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US airline Delta anticipates lower October profits due to Hurricane Sandy

US-based Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) said it has reported financial and operating performance for October 2012.

During the month of October, Delta said its unit revenues improved 5.5% versus prior year, primarily due to corporate revenue gains and continued capacity discipline.

In response to Hurricane Sandy, Delta cancelled more than 3,500 flights in October, which caused a 2% system capacity reduction versus prior year.

The company is estimating that the hurricane negatively impacted October revenues by USD45m and reduced October profit by approximately USD20m.

Delta said it is still assessing the impact to November, but expects it to be less than October. Delta’s October unit revenue improvement was approximately one point higher than it would have been without thehurricane impact.

Delta’s New York area operations are recovering from the storm’s disruption. As of last Thursday, Delta said it is operating at close to full schedule at New York-JFK and Newark, and operating at 80% of its normal schedule at LaGuardia.

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