Delta Air Lines'
If you think that sounds dire, get a load of this from the CEO of US Airways
If not quite so gloomy as that, Delta's conference call today nonetheless drove home a number of somber points: (1) Debt downgrades have made Delta's cost of borrowing prohibitive; (2) Pricing power belongs to the low-cost carriers; and (3) Delta's main obstacle is that it pays more for pilots than anyone else does.
As for debt, Delta has almost as much as it has revenue. That may not compare favorably with low-cost carrier AirTran
The same can't be said for wages. At 48.9% of revenue, Delta's wage costs are simply over the top. Hardly lean and mean itself, AMR
With so much low-cost competition, and with British tycoon Richard Branson poised to enter the domestic low-cost airline business, it's hard to find a compelling reason to buy Delta. At least not until it is clear it can get wage costs under control.
Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned, but wonders why Delta is an air line when others are airlines.