Delta reports business as usual in Las Vegas

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Photo Credit: Chris Parypa Photography/Shutterstock

The mass shooting at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Oct. 1 that killed 58 concert-goers hasn't reduced demand for Delta flights to Las Vegas.

"I hope it's not a sad commentary on the human state that we are getting used to this," Delta president Glen Hauenstein said during the carrier's quarterly earnings call Wednesday.

In contrast, said Hauenstein, hurricanes in the Caribbean have altered Delta's plans for the region in 2018. The carrier has already removed capacity and on aggregate expects capacity in the Latin America/Caribbean market will be flat in 2018.

Destinations in the Caribbean that were spared by hurricanes Irma and Maria should grow marginally next year, making up for a drastic decline in capacity to hard-hit Caribbean islands.

Irma and Maria struck the Caribbean in September, wreaking havoc on the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, St. Barts and Dominica, among other islands.

Hauenstein said that demand for travel to Southwest Florida, where Irma made a mainland landfall, is rebounding quickly. Key West, 23 miles from where the storm made its initial Florida landfall, is the Florida market recovering the slowest.

Hauenstein's comments came as Delta reported net income in the third quarter of $1.18 billion, down 6% year over year. The decline came as operating expenses rose 8%, to $9.2 billion. The increase was driven by a 10% leap in wages and salaries and a 7% jump in fuel costs.

In addition, Delta says it had a bottom-line impact of $120 million from Hurricane Irma.

Delta's operating revenue for the summer quarter was up 6% from last year at $11.06 billion, $20 million more than analyst expectations, according to the website Seeking Alpha.

Earnings per share were $1.57, beating analyst expectations by 3 cents.

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