Delta 4Q profit plunges 98 percent, hurt by Superstorm Sandy

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Delta Air Lines Inc., the dominant carrier in the Twin Cities, says its fourth-quarter net income was $7 million, down from $425 million in the same period last year, Reuters reports. Superstorm Sandy forced the Atlanta-based company to cancel thousands of flights in October. The storm also took a toll on operations at its new oil refinery near Philadelphia.

Delta's 2012 profit climbed 18 percent to $1 billion, compared to $854 million in 2011, the Associated Press reports.

"We enter 2013 as a stronger airline, with initiatives in place to build on our 2012 success," Richard Anderson, Delta's chief executive officer, said in a news release. "In the year ahead, we will advance our position around the world and continue to build a better airline for our shareholders, customers and employees."

Bloomberg News says Delta plans to cut first-quarter flying capacity to offset labor and fuel costs that hurt fourth-quarter earnings.

The carrier also confirmed it will pay $360 million to acquire Singapore Airlines Ltd.'s 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., Martket Watch reports.

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