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The Airline Problems Behind Travel Disruptions This Holiday Season

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10:28 p.m. Nov. 25, 2021 - By Barbara Kollmeyer
European stocks slump with travel names hard hit as investors fret over new COVID variantEuropean stocks fell sharply early Friday, with heavy losses for travel stocks and energy names after a new potentially highly contagious variant of COVID was detected in South Africa. The Stoxx Europe 600 index slid 3.8% to 465, with the German DAX down 3.5%, the French CAC 40 sliding 4.3% and the FTSE 100 index down 3.4%. The U.K. has announced it will halt travel from South Africa and several other African countries as of Friday. Shares of International Consolidated Airlines slid 10%, cruise operator Carnival slumped 16% and Deutsche Lufthansa dropped 12%. Energy names also weighed heavily as crude fell more than 5% to $73.91 a barrel. BP shares fell 8%.
2:15 a.m. Oct. 26, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
JetBlue stock gains after a narrower-than-expected loss, revenue that rose 4-fold to beat forecastsShares of JetBlue Airways Corp. rose 0.5% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the air carrier reported a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss, revenue that rose four-fold to top forecasts and provided an upbeat outlook. The company swung to net income of $130 million, or 40 cents a share, from a loss of $393 million, or $1.44 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, which would include government payroll assistance, the adjusted per-share loss was 12 cents, compared with the FactSet loss consensus of 18 cents. Revenue rose 300.8% to $1.97 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $1.93 billion, as revenue passengers rose 321.8% to 9.08 million. Load factor increased to 79.9% from 42.6% but came up short of expectations of 82.3%, as capacity rose 134.1% to 16.17 million available seat miles. Departures increased 139.4% to 76,918. "September took the brunt of the bookings softness associated with rising case counts tied to the Delta variant," said Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty. "That said, trends have stabilized and are improving. We expect robust revenue acceleration throughout the quarter as the holidays approach and demand continues to meaningfully improve." The stock has lost 8.3% over the past three months through Monday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has slipped 4.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.3%.
2:17 a.m. Oct. 21, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
American Airlines stock rises after a narrower-than-expected loss, as revenue nearly tripledShares of American Airlines Group Inc. rose 0.8% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier reported a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss on revenue that nearly tripled, while load factor came up short. The air carrier swung to net income of $169 million, or 25 cents a share, from a loss of $2.40 billion, or $4.71 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, which would include benefits from government payroll support programs, the adjusted per-share loss came to 99 cents, beating the FactSet loss consensus of $1.04. Total revenue grew 182.7% to $8.97 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $8.92 billion, as passenger revenue jumped 213.3% to $7.96 billion. Load factor improved to 78.7% from 58.9% but missed the FactSet consensus of 80.9%. The company said it ended the quarter with about $18 billion of available liquidity. The company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be down about 20% from the same period in 2019, while the current FactSet revenue consensus of $9.30 billion implies a 17.8% decline. The stock has dropped 8.8% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has slipped 1.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.
1:57 a.m. Oct. 21, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Southwest results beat expectations, sees 'operational challenges' in October costing $75 million in revenueSouthwest Airlines Co. reported Thursday a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss as passenger revenue nearly tripled, as overall demand remained "quite strong" despite a deceleration in traffic in August and September as a result of surging COVID-19 cases. The air carrier's stock was little changed in premarket trading. The company swung to net income of $446 million, or 73 cents a share, from a loss of $1.16 billion, or $1.96 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as $763 million in benefits related to the Payroll Support Program, adjusted per-share losses came to 23 cents, compared with the FactSet loss consensus of 27 cents. Total revenue rose 161.0% to $4.68 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $4.58 billion, as passenger revenue grew 190.7% to $4.23 billion. Load factor improved to 80.7% from 44.9% but came up shy of expectations of 82.1%. For October, revenue and booking trends continue to improve, but the company sees negative impacts of $40 million from the delta variant and of $75 million as a result of flight cancellations from operational challenges. The stock has lost 6.9% over the past three months, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has slipped 1.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.
3:52 a.m. Oct. 13, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Delta reports first adjusted profit since before the pandemic, but fuel price rise could pressure profitability; stock fallsShares of Delta Air Lines Inc. dropped 1.5% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the air carrier reported its first adjusted profit since the COVID-19 pandemic, and which was double what was expected, but said the recent rise in fuel prices will pressure its ability to remain profitable in the fourth quarter. Net income was $1.21 billion, or $1.89 a share, compared with $1.50 billion, or $2.31 a share, in the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as a $1.3 billion benefit related to government payroll support, adjusted earnings per share came in at 30 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 15 cents. Total revenue was $9.15 billion, down 27% from the same period in 2019, but beat the FactSet consensus of $8.38 billion. Load factor fell to 80% from 88%, but beat the FactSet consensus of 78%. Capacity for the quarter was 71% of what it was in the same 2019 quarter. Adjusted fuel price was $1.94 per gallon, down 8% from the second quarter, but that is expected to rise to $2.25 to $2.40 per gallon i the fourth quarter. The company also expects fourth-quarter capacity to be 80% of 2019 levels. "Generating a profit for the quarter even with a majority of our corporate and international customers still to return is a great achievement," said President Glen Hauenstein. He expects holiday travel demand to be "robust," and expects improvement in corporate and international demand. Delta's stock has gained 8.3% year to date through Tuesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has tacked on 7.2% and the S&P 500 has advanced 15.8%.
