Today Delta Air Lines (DAL -0.43%) reported its January operating and financial performance, which, despite the winter storms that resulted in nearly 4,000 flight cancellations -- primarily at its Atlanta hub -- showed strong gains relative to last January.
The company's passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) -- which measures the revenue it received from passengers for every mile flown -- rose 5% year over year, and 4.5% after excluding for weather-related impacts. The cancellations boosted the per-seat revenue figure because the money from the remaining passengers was spread over fewer seats. Delta also saw major gains in its revenue passenger miles, which rose by 4.2% in total, including a 7.1% gain internationally, and a 2.1% gain domestically.
Delta saw its load factor -- the percentage of seats filled with paying passengers -- rise by 1.8 percentage points from 79.4% in January 2013 to 81.2% in January of 2014. Like the gains seen in revenue passenger miles, this growth was seen both domestically and internationally. Domestic load factor grew from 78.2% to 80.2% and international load factor rose from 81% to 82.6%. It boarded 11.9 million passengers in January 2014, up 1.7% from a year ago.
The completion factor at Delta fell by 4.2 percentage points from 99.5% to 95.3%, and it also saw its on-time performance drop significantly to 70.2% in January of this year versus 87.4% in January of last year. Lastly the company did see its cargo ton miles dip 3.7% year over year from 175.4 million to 168.8 million.
"Delta's employees are the best in the business, and I want thank them for their hard work and dedication during a major winter weather event," concluded Delta's CEO, Richard Anderson in the press release "Despite the challenges of the weather, especially in Atlanta, Delta people remained committed to taking care of our customers."
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.