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Delta Narrows October Loss

Passenger revenue per available seat mile grew 15.1% from a year earlier.

Delta Air Lines


reported a narrower loss and strong revenue growth in October.

The carrier, which is operating under bankruptcy court protection, said its loss excluding one-time reorganization items was $64 million last month, compared with a $260 million loss in October 2005.

After factoring in items, Delta's net loss was $88 million, compared with a $301 million net loss a year earlier.

The airline said its passenger revenue per available seat mile grew 15.1% from a year earlier, whereas the industry average was 6.2% during the same period. The gain reflected Delta's increased international flying.

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Costs per available seat mile, excluding fuel, was 7.12 cents, representing a 4.1% improvement. Delta reduced operating expenses by 6.9% while cutting capacity by 4.5%.

"Delta is making strong progress on every front -- solid revenue increases, meaningful cost reductions, and continually improving customer service and products," said CFO Ed Bastian in a prepared statement. "The momentum that has been created by these achievements reinforces our confidence that we will emerge from bankruptcy as a strong, independent, stand-alone competitor in today's global industry."

Delta and its creditors are scheduled to meet later Thursday in New York with executives from

US Airways


, the first meeting since US Air mounted a hostile takeover bid for the company on Nov. 15.