3:37 a.m. Oct. 11, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Southwest's stock slumps as analyst says canceled flights could add to cost pressures, hurt labor relationsShares of Southwest Airlines Co. slumped 2.9% in premarket trading Monday, to pace the declines among its air-carrier peers, after Southwest , which the company . Analyst Savanthi Syth said she expected only a "limited financial impact and no forward demand implications" given the setbacks happened during an off-peak period and weren't limited to Southwest, but she added that because the airline had already made capacity cuts to address operational reliability the recent setback "likely adds to the related unit cost pressure and may exacerbate strained labor union relations." Meanwhile, Syth reiterated the outperform rating she's had on the stock since November. Southwest's stock selloff comes as the U.S. Global Jets ETF slipped 0.6% in premarket trading, while futures for the S&P 500 gave up 0.3%. Among other air carriers, American Airlines Group Inc. shares eased 0.3%, Delta Air Lines Inc. declined 0.5% and United Airlines Holdings Inc. shed 0.4%.
3:13 a.m. Oct. 7, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
United Airlines adding flights for the holidays given signs of pent up demandShares of United Airlines Holdings Inc. rallied 1.4% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier announced an increase in its domestic flight schedule for the holidays, following signs of pent-up travel demand. The company said holiday travel searches on its website and app are up 16% from 2019. For December, the company expects to offer more than 3,500 daily domestic flights, which is 91% of the capacity compared with 2019, and the most since the COVID pandemic started in March 2020. "We're seeing a lot of pent-up demand in our data and are offering a December schedule that centers on the two things people want most for the holidays: warm sunshine and fresh snow," said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning and scheduling. United's stock has slipped 0.2% over the past three months through Wednesday but has climbed 16.1% year to date. In comparison, the U.S. Global Jets ETF has gained 8.2% this year and the S&P 500 has advanced 16.2%.
4:03 a.m. Sept. 30, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Boeing and Spirit upgraded to outperform at Bernstein on expectations for recovery in air travelBernstein analysts upgraded Boeing Co. and Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc. to outperform on Wednesday and said they expect international traffic and aircraft demand to start to improve as COVID-19 vaccines begin to be administered in most major markets. "The story is not totally clean," a team led by Douglas S. Harned wrote in a note to clients. "Some countries (e.g. China, Vietnam, Australia) must fight against lockdown strategies that block travel when single cases arise. But, we now see paths for most major markets to reopen, with China the slowest, with its "zero tolerance" strategy and the Beijing Olympics coming in February." The analysts are expecting most major markets to get their vaccine programs running in the next six months to allow air travel to recover, barring the emergence of another new variant, which they do not expect. Boeing's stock price target was raised to $279 from $252, while Spirit's was lifted to $66 from $53. Boeing shares were up 2.3% premarket and have gained 4.7% in the year to date. The U.S. Global JETS ETF has gained 8% year-to-date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 12%.
4:13 a.m. Sept. 24, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Delta Airlines stock is a 'catalyst call buy' at Deutsche Bank, as recent underperformance should flip to outperformanceDeutsche Bank analyst Michael Linenberg has launched a "short-term catalyst call buy" on Delta Air Lines Inc.'s stock Friday, saying he believes the underperformance so far this year will flip to outperformance in the coming months. The stock has edged up 5.9% year to date through Thursday, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has climbed 16.9% and the S&P 500 has advanced 18.5%. Linenberg said this underperformance has come despite Delta being one of the most leveraged to corporate and long-haul international travel, which he believes will start seeing better demand. And with the last few months of the year being good time to own the airline sector -- the airline seasonal trade has worked in 16 out of the past 20 years -- Linenberg believes "Delta will be a favored name among 'new money' investors given that it is viewed as one of the highest quality names in the sector." The stock was down 0.8% in premarket trading.
5:06 a.m. Sept. 20, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Airline stocks outperform, amid hopes U.S. will lift the EU travel ban 'soon'The airline sector fell, but outperformed amid , after reports that President Biden will soon lift the travel ban on Europeans, which was put in place early in the COVID-19 pandemic by former president Donald Trump. Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union Ambassador to the U.S., , "Hope there'll be a positive announcement soon." The U.S. Global Jets ETF slipped 0.6%, while the S&P 500 shed 1.4%. Among the more-active U.S. air carriers, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. rose 0.9%, Delta Air Lines Inc. eased 0.5% and United Airlines Holdings Inc. slipped 0.5%. The Biden administration agreed with its European Union officials to lift travel restrictions for vaccinated citizens, , citing three senior EU officials.
