Delta Air Lines’ profit slipped in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, but the US carrier still delivered an operating margin of almost 15% for the three months ending 30 June.

The Atlanta-based airline’s profit declined 29% year on year to $1.3 billion, while its operating profit (which excludes interest, debt and tax adjustments) slipped 9% in one year to $2.3 billion.

Delta Airbus A321

Source: Delta Air Lines

Delta posted an operating margin of 14.7% in the second quarter

Delta’s operating revenue increased 7% year on year to $16.7 billion.

While its earnings aligned with market expectations, Delta’s revenue fell slightly short of analysts’ estimates, prompting a fall in its share price in early trading.

Delta president Glen Hauenstein says: ”Peak summer travel demand remains strong and Delta is delivering elevated experiences for our customers. Consistent with our guidance, we generated record June quarter revenue… Diverse revenue streams, including premium and loyalty, contributed higher growth and margins.

“As our international network and core hubs approach full restoration and we return to a normal cadence of retiring aircraft, Delta’s capacity growth is decelerating into the second half,” he adds ”We expect September quarter capacity growth of 5 to 6 percent and revenue growth of 2 to 4 percent, with sequential improvement in unit revenue trends through the quarter.”

The airline, which is the first US carrier to report financials for the June quarter, anticipates turning a $1.5 billion third-quarter operating profit, with an 11-13% operating margin.

Delta chief executive Ed Bastian says: ”With strong first-half results and visibility into the second half, we remain confident in our full-year guidance.”