updated 3/18/2010 2:33:32 PM ET 2010-03-18T18:33:32

Delta Air Lines Inc. is expanding service in New York and Los Angeles, as it seeks to bolster routes popular with business travelers where it believes it can be profitable.

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Business travelers often pay a premium for their seats, in part because they tend to purchase tickets at the last-minute, when fares are higher. That business is coveted by airlines, which are looking to start turning profits now that the severe economic downturn appears to be over.

The world's biggest airline is launching a new business shuttle service with 11 daily round-trip flights between New York-LaGuardia and Chicago O'Hare International airports, replacing existing, less-frequent service between LaGuardia and Chicago Midway. The new hourly shuttle begins June 10.

It also is launching new nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and four U.S. cities — Columbus, Ohio; Hartford, Conn.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and San Francisco. That new service also begins June 10.

Delta is based in Atlanta.

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