Demand for travel in US helps Delta Air Lines report gains in traffic and key revenue figure

IndustriesAssociated Press

Delta Air Lines said Tuesday that a key financial figure rose last month due to strong revenue from flights within the U.S. and across the Atlantic. The shares rose in morning trading.

The airline said that revenue for every seat flown one mile rose 3 percent in October. That ratio rises when airlines fill more seats, charge higher average fares, or both.

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Most major U.S. airlines have posted large profits in 2014, as the industry has kept prices up by limiting the addition of new flights and seats.

Delta said that traffic rose 4.8 percent over the same month last year, as passengers flew 17.04 billion miles. Domestic traffic boomed, up 6.9 percent.

Delta grew slightly faster than it had earlier this year, as it expanded passenger-carrying capacity by 3.6 percent. The airline added seats on international flights at a slightly faster pace than within the U.S.

The average flight was 83.8 percent full, up from 82.9 percent a year earlier.

The numbers included Delta Connection regional flights.

Shares of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. rose $1.92, or 4.7 percent, to $42.53 in morning trading. They started the session up 48 percent in 2014.