ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Delta ( DAL ) became the first carrier to quantify the cost of bad December weather, saying its cost was about $45 million. "December's severe winter weather throughout the United States and Western Europe reduced Delta's net profit for the fourth quarter by about $45 million from our previous expectations," Delta president Ed Bastian said late Wednesday in a prepared statement.
Estimates for the industry's costs related to the bad Christmas holiday weather have
ranged as high as $150 million. Carriers began to report December traffic on Tuesday, but Delta is the first to specify its storm-related cost. Earlier Wednesday, US Airways ( LCC) said its consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile increased by 5% in December. In a statement released the day after the East Coast blizzard, President Scott Kirby noted that the airline managed to complete more than 99% of its flights and that "we posted our best December on-time departure, arrival and baggage handling performance since 2005." Delta said traffic increased 2.4% in December on a 3.9% increase in capacity. Load factor fell by 1.1 points to 80.1%. International traffic increased 5.3% on an 8.1% capacity increase, while domestic traffic increased 0.5% on a 1.2 % capacity. Delta does not report monthly RASM. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed