Airlines Report Third Quarter Figures to Europe

With Hurricane Sandy striking on Monday, airlines canceled thousands of flights. By week's end, all three New York airports had reopened, although LaGuardia (which receives no trans-Atlantic flights) did not reopen until early Thursday. Logan, Philadelphia and Dulles also saw virtually all flights canceled for at least a day, according the Trans-Atlantic Report.

Flight cancelations, of course, were the least of the problems that Sandy brought to the metro area and neighboring states: The economic cost is being estimated at as much as $50 billion.

The Airlines


Delta reported a $1 billion profit for the third quarter on revenues of $9.9 billion (+1.0 percent). A year ago, the third quarter profit was $549 million. Restructuring costs were down from last year while other special items, including fuel hedges, resulted in big gains. Atlantic passenger revenue was down 2 percent to $1.8 billion. 

United reported a profit of only $6 million on revenue of $9.9 billion (-2.6 percent). A year ago, third quarter profit was $653 million. The big difference was a new agreement with the pilots union that will require $454 million in lump payments and added pension contributions. Atlantic passenger revenue was down 8 percent to $1.6 billion. 

Earlier in the month, American reported a third quarter loss of $238 million; an operating surplus was overwhelmed by special charges for severance payouts and other bankruptcy restructuring costs.

Lufthansa reported a third quarter profit of €645 million, up 29.5 percent from last year, on revenue of €8.31 billion (+6.2 percent). The strong results put the Lufthansa Group into the black for the year by €474 million. Lufthansa will assign its fourth new Boeing 747-8 to the Los Angeles–Frankfurt route beginning Dec. 10. The aircraft, a new, extended 388-seat version of the 747 is Boeing’s answer to the 526-seat Airbus A380 jumbo. Lufthansa flies A380s from New York, Miami, Houston and San Francisco to Frankfurt. Lufthansa shares revenues on its U.S. routes with United.

New Routes

Air France will open daily service from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Charles de Gaulle on May 21 and operate it through Sept. 1. AIr France/KLM share revenues on their U.S. routes with Delta, for which Minneapolis-St. Paul is a hub.

Delta said it would resume daily flights from JFK to Athens next May 17, following seasonal winter suspension. No non-stop service is scheduled between the two cities before then.

American will begin new service from Chicago O’Hare to Düsseldorf on April 11 and from JFK to Dublin on June 12, both to be operated in partnership with British Airways/Iberia.

Overall Trends


Here is some basic data on U.S. travel to three countries in the first six months of 2012:

  • Britain: Overnights, +11.0 percent to 11,487,000/ Visitors, +8.5 percent to 1,397,000. (Note: VisitBritain has since reported that U.S. visits to Britain fell during the Olympics)
  • Germany: Overnights, +3.0 percent to 2,238,983 (in establishments offering more than 10 beds).
  • Portugal: Overnights, +5.2 percent to 292,475/ Visitors, +7.5 percent to 135,012 (hotels)