'Our Economic Outlook For The Year Is Strong,' Delta CEO Says After Q1 Print

Delta Air Lines, Inc. DAL reported first-quarter results Wednesday that included a top-and-bottom-line beat, but management's second-quarter EPS guidance range at the midpoint fell short of the consensus estimate.

What Happened

Delta's Q1 report was highlighted by record revenue on the strength of both domestic and international business, CEO Edward Bastian told CNBC in an interview. The revenue growth in Delta's international business uncharacteristically outpaced revenue growth in the domestic business, he said.

Looking forward to the second quarter, bookings remain "strong" and Delta expects the 8-percent revenue growth seen in Q1 to carry over, the CEO said

Why It's Important

Delta's strong quarter came at a time when jet fuel costs were higher by 20 percent. For the time being at least, Delta isn't concerned with the rising fuel costs, as it is able to price the commodity cost in its revenue base, Bastian said. The price of fuel was "bouncing" quite a bit during the quarter and at one point was even lower, which does imply fuel costs for the full year will be a "wildcard," he said. 

What's Next

Delta also saw a growth in business fares for the first time in three years. CNBC's Phil LeBeau said some experts are calling for a peak in business travel or even a slowdown ahead; Delta's Bastian said his airline expects to see continued growth in business fares.

"Our economic outlook for the year is strong, both domestically and internationally," Bastian said. "There is a resiliency we have created in our business structure that we have not seen over time."

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