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Delta Air Lines forecasts strong profit, amid travel boom

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Delta Air Lines forecasts a stronger-than expected profit in the fourth quarter as travel demand soars

Delta Air Lines Inc has forecast a stronger-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter. The carrier expects travel demand to remain robust, despite growing risks of an economic recession.

Shares of Delta Air Lines soared more than 5% Thursday morning. The carrier forecast another stronger-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter after a summer travel surge.

The airline said it expects travel demand to stay strong despite growing risks of an economic recession and sharply higher ticket prices.

In an interview with Reuters, CEO Ed Bastian said consumers’ finances were still “quite healthy,” adding: “This demand surge is going … to continue for some time.”

Delta said its third-quarter earnings were impacted by Hurricane Ian, which led to mass flight cancellations last month, but strong travel demand generated the highest quarterly revenue in the company’s history.

Delta airplanes are seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport during the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Queens, New York City, U.S., December 26, 2021. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Loosened health restrictions as well as a strong U.S. dollar have encouraged more Americans to travel overseas. Office re-openings are also boosting corporate travel demand.

Delta said corporate bookings, the industry’s cash cow, have increased. Its international passenger revenue has recovered to 97% of 2019 levels.

But growing risks of an economic recession amid high inflation have sparked worries about travel spending. This has hammered airline shares. It also took the focus away from what is shaping up to be the industry’s best earnings performance in three years.

The Federal Reserve is aggressively raising interest rates to tame inflation. They’re lowering demand and slowing economic growth, putting the industry’s pricing power under threat.

Thursday’s consumer price index report from the Labor Department showed that airline fares rose by nearly 43% in September, the fastest rate on record.

Higher ticket prices led to a 23% jump in Delta’s total revenue in the latest quarter.

Report by Chris Dignam.

Business

Did the Simpsons predict Musk’s Twitter takeover?

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New Twitter boss Elon Musk claims The Simpsons predicted his takeover years ago

Elon Musk has alluded to the fact that The Simpsons predicted his takeover of Twitter in a 2015 episode.

The episode titled “The Musk who fell to Earth” showcases Lisa Simpson feeding birds in a letter box with the label “Home Tweet Home.”

During the episode, Musk flies in on his rocket ship before meeting the Simpsons family.

Before Musk leaves, the show throws to the bird house. Lisa Simpson then says “I guess humanity wants its change one bird house at a time.”

Fans of the series have been quick to jump on its so-called prediction capabilities. They often draw parallels between the episodes and monumental events in history.

Lovers of the show are convinced it predicted Donald Trump’s Presidential run, Disney’s purchase of Fox and the 9/11 attacks.

More recently, they’re certain the show predicted England and America’s 2022 World Cup match in an 1997 episode.

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British lawmakers want to fine social media

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Social media companies could be fined if they don’t remove harmful content, according to a new plan from the UK Government

Lawmakers want to make it illegal to encourage users to harm themselves online.

It’s part of a crackdown on online behaviour on content that leads to self harm.

In a statement, Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan said these firms “can no longer remain silent bystanders”.

She says they’ll face fines for allowing this abusive and destructive behaviour to continue on their platforms.”

It follows the death of Molly Russell in 20-17, which sparked concern for harmful content online.

A coroner ruled social media platforms fed her content that “romanticised acts of self-harm”.

Sexually explicit materials will also be banned under the new policy.

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Twitter adds millions of users after cutting staff

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elon musk twitter

Twitter boss Elon Musk says new user signups to the social media platform are at an “all-time high”.

That’s despite his recent struggles with a mass exodus of advertisers and users fleeing to other platforms.

Musk says signups to Twitter are averaging over two million per day over the past week.

Reported impersonations on the platform spiked earlier this month, before and in wake of the Twitter Blue launch.

Musk says buying Twitter will speed up his ambition to create an “everything app” called X.

Musk’s “Twitter 2.0 The Everything App” will have features like encrypted DMs, longform tweets and payments.

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