Delta says Sandy cut revenue by $45 million

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines says Superstorm Sandy cut its revenue by $45 million last month as it was forced to cancel more than 3,500 flights.

That's only a fraction of the $8.4 billion in revenue it reported in last year's fourth-quarter. It won't report full results for the current quarter until January.

The Atlanta company, the world's second-largest airline after United, said its October profit was reduced by about $20 million. That's about 5 percent of the $425 million it earned in the fourth-quarter last year. While October tends to be a slow month for travel in general, but it's a busy month for lucrative business travelers, especially in and out of the New York area.

Delta Air Lines Inc. said that it is running a near-full schedule at New York's JFK in New York and Newark Liberty in New Jersey. But on Thursday it ran at only 80 percent at New York's LaGuardia airport, which sustained the heaviest flooding and damage.

Superstorm Sandy hit the New York area Monday night. As of Thursday, airlines had canceled more than 20,000 flights because of the storm.

Delta expects the storm will have less of an impact on its operations this month.

Overall, Delta said traffic last month rose just 0.3 percent, as a 1 percent decline in domestic traffic offset an improvement overseas.

It said per-passenger revenue rose 5.5 percent in October. And despite the impact of the Superstorm, Delta said it completed 98 percent of its flights and had an on-time rate of 85.5 percent.

Delta shares fell 12 cents $9.58 in morning trading Friday.

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