Atlanta (TheStreet) -- Delta ( DAL) spooked investors two weeks ago when it reported lower-than-expected international yields in June. On Wednesday, executives emphasized that the carrier's international operations remain strong.
A key is that Delta can control its own destiny on the trans-Atlantic, where "93% of capacity is in three joint ventures," CEO Richard Anderson said on the carrier's earnings call. Delta's joint venture includes Air France/KLM and Alitalia. Combined, "we manage over $13 billion of revenue and 30% of industry capacity," said President Ed Bastian.
American (AAL) and United (UAL), Delta's key international competitors, will report earnings Thursday. American CEO Doug Parker has said that international demand remained strong in the second quarter. Both carriers' international results will be closely watched.
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On the Delta call, Anderson and Bastian said Delta produced strong trans-Atlantic returns in the second quarter and will do so again in the third. "Advance yields for the third quarter are ahead of where we were this summer," Bastian said. Anderson emphasized that the working relationships are well-defined. AirFrance/KLM employees "run yield management and pricing in Europe (and) we run all the metal out of the U.S.," he said.
"We think of it as running a single airline even though there are different colored airplanes in the joint venture," Anderson said. Delta and its joint venture partners will keep capacity growth between 1% and 3% this winter, he said.