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Airline News: Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL), United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL), US Airways Group, Inc. (LCC)

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), AMR Corporation (PINK:AAMRQ)

Delta Air Lines PT Raised to $20.00 (DAL) (DailyPolitical)
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) had its target price boosted by Imperial Capital from $18.00 to $20.00 in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, reports. DAL has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Barclays Capital raised their price target on shares of Delta Air Lines from $21.00 to $22.00 in a research note to investors on Friday, April 19th. They now have an overweight rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Zacks reiterated a neutral rating on shares of Delta Air Lines in a research note to investors on Friday, April 19th. They now have a $16.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at TheStreet reiterated a hold rating on shares of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) in a research note to investors on Wednesday, April 10th.

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL)

American, US Airways Reveal Plans For Stitching Airlines Together (WSJ)
As AMR Corporation (PINK:AAMRQ) +2.56%’s American Airlines and US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC) +2.74% await antitrust regulators’ decision on their proposed merger, the two companies are gearing up their planning for the highly complex integration process that would knit the pair together as the world’s largest airline. …American and US Airways in February announced their plans to combine, following the mergers of United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) in 2010, and of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) +10.07% and Northwest Airlines in 2008. The latest pairing will create a company that is bigger than United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) and the enlarged Delta. It will be based at American’s home in Fort Worth, Texas and be run by US Airways Chief Executive Doug Parker.

As delays continue, FAA urged to find other places to cut (BostonGlobe)
A day after flight delays plagued much of the nation, air travel was smoother Tuesday, but the government warned passengers that the situation could change by the hour as thousands of air-traffic controllers are forced to take furloughs because of budget cuts. Meanwhile, airlines and members of Congress urged the Federal Aviation Administration to find other ways to reduce spending. Airlines are worried about the long-term costs late flights will have on their budgets and on passengers. …For instance, Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) canceled about 90 flights Monday because of worries about delays. Just about every passenger was rebooked on another Delta flight within a couple of hours, according to Ed Bastian, Delta’s president. But in the busy summer travel months, the airline might not have enough empty seats to accommodate passengers from canceled flights.

United Air Parent’s CEO Heralds Turnaround (WSJ)
The head of United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL)’ parent said Thursday that the carrier had resolved many of the operational problems that had driven away valuable corporate fliers, and announced plans to resume flights of its The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) 787 Dreamliners in May. United said the world-wide grounding of the Dreamliner cost it $11 million in the first quarter and would shave 0.75% from its previous capacity plan for the year. The carrier aims to start new services to China and Nigeria with the jet in August.

United Continental says operations are improving, despite 1Q loss (WashingtonPost)
United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) lost $417 million as costs rose faster than fares. 787 COST: United’s six Boeing 787s were grounded for most of the quarter, costing it $11 million. …United is cutting flying capacity as much as 1.75 percent this year, in part because the 787 has been grounded. That’s a bigger cut than it had expected.

United and US Airways raise ticket change fee to $200, more for international flights (WashingtonPost)
Changing an airline ticket is getting more expensive at US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC) and United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL). Last week United quietly boosted the fee to change a ticket in advance to $200, from $150. A spokesman for United Continental Holdings Inc. says the fee helps cover the cost to the airline when a traveler gives up a reserved seat. On Wednesday US Airways did the same thing. The website for US Airways Group Inc. also shows that the airline now charges up to $300 to change some international tickets.

United reports quarterly loss on higher costs (SunTimes)
The parent of United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) reported a first-quarter loss of $417 million as costs rose faster than fares. Still, the result was an improvement from a year ago. The net loss for United Continental Holdings Inc. was $1.26 per share, down from a loss of $448 million, or $1.36 per share, in 2012’s first quarter. The airline says it would have lost 98 cents per share without special charges, including $70 million in expenses for its merger with Continental. Analysts had been expecting it to lose $1.09 per share.

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