Delta’s cargo revenue falls 17% during Q219

In its second quarter results announced yesterday, Delta Air Lines reported that its cargo revenue declined by 17% year-over-year during the second quarter to $186 million. However, the airline’s overall revenue was up 8.7% due to cargo’s small share of Delta’s total business. 

During the company’s earnings call, Delta’s President Glen Hauenstein said that both volumes and yields declined during the quarter “as industry capacity continues to outstrip demand.” Hauenstein added that Delta is implementing strategies to reduce the impact of lower cargo demand on its business, but that the carrier is “very cautious on the cargo outlook for the remainder of the year.” 

Hauenstein later said that the decline is most likely related to tariffs and “geopolitical trade tension” that drove forward stocking last year ahead of tariff implementation. In the near-term, that translates into lower demand for airfreight as cargo shifts to other, slower modes that are lower-cost. Whether airfreight demand will pick up again once inventory levels return to normal remains to be seen. 

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