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Delta in a tailspin

New York April 18 (Reuters): Delta Air Lines posted a wider first quarter loss on Thursday, surpassing losses reported by two other airlines this week, and said it will continue to furlough pilots amid a crippling downturn in air travel.

Atlanta-based Delta, the No. 3 US air carrier, said it was facing the greatest financial crisis in its history, and said the war in Iraq had depressed travel demand further.

Delta chief executive officer Leo Mullin warned analysts and investors that the second quarter will be “extremely challenging,” even though a large part of Delta’s expected $ 400 million in government aid could materialise during the period. But Delta’s shares closed more than 12 per cent higher.

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