Delta Air Lines had $3.98 billion in cash balances at the end of the third quarter, up 1.5% from the end of June.
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were up 16% from $3.43 billion a year ago.
Long-term debt and capital lease obligations fell 3.8% to $10.1 billion at the end of September. Debt is down 9% from a year earlier.
Atlanta-based Delta announced a debt reduction programme with a target of $7 billion in net debt by 2018.
Capital expenditures totalled $635 million in the third quarter, according to Delta’s chief financial officer Paul Jacobson. This includes between $450 million in fleet investments and $61 million to purchase 12 aircraft off lease.
Delta added one Boeing 717-200, one Boeing 737-900ER and four Boeing MD-90s, and removed eight Boeing 757-200s and one Boeing DC-90-50 from its mainline fleet for a net reduction of three aircraft in the quarter.
The carrier added three Bombardier CRJ900s and removed 14 Bombardier CRJ200s from its regional fleet during the period.
Delta realised $106 million in expenses related to its domestic fleet restructuring, which involves replacing 50-seat aircraft with larger 717-200s and CRJ900s, in the third quarter.
The airline anticipates $800 million in capital expenditures during the fourth quarter, says Jacobson.