Delta Air Lines’ ‘sharply higher earnings’ lead to debt ratings upgrade from S&P Global

S&P Global Ratings late Wednesday upgraded its ratings on Delta Air Lines Inc.

debt to BB+, from BB, with a positive outlook, reflecting potential for another ratings upgrade within a year. “We believe Delta is on track to meaningfully improve its credit measures in 2023, with further strengthening anticipated in 2024,” S&P said. Delta and other legacy airline peers benefit from continuing “strong passenger airline demand and industrywide capacity constraints that have led to full planes and high fares,” the debt ratings agency said. “Delta is on pace to generate sharply higher earnings and cash flow in 2023, led by capacity growth and steady operating margin expansion.” Delta can improve its credit measures even further next year. Shares of Delta edged higher in the extended session Wednesday after ending the regular trading day up 1.4%.

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