Delta expects strong Q1

Washington DC
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Delta Air Lines expects its best first quarter in more than a decade this year, with an operating margin of 2.5% to 3.5%.

The SkyTeam alliance member will deliver its best March quarter since 2000, the airline's president Ed Bastian says at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Defense Conference in New York today.

Bastian, who provided updated guidance for the first quarter, says that unit revenues are expected to grow 4.5% to 5.5% year-on-year and consolidated unit costs excluding fuel to grow 6% to 7%.

Systemwide capacity is expected to be down 2% to 3%. Fuel prices including taxes and hedges are forecasted to come in at between $3.23 and $3.28 per gallon.