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Four U.S. Airlines Raise Revenue Forecasts as Demand Resumes

The airline industry is gradually turning optimistic about its performance in the coming months, as Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU) have raised outlook for the current quarter metrics, citing travel recovery as the reason.

Delta Air Lines

Delta projects adjusted revenue for Q1 to be nearly 78% of the pre-pandemic levels, compared to 72-76% guided previously. The company said that the business has been picking pace following Omicron’s peak in January.

United Airlines

Further, United Airlines said that the system bookings for future travel have risen 40 points since the first week of 2022, while business traffic has increased over 30 points since January.

The company projects its Q1 operating revenue to be near the better end of previous guidance of down between 20% and 25% versus Q1 2019. Also, it expects to deliver positive adjusted pre-tax income based on the strong revenue environment and Q2 average fuel price of about $3.50 per gallon.

However, due to rising fuel prices and expected aircraft delivery delays, United Airlines has cut expectations of its total capacity plan in 2022 to be down in the high-single digits versus 2019.

Southwest Airlines

The airline expects Q1 operating revenue to benefit from stronger-than-anticipated bookings and passenger fields, along with the robust performance of its loyalty program.

It anticipates March 2022 managed business revenues to improve sequentially to down about 40% versus March 2019. Further, Southwest expects Q1 net loss to be lower due to improving revenue trends and estimated fuel hedging gains.  

JetBlue Airways

The company said that a strong demand environment is expected to support its Q1 revenue in outperforming the original guidance range. The company now expects revenue to fall between 6% and 9% during the quarter against a decline of 11% to 16% guided previously.

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