Report: Delta May Sell Feeders to SkyWest

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Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) is in talks with SkyWest Inc. (SKYW) to sell the Utah airline one or two of its regional feeder carriers, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Delta has said publicly in the past that it was evaluating all of its assets, including its feeder carriers Comair (search) and Atlantic Southeast Airlines (search), as it seeks to return to profitability. The company lost more than $5 billion last year and has been racked by continually high fuel prices.

The Journal said Bradford Rich, chief financial officer of SkyWest, said at an investor conference Monday in Orlando, Fla., that the discussions were in the early stages. Rich did not say if the SkyWest was interested in one or both of the feeder carriers.

"We think we're in the best position of anyone to take advantage of this type of opportunity," Rich was quoted as saying.

A SkyWest spokeswoman at the company's headquarters in St. George, Utah, could not immediately confirm Rich's comments or provide a transcript of the comments when reached Tuesday by The Associated Press.

Asked about the report, Delta spokesman John Kennedy said Tuesday, "It's Delta policy not to comment on industry rumor or speculation. It would be inappropriate for us to discuss Mr. Rich's comments."

Delta shares rose 11 cents to $5.38 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. up from a 52-week low last fall of $2.75.