Profit at Delta Air Lines jumped to $1.32 billion in the three months through September, an early sign that reduced flight schedules, higher checked baggage fees and other adjustments helped blunt the impact of a 30 percent rise in fuel costs.
Operating expense at the Atlanta-based carrier rose 11.6 percent to $10.3 billion, mostly because of jet fuel, the Atlanta-based carrier said. Despite that, profits rose 13.2 percent as sales reached $11.8 billion.
Revenue growth of 8 percent and flat costs other than fuel "helped offset 85 percent of the $655 million fuel-cost increase," Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said in a statement on Thursday.
Bastian said in July that Delta would cut flights in the second half of this year to curb the impact of a $2 billion spike in jet fuel expenses, spurred partly by President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord. The carrier also recently hiked the price of checked luggage to $30 for the first bag, up from $25.
Along with a 20 percent increase in premium ticket sales, Delta reported an 18.5 percent increase in cargo revenue -- growth that matches an overall increase in airline shipments across the industry.
The carrier's stock was up 3.32 percent to $51.36 in New York trading.