Fitch upgrades Delta's credit rating, partly on improved balance sheet

Fitch is upgrading Delta's credit rating, citing its improved balance sheet, solid operating performance and better-than-expected free cash flow.

The ratings agency also touted the airline operator's efforts in dealing with operating cost inflation.

Fitch boosted Delta Air Lines Inc.'s issuer default rating one notch in junk status to "BB" from "BB-."

Delta's rating outlook is positive.

Earlier this month Delta reported a third-quarter adjusted profit and revenue that topped analysts' expectations, helped by strong demand and lower fuel prices.

The Atlanta company's stock added $1.11, or 2.9 percent, to $39.03 in Friday afternoon trading.