ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines Inc. says bad weather caused it to scrub nearly 8,000 flights in February, but the cancelations helped boost a key measure of revenue per mile.
The shares soared 5.7 percent on Tuesday to an all-time high since the company exited bankruptcy protection and issued new stock in 2007.
After the market closed Monday, Fitch Ratings upgraded Delta's credit one notch to "BB-" on the airline's ability to generate cash despite high fuel prices.
On Tuesday, Delta, the world's second biggest airline behind United, said that traffic rose 2.4 percent last month as passengers flew 13 billion miles.
Travel to and from Latin America jumped 20.6 percent, although those flights accounted for just 11 percent of total traffic.
Atlanta-based Delta said that revenue for every seat flown one mile rose 4 percent from a year ago. That statistic is watched closely in the airline business, and it rises when airlines put more people on each flight or raise average prices.
Delta credited the revenue-figure increase on strong U.S. demand and results from trans-Atlantic flying. Within the U.S., traffic grew 2 percent. Delta cut the number of seats on trans-Atlantic flights, making each flight more full.
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