2:34 a.m. Sept. 9, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
JetBlue cuts third-quarter revenue outlook, stock fallsShares of JetBlue Airways Corp. shed 0.8% in premarket trading, after the air carrier joined its peers in warning that third-quarter revenue would be weaker than previously expected because of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. The company now expects third-quarter revenue to be down 6% to 9% from the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, compared with previous guidance of a decline of 4% to 9%; the current FactSet revenue consensus of $1.90 billion implies a 9.0% drop. The company said the bookings softness it is currently seeing is extending into the fourth quarter, although it expects leisure demand for peak holiday travel "will hold up relatively well." JetBlue also expects third-quarter capacity to be down 1% from the same period in 2019, compared with previous expectations of flat to down 3%. "JetBlue continues to expect a choppy and non-linear demand recovery and may not be able to predict changes to revenue due to additional COVID-19 related disruptions or other factors," the company stated. The stock has slumped 21.9% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets has declined 15.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.0%.
1:50 a.m. Sept. 9, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Southwest Airlines warns of continued soft bookings, elevated cancellations due to COVID and Hurricane IdaSouthwest Airlines Co. shares slid 1.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the airline warned that it is still seeing softness in bookings and elevated cancellations, mostly due to the rise in COVID-19 cases caused by the highly infectious delta variant. The company said August operating revenue performed near the low end of its guidance range, due to a pullback in leisure passenger traffic and trip cancellations. "August 2021 managed business revenues decreased approximately 64 percent compared with August 2019, relatively in line with July 2021 managed business revenues down approximately 63 percent compared with July 2019, as business demand stalled in August 2021 following several months of sequential improvements," the company said in a regulatory filing. The weak trends have persisted through September and are expected to remain in October, while managed business bookings are expected to remain relatively stable compared with August. Travel demand for Labor Day was "solid," but with higher-than-expected cancellations due to Hurricane Ida. "Based on current bookings, the Company is experiencing fairly typical booking patterns for holiday travel periods in fourth quarter 2021," the airline said. The company is expecting its third-quarter load factor to range from 80% to 85%, and for its October load factor to range from 75% to 85%. Shares have gained 3% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 20%.
7:20 a.m. Aug. 17, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Online travel booker stocks fall amid growing concerns over surging COVID cases Shares of online travel services companies were broadly lower Tuesday, with many hitting multi-month lows, as fueled fears of potential travel restrictions. The ETFMG Travel Tech ETF dropped 3.5%, and has shed 7.5% amid a 4-day losing streak, putting it on track for the lowest close since Dec. 23, 2020, as 32 of 34 equity components lost ground. In comparison, the S&P 500 declined 0.9%. Among some of the ETF's online-booker components, shares of Expedia Group Inc. slid 1.7%, TripAdvisor Inc. dropped 3.0%; Despegar.com slumped 6.4% and Trivago N.V. tumbled 8.0%, all toward six-month lows, while Booking Holdings Inc. slipped 1.1%, but was above the July 19 closing low of $2,067.55. Shares of Travelzoo , which provides travel information, declined 5.3%, and Sabre Corp. , which provides travel-booking technology, lost 1.4%. Elsewhere, shed 2.6%, and has lost 6.1% amid a four-day losing streak, while cruise operator Carnival Corp.'s stock lost 3.2%, and has dropped 8.0%, also amid a 4-day loss streak.
2:37 a.m. Aug. 12, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
JetBlue completes first transatlantic customer-carrying flightShares of JetBlue Airways Corp. edged up 0.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier's first transatlantic flight was completed. The company said it kicked off its transatlantic service with new nonstop service between New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport to London's Heathrow Airport, with the first "customer-carrying" flight landing Thursday morning at 10 a.m. local time. "With JetBlue now connecting New York and London, travelers finally have the ability to enjoy low fares while also experiencing superior service," said Chief Executive Robin Hayes. "As the U.K. opens to travelers coming from America, our flights are well timed to meet the pent up demand for travel between our two countries. We look forward to welcoming U.K. travelers to the U.S. soon and launching service between Boston and London next year." JetBlue's stock has gained 8.9% year to date through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has tacked on 5.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 18.4%.
9:55 a.m. Aug. 4, 2021 - By Claudia Assis
U.S. air-travel rebound stalls, Citi saysAn uptick in domestic air travel, mostly related to leisure travel, has stalled, Citi analyst Stephen Trent said in a note Wednesday. "The booking curve over the last seven days shows weaker U.S. domestic trends vs. 2019," with revenue from August travel down about 35%, softer by about 15 percentage points and 20 percentage points compared with a month ago, and September down about 20%, lower by 20 percentage points to 25 percentage points. While the real-time daily air passenger counts in the U.S. "remain strong," including a pandemic-era high of more than 2.2 million passengers on Aug. 1st, "it is possible that concerns about new variants, western wildfires/droughts and the seasonal roll-off in personal travel are driving some near-term volume softness," he wrote. In late trading Wednesday, shares of all major U.S. airlines traded down on Wednesday, with Delta Air Lines Inc. down nearly 4%, United Airlines Holdings Inc. losing 2.9%, and American Airlines Group Inc. falling 2.4%. The S&P 500 index fell 0.3%.
2:25 a.m. July 27, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
JetBlue revenue rises 7-fold to beat forecasts as consumer confidence, travel demand improvesJetBlue Airways Corp. reported Tuesday a narrower-than-expected second-quarter loss and revenue that rose seven-fold from a year ago to beat forecasts as the air carrier saw further month-on-month improvement in travel. The company swung to net income of $64 million, or 20 cents a share, from a loss of $320 million, or $1.18 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, the adjusted per-share loss of 65 cents beat the FactSet loss consensus of 74 cents. Revenue grew 597.7% to $1.50 billion, from $215 million a year ago, and beat the FactSet consensus of $1.44 billion. Load factor improved to 79.2% from 33.8%, topping the FactSet consensus of 75.6%, as traffic increased 1,223.7% to 10.80 billion revenue passenger miles and capacity grew 465.6% to 13.65 billion available seat miles. "In the second quarter, we saw strong signs that consumer confidence and travel demand is returning, with second quarter revenue doubling compared to the first quarter driven by pent-up demand," said Chief Executive Robin Hayes. The stock, which slipped 0.1% in premarket trading, has gained 10.5% year to date through Monday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has tacked on 5.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 17.7%.
2:20 a.m. July 22, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
American Airlines adjusted loss narrows more than expected, as revenue jumps more than 4-foldAmerican Airlines Group Inc. reported Thursday an adjusted loss that narrowed more than expected, revenue that more than quadrupled to beat forecasts and daily cash burn turned positive as the post-COVID-19 recovery continues. The stock slipped 0.4% in premarket trading, after soaring 12.8% over the past two days. On a net basis, the air carrier swung to income of $19 million, or 3 cents a share, from a loss of $2.07 billion, or $4.82 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, the adjusted per-share loss narrowed to $1.69 from $7.82, beating the FactSet loss consensus of $2.03. Total revenue climbed 361% to $7.48 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $7.32 billion. Load factor improved to 77.0% from 42.3%, matching expectations, as traffic jumped to 42.02 billion revenue passenger miles from 7.23 billion RPM and capacity grew to 54.56 billion available seat miles from 17.08 billion ASM. The company took in an average of $1 million in cash per day, and ended the second quarter with a record $21.3 billion of total available liquidity. The stock has run up 35.7% year to date through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has gained 4.4% and the S&P 500 has advanced 16.0%.
2:06 a.m. July 22, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Southwest Airlines swings to Q2 profit thanks to PSP program as revenue tops estimatesSouthwest Airlines Co. said Thursday it had net income of $348 million, or 57 cents a share, in the second quarter, after a loss of $915 million, or $1.63 a share, in the year-earlier period, when travel stalled during the global pandemic. The profit was driven by a $724 million offset of salaries and other benefits related to the receipt of proceeds from the Payroll Support Program, a federal relief program for airlines. Excluding that offset, the company had an adjusted loss of 35 cents a share, wider than the 23 cents loss consensus estimate of FactSet analysts. Revenue rose to $4.008 billion from $1.008 billion, topping the $3.939 billion FactSet consensus. "Second quarter 2021 marked an important milestone in the pandemic recovery as leisure travel demand surged," Chief Executive Gary C. Kelly said in a statement. The company generated net income in June, to mark its first monthly profit without the benefit of temporary salary and benefit relief since the start of the pandemic, he said. The rapid ramp-up in travel demand has proved a challenge and the company is now focused on bring back workers and improving operations. Jet fuel prices are also significantly higher and expected to remain so in the third quarter. "To support the return of flight activity, we expect to recall the vast majority of our Employees early from voluntary time-off by the end of third quarter 2021, which is expected to reduce our prior forecasted savings from voluntary leave programs beyond second quarter 2021," said Kelly. The company's load factor stood at 82.9% in the second quarter, while available seat miles were up 86.8%. The company is expecting capacity to rise 49% in the third quarter as travel demand continues to improve. Shares were down 1% premarket, but have gained 14% in the year to date, while the U.S. Global JETS ETF has gained 4% and the S&P 500 has gained 16%.
