The company expects to earn between 85 cents and 95 cents per share in the first quarter, up from its previous estimate of between 70 cents and 90 cents per share. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 80 cents.
The Atlanta-based airline reported that it carried 17.6 million customers in March, a record for the company. The company recorded 45 million passengers across its global network in the first quarter of the year.
The company's March revenue passenger miles totaled 19.9 million, a 5.3% increase, while average available seat miles rose 5.4% year over year to 22.9 million. Cargo ton miles rose 5.4% year over year to 178,511.
The company also noted that it completed a $1.3 billion share repurchase program in the March quarter after "opportunistically" buying back 26 million shares.
The airline also announced that it and American Express (AXP) - Get Report renewed their SkyMiles credit card partnership through 2029. American Express CEO Stephen J. Squeri said that the partnership added more than a million new SkyMiles Credit Card members last year.
"Enhancing customer loyalty is at the heart of our business. Our partnership with American Express provides a competitive advantage as we deliver substantial value to our customers and owners," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said.
The stock was up 5.9% to $55.23.
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