Delta announced a profit Quarterly operating income in the third quarter, the first major U.S. airline to post profit since the pandemic began. The company earned $ 194 million in the quarter, adjusted for special items. represents a decrease from the $ 1.5 billion earned in the quarter of2019, the year before the pandemic uprooted air travel around the world. But the past quarter has been much better than the losses it and other airlines have reported since early 2020. Delta 's ( DAL ) Operating losses during the pandemic totaled $ 9.8 billion at the start of this quarter. Our quarter September marked a significant milestone in our recovery, said CEO Ed Bastian. Although he warned that profits could be short lived. As demand continues to improve, the the recent increase in fuel prices will test our ability to rester profitable for the December quarter, he said. Fuel is the second most important cost for an airline behind the cost of labor. Read moreThe company reported revenue net in the second quarter, but this was mainly due to a final injection of support from the government and other airlines received during the quarter. Delta and other U.S. airlines had a strong summer season, with pent-up demand of vacation travel that filled planes. Delta occupied 80% of its available seats in the quarter, just below the 88% level it reported in the same period of 2019. Airfares have also rebounded. average amount paid by passengers to travel each mile during the quarter was only 2% lower than 2019 levels.was an impressive result considering that two of the most lucrative forms of travel - business travel and international travel - were still only a fraction of their pre-pandemic position. With overall fares being so close to pre-pandemic levels, the average Pleasure airfare is higher than before the pandemic. The airline's takeover has been put on hold as Covid-19 strikes again The airline 's overall revenue in the quarter fell 27% from 2019 levels to 9 , $ 2 billion. The airline flew less than half of its pre-pandemic schedule on transatlantic and transpacific routes, although international flights to and from Latin America are within less than 7% of pre-pandemic levels. Delta ( DAL ) is the first major airline to publish quarterly results. Its shares fell slightly in pre-release following the fourth quarter earnings warning.