Delta Air Lines' ( DAL) shares Monday got a small lift after the struggling carrier reported improved traffic figures for March. The Atlanta-based Delta said traffic rose 9.5%, outpacing capacity, which increased 4.7%. Delta's load factor rose to 75.5%, up 3.2 points from a year ago. The results were led by the carrier's international operations. Traffic was up 16% from a year ago when the build up to and the onset of the war in Iraq discouraged air travel. Delta increased capacity by just 1.4%. Its load factor on overseas flights was 81.1%, up 10.3 points from March 2003. Delta is struggling to cut operating costs, particularly through union wage concessions, as it tries to return to profitability. The airline, which reports first-quarter earnings April 14, recently raised its expected loss for the period, forecasting a net loss of about $400 million, up from $300 million to $350 million. Shares rose 9 cents, or 1.1%, to $8.56, near their 52-week low of $7.