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Delta cargo revenue drops despite freight-only flights

Cargo has been a bright spot for Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), but the revenue from this business is still part of a $3.9 billion pretax loss for the second quarter.

Like other airlines, Delta in March shifted some passenger planes to cargo-only flights to carry personal protective medical gear and other high-demand products overseas to key U.S. markets. It also has made use of passenger quarters on some planes to handle certain cargoes.

Despite the cargo-only flights, the airline reported cargo revenue of $108 million for the second quarter, a drop of 42% compared to the same period last year.

At one point, Delta was operating 124 cargo-only flights per week.

Delta, however, continues pulling out all the stops to steady its finances during the coronavirus-induced crisis besetting the aviation industry.

CEO Ed Bastian said it could be two years or longer for international airlines to see a financial recovery that includes the gradual return of business and leisure travel.

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