Last week’s Airline Weekly included third quarter profit margins from 48 airlines that had reported thus far. Here’s the top 10:
Delta reported a 21% margin (16th), Southwest and American 20% margins (19th and 21st respectively), and United a 19% margin (22nd). A 10% operating margin only placed an airline (Finnair) 34th out of 48 reporting airlines.
Unsurprisingly ultra low cost carriers like Ryanair, Spirit, and Allegiant do exceptionally well.
I remain skeptical of financial reports coming from Chinese companies at a time that the government there is pressuring firms to report profits and drive up share prices to support the nations stock exchanges.
What may be a surprise is that Alaska Airlines not only maintains one of the absolute best on time operations in the world, but also one of the most profitable (4th, with a 29% margin) despite the onslaught of competition from Delta at their Seattle hub.
It seems that the attack on Alaska by Delta has only made Alaska stronger. Sort of like Luke striking down the Emporer in Return of the Jedi. The only question remains is whether or not having done so turned Luke to the Dark Side of the force which we’ll learn with the debut of the new film. And of course whether Delta having attacked Alaska explains their own place on the Dark Side.