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Delta Air Lines SWOT: challenges after years-long industry leadership

There’s no question that Delta Air Lines betters its large US global network rivals American and United in numerous metrics ranging from its operational performance to customer sentiment. Delta’s outperformance is driven by the transformation the company has undertaken since its merger with Northwest Airlines a decade ago.

The distance between Delta’s merger integration and that of its rivals (five years for American and eight for United) has allowed Delta to recognise the growing maturity of the US domestic market and the importance of building a global network to ensure blanket coverage in the future.

Obviously work remains for Delta in building a competitive network, and its US rivals have pledged to move aggressively to close competitive gaps with the airline. Delta also faces numerous challenges and threats, including cost creep, uncertainty over Brexit, and a lack of immunity from investor anxiety driven by decisions taken by its competitors. This report examines Delta's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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