Delta Cargo revenues exceed pre-Covid levels as it looks to expand fleet

By Rachelle Harry

Rob Walpole, VP Delta Cargo

In its Q2 2021 financial results, Delta Air Lines reported cargo revenues exceeding pre-Covid (2019) levels.

From March to June this year, the carrier’s cargo division, Delta Cargo, posted revenues of $251m — a 35% increase on cargo revenues in 2019.

Year to date, the carrier achieved a 23% increase in cargo revenues compared with 2019.

This year has seen demand pick up, in particular to the US, with rates also staying at an elevated level.

Rob Walpole, vice president of Delta Cargo, commented: “Air cargo volumes overall are back to pre-Covid levels, but the capacity available to move those volumes is less than what it was pre-Covid. So there’s an imbalance between supply demand. I think that will continue through next year — certainly through the first half of next year until international passenger services [and bellyhold capacity] get closer to pre-Covid levels.”

With limited international passenger services operating currently, Walpole said Delta Cargo has ramped up its domestic network and added that operating at major US hubs like New York JFK has “improved our connectivity between Asia and Europe, and Latin America, and other Europe in Asia”.

He said: “One of the advantages that we have is, alongside our cargo network with Virgin, Korean and Air France KLM, our main partners, where we’ve been able to and are able to put together more extended network solutions.”

Currently, Delta Cargo operates with 122 widebody aircraft. Earlier this year, it announced plans to order 49 more — a mixture of Airbus A330s and A350s. It also recently accelerated the delivery of two Airbus A350-900s and one A330-900neo — included in the 49 announced — for second half of 2022.

Walpole said Asia is a “prime market” that will be served with its Airbus A350s.

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