5:37 a.m. July 19, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
TSA data shows post-pandemic record travelers on SundayAirline stocks , but travelers have so far been undeterred by rising COVID-19 cases as a the number of travelers rose to a post-pandemic record over the weekend. Transportation Security Administration throughput data showed that 2,227,704 travelers went through TSA checkpoints on Sunday, the most since Feb. 28, 2020, which was more than a week before . And the three-day total of 6,407,500 travelers, from Friday through Sunday, was the most since the three-day stretch ended Feb. 28, 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. Global Jets ETF dropped 4.8% toward a six-month low, as the S&P 500 tumbled 1.8%. Among the Jets ETF's more active U.S.-based components, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. shed 6.2%, United Airlines Holdings Inc. slid 6.2% and Delta Air Lines Inc. dropped 5.1%.
4:23 a.m. July 19, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Airline stocks suffer broad selloff as surge in delta variant stokes fears of potential travel restrictionsAirline stocks were suffering a broad selloff ahead of Monday's open, amid and as a surge of the delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 increases . The U.S. Global Jets ETF sank 3.6% in premarket trading, putting it on track for a sixth-straight daily decline, and to extend a seven-week losing streak through Friday in which the ETF has tumbled 16.5%. Among the ETF's components, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. slumped 5.2% premarket, after sinking 18.6% amid a six-week losing streak; United Airlines Holdings Inc. slid 5.1%, after tumbling 21.1% amid a 7-week losing streak; and Delta Air Lines Inc. dropped 4.2%, after losing 13.8% amid a 5-week losing streak. Elsewhere, shares of Southwest Airlines Co. gave up 3.8% premarket, JetBlue Airways Corp. declined 5.4% and Spirit Airlines Inc. fell 5.3%. The selloff in air carrier stocks comes as futures for the S&P 500 dropped 1.3%.
11:50 a.m. July 15, 2021 - By Claudia Assis
Alaska tweaks Q2 guidance, sees capacity dropping furtherAlaska Air Group Inc. said late Thursday it expects its capacity to decline a bit more than it expected for its second quarter, as compared with 2019, and that it expects second-quarter revenue to drop 33%, the lower end of a previously expected decline between 33% and 35%, also as compared with 2019. Capacity dropped 21% in the quarter, compared with expectations of about 20%, Alaska said in a filing. From the beginning of the pandemic, "the recovery path has been volatile and difficult to predict," Alaska said. Second-quarter operating cash flow results, however, were better than expected thanks to strength in demand for future travel, improvements in affinity partner cash flows as consumers spent more than in 2019, and other working capital tailwinds, the airline said. Shares of Alaska were flat in the extended session Thursday after ending the regular trading day down 1.1%. Alaska is expected to report second-quarter results on July 22.
2:54 a.m. July 15, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Delta Air Lines stock bounces off 5-month low after double upgrade at Raymond JamesShares of Delta Air Lines Inc. bounced 0.9% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier was double upgraded by analyst Savanthi Syth at Raymond James, who said the stock was "too hard to ignore at current levels." The upgrade comes after the stock slumped 1.6% to close Wednesday at the lowest price since Feb. 3, as concerns over the pace of the travel recovery . Syth raised her rating two notches to strong buy, after being at market perform since November 2020. Her $58 stock price target implies a 43% gain from Wednesday's close of $40.68. "[T]he recent leg down in U.S. airlines shares may be more interest rate/inflation-related spillover to value, but we expect improving fundamentals to prevail particularly given our favorable view on business demand recovery," Syth wrote in a note to clients. She said that while other air carriers provide exposure to business demand recovery without the risk of further delays in international market reopenings, "we find [Delta's stock] too hard to ignore at current levels." The stock has dropped 13.1% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has shed 12.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.9%.
2:43 a.m. July 14, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Delta Air Lines stock rallies after narrower-than-expected loss, revenue beat by nearly $1 billionShares of Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 1.6% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the air carrier reported a narrower-than-expected second-quarter loss as revenue fell less than forecast, amid "accelerating demand" for air travel. Net income fell to $652 million, or $1.02 a share, from $1.44 billion, or $2.21 a share, in the same period in prepandemic 2019. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as benefits related to government payroll support programs, the company swung to a per-share loss of $1.07 from earnings per share of $2.35 in 2019, but beat the FactSet loss consensus of $1.38. Revenue dropped 43% from 2019 to $7.13 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $6.20 billion, as passenger revenue fell 53% to $5.33 billion but topped expectations of $5.01 billion. Load factor fell to 69% from 88%, just shy of the FactSet consensus of 69.8%. For the third quarter, the company expects total revenue to be down 30% to 35% from 2019 levels. "Domestic leisure travel is fully recovered to 2019 levels and there are encouraging signs of improvement in business and international travel," said Chief Executive Ed Bastian. "We are also opportunistically acquiring aircraft and creating upside flexibility to accelerate our capacity restoration in 2022 and beyond in a capital-disciplined manner." Delta's stock has edged up 2.8% year to date through Tuesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has gained 3.9% and the S&P 500 has climbed 16.3%.
