The Atlanta airline says it earned $1.05 billion, or $1.23 per share, compared with $549 million, or 65 cents, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, it earned $768 million or 90 cents - just shy of Wall Street expectations of 91 cents.
Revenue rose 1 percent to $9.92 billion, also just under analysts' estimate of $9.93 billion, according to FactSet.
Delta Air Lines Inc. says revenue was driven by its effort to trim seats according to demand. Fuel costs dropped 23 percent.
Overall, operating expenses fell 4 percent. Other expenses related to items like debt and interest fell 18 percent.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)