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ATLANTA: April 12, 2017. Delta Air Lines has reported a 36 percent fall in net income to US$603 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, on largely unchanged operating income of US$9.14 billion.

Cargo revenue was US$160 million for the quarter compared to US$162 million in 2016.

Airline operating income was US$1.05 billion, down 32 percent from a year ago with pre-tax down 36 percent at US$915 million - "primarily driven by higher fuel prices" said the airline.

DELTA SEA 2During the quarter Delta invested US$800 million in aircraft, facility upgrades and technology and also completed its offer for an additional 32 percent of Grupo Aeroméxico for US$620 million. Delta now owns just over 36 percent of the outstanding shares of the airline and holds options to acquire an additional 13 percent.

"Producing these results in our toughest quarter of the year shows not only how far we've come, but also that we have more opportunity in front of us to continue building a better airline for our employees, customers, and owners," commented Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Severe weather in Atlanta last week caused the airline to cancel 4,000 flights and the cost of recovery is expected to reduce the airline's next quarter pre-tax income by US$125 million.

"We hold ourselves to a high standard and we apologize to all of our customers who were impacted by last week's events," continued Bastian. "I also want to thank the Delta people for working through some incredibly tough conditions to take care of our customers and reset our operation. They proved again they are the best in the business."

This week the airline and joint venture partner Virgin Australia expanded their trans-Pacific network with the launch of Virgin Australia's direct service between Los Angeles and Melbourne with a B777-300ER five times a week.

Delta and Virgin Australia currently fly twice daily from Los Angeles to Sydney and daily from Los Angeles to Brisbane.

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