4:04 a.m. July 9, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
United Airlines to add more flights to warm-weather destinations in the U.S., Mexico and CaribbeanShares of United Airlines Holdings Inc. bounced 1.8% in premarket trading Friday, after the air carrier is taking advantage of the "resurgence" in travel as the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, by saying it was adding nearly 150 flights to warm-weather cities in the U.S., and boosting service to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. The stock's rally comes after it fell 6.4% amid a four-day losing streak through Thursday. United said it will fly 137 more flights than it did in 2019 to Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Nevada starting November through March 2022, and will increase service by 30% compared with 2019 to Latin beach and leisure markets. "Celebrating the holidays with family and loved ones in 2020 was a challenge, and we know our customers are already eager to plan winter vacations and gatherings in person this year to make up for time that they lost," said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning at United. "As pandemic restrictions ease, people are becoming more confident in planning travel further in advance, so we want to make sure to offer our customers as much choice as possible." Despite the bounce, United's stock is on track for a sixth-straight weekly loss, which would be the longest such streak in nine years. It has shed 15.0% over the past three months through Thursday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has slid 14.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.7%.
1:31 a.m. June 29, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
UPDATE: United Airlines to add 270 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to fleet in its biggest order ever in strong bet on recovery for travelUnited Airlines Holdings Inc. said Tuesday it is purchasing 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft to its fleet, in its biggest ever order and the largest by an individual carrier in the last decade, making a strong bet on a recovery in travel. The company said its 'United Next' plan will also see it retrofit 100% of the remaining mainline, narrow-body fleet to improve the customer experience, increase premium seats per North American departure by 75%, create bigger overhead bins, put seatback entertainment in every seat and install the industry's fastest WiFi. The company expects to increase the number of available seats per domestic departure by almost 30%, significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and create 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026. Combined with its current order book, United will add more than 500 new narrow-body aircraft through 2024 and beyond. "That means in 2023 alone, United's fleet will, on average, add about one new narrow-body aircraft every three days," the company said in a statement. United is expecting to resume its full schedule of flights out of Newark by November when the FAA slot waiver ends, said the statement. United also offered financial guidance, saying it expects to achieve more than $2 billion structural cost savings by 2026, is planning to retire more than 200 single-cabin regional jets by that date, and is expecting adjusted capex of $4.5 billion in 2021, $4.2 billion in 2022 and $8.5 billion in 2023. Shares were down 0.6% premarket, but have gained 26% in the year to date, while the U.S. Global JETS ETF has gained 9% and the S&P 500 has gained 14%.
11:29 a.m. June 19, 2021 - By Catey Hill
‘I’m 73 and fed up with California and want a gun-friendly, affordable city with good weather — so where should I retire?’ Looking for ideas on the best place for you to retire? Email HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.comSome hidden gems to consider in Georgia, New Mexico and Arkansas.
2:14 a.m. June 18, 2021 - By Barbara Kollmeyer
Airline shares rise after EU lifts travel ban on Americans: reportShares of U.S. airlines rose in premarket trading on Friday after the European Union reportedly recommended the lifting of a nonessential travel ban for Americans across its member states. Governments made the decision on Friday to add the U.S. to a "white list" of countries, and each country will now be able to decide what kind of restrictions, if any, to place on U.S. visitors, and Bloomberg reported. The European Commission was reportedly pressured by countries heavily dependent on tourism, including Italy, Spain and Portugal, who are trying to save the summer season. EU officials had agreed on Wednesday to recommend lifting those bans in place since the pandemic last year, with that decision reportedly official on Friday. Shares of Delta Airlines and United Airlines were up around 1% each in premarket trading.
3:20 a.m. June 3, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
American Airlines still sees Q2 system capacity down 20% to 25%, revenue down about 40% American Airlines Group Inc. said Thursday it still expects second-quarter system capacity, as measured per total available seat miles, to be down 20% to 25%, and for revenue to be down about 40% compared with the second quarter of 2019, the year before the pandemic decimated travel. The airline said it has seen continued strength in net bookings and load factors, however. As of June 2, the seven-day moving average of net booking was about 90% of where it was in the same period in 2019, while the domestic load factor for May was about 84% and greater than 88% over the Memorial Day weekend. "The company presently expects this strength in bookings to continue through the end of the second quarter and into the third quarter and, assuming continuation of current trends, expects leisure yields to approach or exceed the corresponding 2019 levels during the peak summer travel period," American said in a regulatory filing. "Although business demand continues to be weak, the company is starting to see increased demand among small and medium sized enterprises and certain large corporate customers." The company generated cash in May for the first time since the start of the outbreak and expects to end the second quarter with liquidity of more than $20 billion, compared with prior guidance of $19.5 billion. The airline will focus on debt reductions and optimizing its balance sheet, including through the use of cash on hand or the potential issuance of about $800 million of common stock through an ATM (at the market) program. Shares were down 1.5% premarket but have gained 64% in the year to date, while the U.S. Global JETS ETF has gained 22% and the S&P 500 has gained 12%.
