updated 8/9/2006 5:35:35 PM ET 2006-08-09T21:35:35

Delta Air Lines Inc., the nation’s third-largest carrier, reported Wednesday a wider second-quarter loss of $2.21 billion even as higher ticket prices and fuller planes drove up revenue.

But excluding huge reorganization items, the airline said it turned its first adjusted profit in six years.

For the three months ended June 30, Atlanta-based Delta said its net loss amounted to $11.18 a share, compared with a loss of $388 million, or $2.64 a share, in the same three-month period a year ago. The prior-year loss included $6 million in dividends that accrued for preferred shareholders.

Excluding reorganization items, the airline said it earned $179 million in the second quarter. The figure includes $4 million related to an income tax provision, according to a Delta filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Revenue in the quarter rose 9.6 percent to $4.66 billion from $4.25 billion recorded the same period a year ago.

Delta said its fuel expense rose to $1.02 billion in the second quarter from $881 million in the same period a year ago.

Delta also Wednesday filed in bankruptcy court its monthly operating report for June, which showed that it lost $2.2 billion in the month. Excluding reorganization items, Delta said it had net income of $145 million in June.

For the first six months of the year, Delta said it lost $4.28 billion, or $21.86 a share, compared with a loss of $1.46 billion, or $10.17 a share, in the same period a year ago. Six-month revenue rose to $8.37 billion, compared with $7.96 billion recorded in the same period a year ago.

Delta, which filed for bankruptcy protection last September, has now lost more than $16 billion since January 2001. In recent months, it has begun to turn things around thanks to higher revenues and lower labor costs, despite persistently high fuel prices. Delta expects to emerge from Chapter 11 by the middle of 2007.

As of June 30, Delta had $4 billion in cash, of which $2.9 billion was unrestricted or available for immediate use.

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