlines noted above will have strong revenue performance for the remainder of 2010. Excluding American and assuming fuel prices remain in the $75-$85 per barrel price range, the airline industry should see significant profits for the current thirdrd quarter.


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