2:56 a.m. June 3, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Delta Air expects pretax profit in second half of 2021 with leisure, corporate and transatlantic travel driving demand recoveryDelta Air Lines Inc. said it expects to generate a pretax profit in the second half of 2021, driven by recovering demand for leisure, corporate and Transatlantic flights after a long period of weakness caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In a presentation prepared for an investor conference, the airline said it now expects its June quarter pretax loss to range from $1.0 billion to $1.2 billion, down from prior guidance of $1.0 billion to $1.5 billion. The company expects revenue for the quarter to fall 50% to 52% to $6.0 billion to $6.2 billion, compared with prior guidance of down 50% to 55%. Domestic leisure travel is expected to be more than 100% restored in June, up from 60% in March. "Forward premium revenue growth is outpacing main cabin and upsell rates are improving," the airline said. "Continued leisure, growing corporate and initial Transatlantic demand drive next leg of recovering in the second half of 2021, with remaining long-haul international expected to recover in 2022." Delta is expecting its average fuel price per gallon to range from $2.10 to $2.15, compared with earlier guidance of $1.85 to $1.95. It expects capex of about $500 million, unchanged from earlier guidance, and adjusted net debt of $19.0 billion, compared with earlier guidance of $19.0 to $19.5 billion. The airline is now exploring additional ways to delever its balance sheet, after the initial phase of debt reduction was completed. Shares were down 1.6% premarket, but have gained 19% in the year to date, while the U.S. Global JETS ETF has gained 22% and the S&P 500 has gained 12%.
4:49 a.m. June 1, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Airline stocks in broad rally after Memorial Day travelers reaches pre-pandemic levelsShares of air carriers enjoyed a broad rally Tuesday, after data showing that the number of travelers over the Memorial Day weekend reached pre-pandemic levels. Throughput showed that 7,116,027 people went through TSA checkpoints during the four days from Friday through Monday. That total included 1,959,593 travelers on Friday, the highest daily total since March 7, 2020, or before the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. There were 1,900,179 travelers on Monday, according to the TSA, and 1,605,810 on Saturday and 1,650,454 on Sunday. The U.S. Global Jets ETF rallied 1.8% in morning trading. Among the sector's more actively traded shares, American Airlines Group Inc. hiked up 3.1%, United Airlines Holdings Inc. advanced 2.4%, Delta Air Lines Inc. climbed 1.4%, JetBlue Airways Corp. rose 2.0% and Southwest Airlines Co. tacked on 0.8%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 0.4%.
2:27 a.m. May 25, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
United Airlines raises Q2 guidance as demand shifts closer to 2019 levelUnited Airlines Holdings Inc. raised guidance for the second quarter on Tuesday, after it said it has seen an acceleration in ticketed yields for the quarter to levels similar to 2019, the year before the coronavirus pandemic crimped travel. In a regulatory filing, the airline said domestic leisure yields are now ahead of where they were in the same period in 2019. It now expects total revenue per available seat mile to be down around 12% for the quarter, compared with previous guidance of down about 20%. However, because of reduced flying to India and Israel, United expects second-quarter capacity to be down at least 46%, compared with earlier guidance of down 45%. The company is still expecting domestic leisure yields for summer travel to exceed 2019 levels. "Business demand continues to be significantly depressed, though bookings for business travel are starting to recover," said the filing. "As a result of these trends the company now expects third-quarter 2021 adjusted EBITDA to be positive." Shares rose 0.9% premarket and have gained about 30% in the year to date, while the U.S. Global JETS ETF has gained 17.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 11.7%.
2:47 a.m. May 24, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
United Airlines to give vaccinated MileagePlus members a chance to win a year's worth of free flightsUnited Airlines Holdings Inc. said Monday it will raffle off a year's worth of free flights among members of its loyalty program who have received the COVID-19 vaccination. Under terms of the air carrier's "Your Shot to Fly" sweepstakes, new or existing MileagePlus members need to upload their vaccination records to United's app or website between Monday and June 22 for the possibility to win a roundtrip flight for two, in any class of service, to anywhere United flies. There will be 30 pairs of tickets given away in June. And on July 1, United will announce five randomly picked members who have entered the sweepstakes for travel for a year, also in any class to any United destination, for themselves and a companion. "We're proud to do our part to incentivize people to get their shot," said Chief Executive Scott Kirby. "Thanks to the vaccine, more and more destinations are opening up for travel -- and we know our customers are eager to fly." The stock, which rose 0.7% in premarket trading, has rallied 27.9% year to date through Friday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has advanced 15.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.6%.
