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Delta says it lost $300 million in January

Bankrupt airline Delta Air Lines Inc. Thursday said it lost $300 million in January, bringing the total of its losses in the last four reported months to $1.5 billion.
/ Source: Reuters

Bankrupt airline Delta Air Lines Inc. Thursday said it lost $300 million in January, bringing the total of its losses in the last four reported months to $1.5 billion.

The No. 3 U.S. airline, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, said $87 million of the $300 million loss was for bankruptcy reorganization costs, chiefly related to aircraft and facility leases and legal expenses.

The loss is slightly less than the $314 million net loss in January last year. It comes on top of Delta’s fourth-quarter net loss of $1.2 billion. For full-year 2005, Delta’s net loss was $3.8 billion.

Atlanta-based Delta has said it needs about $3 billion in revenue increases and cost savings to survive and exit bankruptcy. The carrier is in the process of renegotiating its aircraft leases and cutting labor costs, among other things, to achieve those goals.

Delta said Thursday it had $2.1 billion of unrestricted cash on its balance sheet, up from $2 billion at the end of the last quarter.

The airline, which has been battered by high fuel prices and competition from low-cost carriers, also said that in February it hedged about 26 percent of its planned jet fuel consumption for the month at the average price of $1.75 per gallon, and would do more hedging as required to help manage costs.