The nine largest US passenger airlines in total reaped 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in net income in the third quarter of this year, said the US Department of Transportation (DOT) in a report on Monday.
The result outperformed last year's gain of 902.2 million dollars and was also much better than the previous quarter's profit of 670.2 million dollars. During the quarter, Delta Airlines topped other rivals with 1,169.9 million dollars in net income, while American Airlines suffered a net loss of 256.9 million dollars, according to the report.
In all, the top nine airlines also posted an operating profit of 2.4 billion dollars and a 6.4-percent profit margin in the quarter. Delta Airlines ranked the first with 1,461 million dollars in operating profit, while ExpressJet Airlines took the last spot with only 4 million dollars. Alaska Airlines enjoyed the highest profit margin of 18.7 percent, compared with American Airlines' 0.4 percent -- the lowest in the quarter.
Operating profit is calculated from operating revenues and expenses, while net income includes non-operating income and expenses, nonrecurring items or income taxes, noted the DOT.
As part of the third-quarter revenue, these major airlines collected a total of 924 million dollars in baggage fees and 652 million in reservation change fees.
The nine airlines are Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, US Airways, ExpressJet Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Alaska Airlines. All told, these nine airlines carried 77.5 percent of U.S. air passengers in the third quarter of 2012.