NEW YORK (AP) -- The president of Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday that the company expects strong second-quarter financial results on stable travel demand and slightly lower jet fuel prices than last spring.
Delta shares rose 64 cents, or 3.5 percent, to close at $18.71.
Airlines have seen weakness in a key revenue ratio in April and May, fanning fears that travel demand could be easing. But Delta President Ed Bastian said that the airline is seeing "a slight uptick" in revenue in May and June and "solid" summer bookings.
Meanwhile, Bastian said, Delta's jet fuel costs will be about 10 percent lower than a year ago. Combined with stable revenue, that will boost profit margins, he said.
Atlanta-based Delta, the second-largest airline behind United, predicted in April that second-quarter operating margin would be between 9 percent and 11 percent. Bastian said Thursday that the company expects to come in "at the higher end of the range."
Bastian spoke at a Deutsche Bank investor conference.