The airline is on such a roll that not even a grouchy demagogue can stop Delta. The Atlanta-based carrier posted a better second quarter than it did last year, and it leaves Delta with at least a slim shot of having its best year ever. Low fuel prices were a defining factor for the industry during the quarter, and Delta took full advantage. But it saw success on the revenue side too.
Not all airlines were so lucky, including Norwegian, which posted a slightly negative operating margin during a quarter it really needs to be making money—a lot of money. Things are even more dire at South African Airways, although SAA has one thing Norwegian doesn’t have: a state sponsor. And Air France pilots agreed to allow the airline to create a low-cost unit. But is that even a good idea?