US airlines have beaten stock market expectations as an increase in business travel leads the sector out of recession.
Delta, the world’s second-largest airline, made a net profit of $363m in the third quarter, compared with a $161m loss in the same period last year.
And AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, turned in its first quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2007.
AMR made a net profit of $143m against a net loss of $359m a year ago.
“While there is clearly much more work to do, our results show significant improvement in revenue and reflect our continued dedication to controlling costs,” said AMR chief executive Gerard Arpey.
Meanwhile US Airways is also recovering rapidly, and announced a profit of $240m, a company record for the June-to-September period.
Shares in AMR closed 12.5 percent higher, while Delta was up 10.8 percent and US Airways climbed 7.4 percent.
“The industry has continued to rebound as business travel has continued to improve over the past year,” said Matthew Jacob, an analyst with Majestic Research.
“Many of the airlines have done a good job of streamlining their costs and improving their margins,” he added.