Delta saved $5.1 billion last year as gas prices plummeted

Delta Airlines saved billions with lower fuel costs in 2015

Delta saved $5.1 billion on fuel last year as oil prices plummeted. The company in return posted an annual profit of $4.5 billion in 2015.

The airline also revealed that it hopes to save another $3 billion in 2016 as a result of lower energy prices.

While lowering fuel prices helped the airline, officials say sales were off by 2% as a strong US dollar played against international tourism to the United States. Its quarterly profits were also lower than expected.

Delta isn’t expecting much improvement in the first quarter either. It said that passenger unit revenue will be down 2.5% to 4.5% from a year ago — caused mostly by currently fluctuations.

Flights in Europe, Asia and Latin America account for nearly 30% of Delta’s passenger revenue.

The airline says it expects profit margins to improve in the quarter. Its stock was up more than 3% in early trading Tuesday.

Despite lower fuel prices, shares at Delta are down 12% in 2016. Other airlines with declining stock include United, American, Southwest, JetBlue, and others.

Delta has reported that miles flown rose 3% in the fourth quarter. Load factor, which measures the overall number of people on a flight hit 85.2%, up from 82.8% a year ago.

Delta and many of its premiere competitors have also been pressured to lower prices as airlines such as Southwest and RyanAir continue to attract bargain shoppers for domestic flights.