Delta Airlines put the cost of Hurricane Irma at $120 million in its operating performance report for September.
Irma affected Delta’s operations with 2,200 flights cancelled between September 7 and 12, as the Category 5 hurricane hit airports in the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia.
The Atlanta-based airline trimmed its operating margin forecast by one percentage point to between 15.5 and 16.5 percent as a result of the storm.
According to Airwise, Delta carried 14.6 million passengers during September, a 2.3 percent fall from the same month last year. System capacity in available seat miles (ASM) terms grew 0.6 percent, but revenue passenger miles (RPM) traffic was up by only 0.3 percent in the month. The resulting load factor was down 0.2 percentage points at 84.4 percent.
Cargo, in comparison, saw a healthy boost, up 9.4 percent at 187.2 million tons carried in September.
Irma developed on August 30, 2017 near the Cape Verde Islands, from a tropical wave that had moved off the west African coast three days prior.
Under favorable conditions, Irma rapidly intensified shortly after formation, becoming a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale within a mere 24 hours. It became a Category 3 hurricane (and therefore a major hurricane) shortly afterward; however, the intensity fluctuated between Categories 2 and 3 for the next several days due to a series of eyewall replacement cycles.
On September 4, Irma resumed intensifying, becoming a Category 5 hurricane by early the next day. On September 6, Irma reached its peak intensity with 185 mph (295 km/h) winds and a minimum pressure of 914 hPa (27.0 inHg), making it the second most intense tropical cyclone worldwide so far in 2017, behind only Hurricane Maria, and the strongest worldwide in 2017 in terms of wind speed.
The storm caused catastrophic damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane.
As of September 30, the hurricane has caused at least 132 deaths: one in Anguilla, one in Barbados, three in Barbuda, four in the British Virgin Islands, 10 in Cuba, 11 in the French West Indies, one in Haiti, three in Puerto Rico, four on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, 88 in the contiguous United States, four in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and two others in unknown locations in the Caribbean.