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Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta reports $1.3 billion quarterly profit

Delta Air Lines reported a profit of $1.3 billion for the third quarter, up 13 percent from a year ago despite higher fuel costs and a $30 million hit from Hurricane Florence.

With passengers paying more for premium tickets, Delta president Glen Hauenstein said in a written statement, the company had “record revenues” in the third quarter, which ended Sept 30.

Atlanta-based Delta’s total quarterly operating revenue was $11.95 billion, up 8 percent. Revenue growth helped offset a $655 million increase in fuel costs, according to the company.

Looking forward, Delta expects a 30 percent increase in fuel prices but that revenue will continue to grow. Overall, it will increase flight capacity by about 4 percent in the December quarter compared with a year ago.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said during a conference call with investors that he expects the company to report a $5 billion profit for the full year, similar to last year’s results.

With the company this month marking the tenth anniversary of its merger with Northwest, which was announced a year after emerging from bankruptcy protection, Bastian said the airline has gone through “an unprecedented transformation.”

Bastian also thanked employees for their work during the “difficult and challenging conditions of Hurricane Michael,” saying Delta has had less than 100 cancellations over the last two days with “minimal financial impact.”

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