Delta Air Lines records double-digit drop in cargo revenues

By Damian Brett

Delta Air Lines saw cargo revenues drop for the second quarter in a row on the back of traffic declines.

The Atlanta-headquartered airline registered a 17% year-on-year decline in second-quarter cargo revenues to $186m.

Revenues were also down in the first quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, cargo traffic for the Q2 period was 12.2% behind a year ago at 497m cargo ton miles.

The performance is a reflection of a wider deterioration in the air cargo market, although Delta’s cargo traffic figures appear to lag behind some of its rivals.

According to IATA figures, North American airlines have recorded an increase in cargo volumes of 0.3% during the first five months of the year.

The overall air cargo market is down by 3.3% over the first five months against a year ago.

In a recent interview with Air Cargo News, Delta Cargo vice president Shawn Cole said the company was concentrating on its customer offering.

“Consistency is important to us at Delta Cargo, being reliable, thoughtful and innovative,” he said. “You have to be that way because I learned a long time ago that things are cyclical and 2017 and 2018 were solid years in the cycle for cargo.

“What the market is seeing now – and it started in the fourth quarter of 2018 – is that the market is softening, across the globe. It is every continent, every economy and there are trade discussions and tensions that are having an impact on global trade.

“We started three years ago to focus in on the culture, then operational reliability, then product offering. We have to keep on doing what we are doing and not go from guard rail to guard rail depending on the market.

“You have to talk to your customers who want their partners to be reliable, thoughtful and innovative – the market will rebound.”

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