Delta expects solid profit in Q2 boosted by new LaGuardia flying

Washington DC
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Delta Air Lines estimates a "solidly profitable" second quarter this year as it seeks to seize upon its expanded operations out of New York LaGuardia.

The carrier, which posted a net loss of $39 million in its first quarter excluding special items, expects an operating margin of 8% to 10% in the June quarter, says Delta president Ed Bastian.

Delta is seeing benefits from a slot swap it finalised with US Airways recently, which saw Delta gaining 132 slot pairs at LaGuardia. The carrier is rolling out new service from the airport in two waves this year and recently broke ground on a project to renovate and expand its facilities at the airport.

By the time it implements its full flight schedule from LaGuardia, it will operate more than 260 daily flights between the airport and more than 60 destinations.

Bastian says LaGuardia has shown the largest margin of improvement for any of Delta's hubs since the additional flights were rolled out. With the second wave of flights to be launched in July, Delta's executives expect that performance at LaGuardia will continue to improve.