1:23 a.m. May 24, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
When was the last time you saw Paris? EU ambassadors will ease travel restrictions, but Americans still face hurdles The EU will give more details on the relaxation of existing measures next week, but every country will have its own timetableThe EU will give more details on the relaxation of existing measures next week, but every country will have its own timetable.
3:19 a.m. May 19, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
JetBlue to enter transatlantic market with $599 roundtrip ticket to London from JFKJetBlue Airways Corp. said Wednesday it will enter the transatlantic market, starting Aug. 11 with service between New York's JFK airport and London's Heathrow Airport (LHR). The air carrier will expand its service from JFK to London's Gatwick Airport (LGW) on Sept. 29. The carrier will also start service to London from Boston in the summer of 2022. Tickets are now on sale for London flights from JFK, starting at $599 roundtrip for U.S.-based travelers, and at $1,979 roundtrip for the premium "Mint" service. JetBlue's stock dropped 2.5% in premarket trading, as the U.S. Global Jets ETF shed 1.8% ahead of the open and S&P 500 futures slid 0.9%. "JFK-LHR, the single largest international air travel market from the US, has long suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, especially in premium cabins," said Chief Executive Robin Hayes. "We're ready to change that with a price point and experience that will impress even the most discerning transatlantic flyers."
1:49 a.m. May 19, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Southwest April revenue and load factor was in line, sees continued improvement in travel demandSouthwest Airlines Co. disclosed Wednesday that April operating revenue and load factor were in line with expectations, and said it continues to see improvement in leisure passenger demand and bookings for May and June travel. The air carrier said based on current bookings, leisure fare levels for June 2021 are expected to near June 2019 levels. The stock fell 1.6% in premarket trading, amid a selloff among its peers and the broader stock market. For April, operating revenue was down 42% from pre-pandemic 2019 levels, compared with the previous estimate of down 40% to 45%, while load factor of 79% compared with expectations of 75% to 80%. For May, the revenue estimate is unchanged at down 35% to 40% while the load factor estimate improved to 85% from 75% to 80%. Southwest cut its average daily cash burn estimate for the second quarter to $1 million to $3 million from $2 million to $4 million, citing expectations of improving revenue trends that more than offset higher fuel prices. The company still expects to achieve breakeven average cash flow, or better, in June. The stock's selloff comes as the U.S. Global Jets ETF dropped 1.7% and S&P 500 futures shed 0.8% ahead of the open.
2:23 a.m. May 17, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
United Airlines to boost July flight schedule, to reach 80% of pre-pandemic levelsUnited Airlines Holdings Inc. said Monday that it is adding more than 400 daily flights to its July schedule and will increase its service to destinations in Europe, as booking for summer travel had more than tripled (up 214%) compared with 2020 levels. The air carrier said its July schedule in the U.S. will reach 80% of July 2019 levels, making it the largest monthly schedule since before the COVID-19 pandemic. "This July we're taking a big step toward flying at pre-pandemic levels for our domestic network," said Ankit Gupta, vice president of domestic network planning and scheduling. "By adjusting our bank structures at two key hub airports, we're able to offer our customers easy connections to destinations across the U.S. so they can start their vacations at times convenient for them." United's stock, which slipped 0.4% in premarket trading Monday, has run up 20.0% over the past three months through Friday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has gained 7.9% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 6.2%.
9:38 p.m. May 6, 2021 - MarketWatch
IAG loss narrows, sees virus weighing on trafficInternational Consolidated Airlines Group SA said on Friday that its operating loss for the first quarter narrowed. The airline group--which houses British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling among others--said passenger capacity continues to be adversely affected by the pandemic and the measures and restrictions stemming from it.
9:00 p.m. May 5, 2021 - MarketWatch
Air France-KLM books loss, sees no 2Q bounceAir France-KLM said Thursday that there will be no improvement during the beginning of its second quarter compared with the previous one as travel restrictions and lockdowns in France, the Netherlands and world-wide remain largely in place.
3:14 a.m. May 3, 2021 - By Barbara Kollmeyer
EU proposes lifting restrictions for non-essential travel The European Commission on Monday proposed allowing entry by non-essential travelers to the region, in a bid to restart tourism in some of its hardest hit countries. "The Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine," said the body in a . The EU proposes lifting the threshold linked to the number of new COVID-19 cases used in determining a list of countries from which all travel should be allowed. The EU also proposed an "emergency brake" mechanism, that would allow member states to act quickly over COVID-19 variants to temporarily limit travel from affected countries.
8:31 p.m. May 2, 2021 - MarketWatch
Singapore Airlines raises $1.5B via aircraft dealSingapore Airlines Ltd. will continue to explore additional means of raising liquidity to weather the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic that crimped demand for business and leisure travel worldwide. The airline said Monday that it has raised 2.0 billion Singapore dollars (US$1.5 billion) via the sale-and-lease back of 11 aircraft, including seven Airbus A350-900s and four Boeing 787-10S.
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