Delta Airlines’ 4Q Profit Flies High

Delta Air Lines’ quarterly profit soared as higher fares offset a bigger fuel bill.

Like other carriers, Delta was able to raise fares by controlling capacity in the fourth quarter. The money it made flying a passenger a single mile rose 12 percent.

The company’s fourth-quarter net income rose to $425 million compared with $19 million a year earlier when it was hit with charges from early debt repayment and consolidation of airport operations.

Delta’s revenue rose 8 percent to $8.4 billion in the final three months of 2011 while enduring a 5-percent rise in fuel expenses on its mainline operations.

Delta’s 2011 profit totaled $854 million, 44 percent higher than in 2010. Revenue rose 11 percent to $35 billion. The Atlanta-based airline has turned a profit two years in a row.