Delta posts $1.5bn operating income in Q3

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Delta Air Lines reports a $1.56 billion operating profit in the third quarter, setting the stage for what is expected to be a strong period for US carriers.

Operating revenues were up 6% to $10.5 billion and operating expenses were up 4% to $8.93 billion during the period.

Atlanta-based Delta reports a $1.2 billion net profit excluding special items.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) rose 4% to 14.48 cents while costs per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and special items were up 1% to 8.64 cents.

Delta spent an average of $2.97 per gallon for jet fuel in the quarter, a 5% decrease from a year earlier.

The carrier's Trainer oil refinery posted a $3 million profit - its first since Delta bought it in June 2012 - during the third quarter.

Traffic rose 2% and capacity 3% during the period.