Delta Air Lines makes substantial profit in third quarter

Delta Air Lines makes substantial profit in third quarter

Delta Air Lines has reported strong profits for the third quarter of 2013, lifting some of the gloom which has lingered over the aviation industry.

Net income at the carrier jumped 31 per cent to $1.37 billion, when compared to the same period last year, or $1.59 per share.

Not counting gains from fuel hedges, the company would have earned $1.2 billion, or $1.41 per share.

Delta president Ed Bastian explained in a statement that the airline is seeing strong holiday bookings, and the “revenue environment appears solid through the end of the year”.

Revenue at the airline rose six per cent to $10.49 billion, while traffic rose two per cent for the quarter.

The amount passengers paid for each seat flown one mile rose almost five per cent.

Last year Delta bought an oil refinery near Philadelphia, and has maximised its jet fuel output.

It took longer than Delta had predicted, but the refinery turned its first profit in the most recent quarter, $3 million.

It lost $136 million total during the three previous quarters.

Delta said profits there were hurt by smaller spreads between the cost of crude oil and the selling price of fuel.