Delta, US Air report profits

A Delta Air Lines jet is pushed back from the terminal before departing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta Sept. 12, 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS Delta Air Lines is reporting a small first-quarter profit, as passengers paid more to fly.

The world's second-biggest airline says revenue rose even though it cut flying slightly.

Delta earned $7 million, or a penny per share. Not counting special items, it would have earned $85 million, or 10 cents per share better than analysts had been expecting.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $8.5 billion, matching analyst expectations.

The first three months of the year are often money-losers for airlines. Delta says this was its best first-quarter profit in more than a decade.

Yield, which is one way to measure fares, rose 2.1 percent.

US Airways also reported a profit for the period. The nation's fifth-largest airline posted bigger adjusted first-quarter earnings as it carried more passengers and collected more from them.

US Airways Group Inc. earned $44 million, or 26 cents per share. Its adjusted profit was 31 cents per share, topping the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 3.5 percent to $3.38 billion.

The airline earned 28 cents per share in the year-ago quarter, but that was inflated by a swap with Delta for landing rights in Washington.

Occupancy rose 2.4 percentage points to 81.7 percent.

US Airways plans to merge with American Airlines. The combined airline would be the biggest in the world. US Airways says it still expects the deal to close by the end of September.