updated 11/30/2006 9:50:48 AM ET 2006-11-30T14:50:48

Delta Air Lines Inc., which is operating under bankruptcy protection, reported Thursday that it narrowed its loss in October to $88 million.

The nation’s third-largest carrier said its loss was equivalent to 45 cents a share in the 31-day period and was smaller than its loss of $301 million for the same month last year. It did not provide a per-share figure for the loss a year ago.

Excluding reorganization items, Delta said its latest loss was $64 million.

Delta recorded revenue of $1.43 billion in October, according to a filing with the bankruptcy court. The airline did not provide a revenue figure for the same month a year ago.

As of Oct. 31, Delta had $2.7 billion in unrestricted cash on hand.

The company also said in its court filing that through the end of October, roughly 7,800 claims totaling $84 billion had been filed against Delta in the bankruptcy case. Delta has been working to reduce or disallow certain claims. Delta so far has objected to 880 claims totaling about $905 million, and it expects to make more objections in the future. The court has not ruled on any of the objections, Delta said.

The Atlanta-based company hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of next year. It faces a hostile bid by Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Group Inc. to buy Delta in a deal now worth $8.5 billion.

US Airways was expected to pitch its offer to Delta executives and to Delta’s official committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy case during a closed-door meeting later Thursday in New York.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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