ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure rose 2 percent in September as corporate flying and demand for travel within the U.S. offset "pressure" on international revenue.
The figure — revenue for every seat flown one mile — rises when airlines fill more seats, charge higher average fares, or both. Airlines have kept prices up by limiting the addition of flights.
Traffic rose 5.4 percent, as passengers flew 16.95 billion miles last month. Both U.S. and international flying increased.
Delta added 4.9 percent passenger-carrying capacity, compared with August 2013. With traffic rising faster than capacity, the average flight was a bit more full — 83.7 percent, up from 83.3 percent.
The figures include Delta Connection regional flights.
Shares of Atlanta-based Delta rose 72 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $35.62 in morning trading. That wiped out most of a 3.5 percent decline on Wednesday, when airline shares fell after disclosure that a man later diagnosed with Ebola flew to the U.S. on commercial flights two weeks ago.
TOKYO (AP) — Doctors have determined that almost all of the dozens of people killed on a Japanese volcano died of injuries from being hit by volcanic rocks that flew out during its eruption, police said Thursday.
Rescuers have retrieved 47 bodies from the ash-covered summit area of Mount Ontake since Saturday's eruption.
Doctors concluded that all but one of the bodies showed signs of having been hit by volcanic boulders and rocks, Nagano prefectural police said. The other victim died of burns from inhaling hot air.
Most of the bodies were found near the summit, where many climbers were resting or having lunch.
The eruption at Mount Ontake, in central Japan, caught hikers by surprise. Seismologists have said that increased seismic activity had been detected at Ontake, one of 47 active volcanoes in Japan that are under 24-hour monitoring, but that nothing signaled such a big eruption.
The search for more bodies continued Thursday, but ended early due to bad weather and concerns about toxic gases. Authorities are looking into the possibility that about 20 people caught in the eruption are still missing.
The death toll is the highest from a volcanic eruption in Japan's postwar history, exceeding the 43 people killed in the 1991 eruption of Mount Unzen in southern Japan.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Investor Warren Buffett is praising the changes Coca-Cola made to its executive compensation plan after he and other investors criticized it.
Buffett said Thursday on CNBC that he thinks the changes Coke announced this week make great sense.
The world's largest beverage maker said Wednesday it will give out fewer shares under its long-term incentive program to a smaller group of executives. Other Coke executives will be rewarded with cash.
Buffett says the changes show that Coke is treating its stock like a precious commodity, just as he thinks it should.
Buffett abstained from voting Berkshire Hathaway's 400 million Coke shares on the compensation plan in the spring, and he expressed his concerns with the company's managers.
Some investors, including Wintergreen Advisers, criticized Buffett for not voting against the plan.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 287,000, as the total number of beneficiaries dropped to its lowest level in more than eight years.
The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,250 to 294,750, the Labor Department said Thursday. Overall, 2.3 million people are receiving jobless aid. That's the fewest since June 2006, which predates the start of the Great Recession by 18 months.
"The numbers are so low now that it seems just a matter of time before we see a run of big gains" in monthly hiring figures, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The recent decline suggests that employers are keeping their workers, likely because they expect continued economic growth and may be contemplating more hires.
The steady decline in people applying for benefits began at the end of April, after brutal winter weather temporarily caused a halt to economic growth.
The drop in applications has corresponded with stronger job gains for much of 2014.
Employers added 142,000 jobs in August, according to the Labor Department, down from an average of 212,000 in the preceding 12 months. It was the end of a six-month streak of monthly job gains in excess of 200,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent, but only because some of those out of work gave up looking. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they are actively searching.
Based off the four-week average for jobless claims, monthly job growth should be close 250,000, said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at the consultancy MFR.
Economists say the government's September jobs data being released Friday will show a rebound from the August figures. Their consensus forecast is that employers added 215,000 jobs last month.
In a separate report released Wednesday, payroll processer ADP said Wednesday that private employers added 213,000 jobs in September.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. markets were mostly flat in early trading Thursday, follow a sell-off the day before, as U.S. investors had little reaction to comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who announced new economic stimulus measures for the continent. European markets fell.