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Delta Air Lines
Global 500 rank: 403
2008 loss ($ millions): 8,922
Ticker: DAL

Bigger is not necessarily better. Delta created the world's largest airline company in 2008 after closing a deal for Northwest Airlines last year. Unfortunately, the timing was terrible. Delta said the value of its acquired pieces fell $7.3 billion last year -- unsurprising as Northwest flies to many Midwest destinations hit hard by the economic slowdown -- and the merger cost nearly $1.1 billion to complete. Thanks to the soft economy, Delta could not raise prices and had to cut capacity by 5%. It also lost money on its fuel hedges -- designed to protect the airline when oil prices were skyrocketing -- as oil prices moved in the opposite direction.

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Last updated July 08 2009: 12:11 PM ET
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