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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 7:43am

Delta Reports Strong 3Q Growth

Updated: 4 years ago.
Delta Air Lines Wednesday reported a profit for its third-quarter, and expects results to continue for the next three months. (photo courtesy eisenbahner)

Delta Air Lines reports it turned a profit in its third quarter, and company officials say they expect more of the same for the final three months this year. And Delta was joined by two other carriers, US Airways and American, also reporting positive growth.

Take Delta. The Atlanta-based carrier was staggering with nearly $200 million in losses a year ago. Now, perhaps its best third-quarter ever with $360 million of net income.

There was good news for US Airways—a quarter of a billion in profit. And for American Airlines, a profit for the first time in at least two years.

In fact, the Air Transport Association of America reports a ninth-straight month of revenue growth for leading airlines collectively.

The leading U.S. carrier to Asia is Delta, and its returns were fueled especially by strong demand for more expensive international routes.

Hank Halter is the airline’s chief financial officer:

“The corporate business traveler is back on the road conducting business. Leisure demand remains strong, and the good thing is we’re seeing strong demand across the globe."

Halter says Delta now expects a profitable fourth-quarter ahead.

Across the industry, because airlines cut-back on flight offerings, they’re operating at max capacity and filling up seats.

Independent industry analyst Robert Herbst says because of high demand, airlines are offering fewer fare sales. And he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon:

“I think they’re trying to make profits to replace all the losses they had over the last 10 years and re-capitalize the industry. You’re definitely going to see fares go up.”

Herbst says the rise in those fares could potentially be another 15 to 20 percent by next summer.

As for those add-on fees like charges for food and luggage, he says those are here to stay.

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