Delta Air Lines reports rising traffic and revenue trend; shows no let-up in air-travel demand

IndustrialsAssociated Press

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Monday that passengers flew more and paid higher average prices than a year ago, indicating that there has been no let-up in solid demand for air travel.

Delta said that a key revenue figure rose 3 percent last month compared with July 2013. The increase in passenger revenue for every seat flown one mile indicated that the airline was able to fill a few more seats and charge higher average fares.

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The airline predicted that the revenue figure would rise by between 2 percent and 4 percent for the entire July-through-September quarter.

Delta, the third-largest airline operator, said passengers flew 19.97 billion miles last month, up 2.8 percent from July 2013. Domestic traffic rose 4.7 percent while international travel increased just 0.3 percent.

The airline boosted passenger-carrying capacity by 2.2 percent — that is usually done by adding more flights or using bigger planes. The average flight was 87.5 percent full, compared with 87.0 percent a year earlier. Domestic flights accounted for the increase, while international flights had more empty seats because Delta added capacity.

Shares of Atlanta-based Delta fell 51 cents to $37.07 in midday trading. They began the day up 37 percent in 2014.