Delta’s April meltdown cost $125 million, but company still made $1.2 billion quarterly profit

In spite of a $125 million hit due to 4,000 flight cancellations during its April meltdown, Delta Air Lines still made a $1.2 billion quarterly profit.

Most of the impact from the April operational meltdown that followed a one-day storm was a $115 million headwind to revenue.

Atlanta-based Delta’s profit for the second quarter of the year was down 21 percent from $1.5 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a written statement that he is encouraged by improvements in unit revenues, but acknowledged that “2017 is a transition year.” The airline is tackling rising labor costs and competitive pressures allowing business travelers to pay less for last-minute trips.

Delta said its “branded fares,” including Basic Economy with limited flexibility and Comfort+ with extra legroom, in addition to regular coach class, business class and first class, increased its revenue by $100 million.

The company calls such moves “commercial initiatives to provide customers more choice,” which is also helping improve unit revenue, according to a statement from Delta president Glen Hauenstein.

The company had record operating revenue in the quarter: $10.8 billion, up 3 percent year-over-year.

But its operating expense increased 9 percent, to nearly $8.8 billion.

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