Cargo takes the edge off the Delta blues

SOARING fuel costs have plunged Delta Air Lines into a 58 per cent decline in profit for the second quarter, yet compensation comes in the form of cargo.

The airline’s cargo revenue rose 25 per cent to US$264 million, on higher volume and yield.

The company’s overall net income for the second quarter was $198 million, down from $467 million in the year-ago period.

Delta’s average fuel price of $3.22 per gallon for the quarter represented a 39 per cent increase over the prior-year period.

As of 30 June, the company’s adjusted net debt was $13.8 billion, representing a $700 million reduction from 31 March. The company has now completed $3.2 billion of its $7 billion debt reduction target.

“Our revenue momentum, coupled with the capacity reductions we are making in September and actions to get our non-fuel costs to 2010 levels, will generate the margins we need to hit our return targets,” Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer, said.

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