Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 14, 2020 • 10:00 am ET


Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Ed Bastian

profit share. We could not be happier for our people.

For our customers, we continue to run the world's most reliable airline. We ended the year with 165 cancel-free days across the entire Delta-branded system with 281 zero-cancel days on our mainline operations, representing an entire month's worth of improvement over the record performance that we set in 2018. Recently, Delta was named 2019's Most On-time North American Airline by FlightGlobal for the third year in a row. Exceptional operational performance, along with unmatched customer service is why more people than ever are choosing to fly Delta.

In 2019, we flew 204 million customers, a 6% increase over 2018. And over the last decade, we significantly improved the quality and reliability of Delta's operations. And as a result, our customer satisfaction scores have more than tripled. Domestic Net Promoter Score is now regularly in the 50s, with nearly 5-point improvement over the course of 2019. Delta's continued investment in our operations, product, service, airports, and technology are reshaping customers' perception of our brand.

And our journey to improve continues daily, and we plan to keep climbing by powering our culture of service through technology. Last week, I had the honor of delivering the opening keynote address at the Consumer Electronic Show, where we outlined Delta's vision for the future of travel, unveiling innovative technologies to better serve customers and give our employees the best tools to use in the world.

Delta is leading the industry in every dimension. In five short years, Delta will celebrate its 100th anniversary. It's amazing to think how far we've come but even more exciting to look ahead. 2020 is off to a good start. The U.S. consumer and travel demand remain healthy. Our brand has strong momentum and we have a pipeline of commercial initiatives that support another year of revenue growth in excess of GDP. Consistent with our plan that we outlined at Investor Day last month, we expect to grow 2020 revenue by 4% to 6%. This is on top of the 15% growth that we've delivered over the last two years. Our full-year earnings outlook of $6.75 to $7.75 per share positions Delta for the sixth straight year of pre-tax profit in excess of $5 billion. Free cash flow is also expected to remain strong at $4 billion in 2020. This would bring Delta's three-year cumulative free cash flow to over $10 billion by the end of this year.

By leveraging a solid financial foundation with increasingly diverse revenue streams and building brand momentum, we are demonstrating an unprecedented level of earnings and free cash flow consistency for this industry. This is enabling us to reinvest in our business at a level that others cannot match. This reinvestment is extending our competitive advantages and when combined with a great brand powered by the very best people in the business, we have the engine to drive meaningful long-term value for our customers, our employees, and our owners.

With that, I'd like to