By David Koenig. Leaders of United and Southwest gave an upbeat forecast for 2015 that combined strong travel demand and cheaper fuel. Alaska Airlines, citing a strong outlook and record adjusted earnings, raised its dividend by 60 percent. Airline stocks soared on Thursday.
The price of jet fuel has dropped by about half since September, boosting airline profits and tamping down fear that global economic weakness could hurt the carriers. Analysts expect all four of the biggest U.S. airline operators — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Continental and Southwest, to post bigger profits this year than in 2014.
United Continental predicted first-quarter profit margins higher than many analysts had expected. (Read more about the jet fuel price dropping HERE)
Delta Air Lines’ “Seattle Invasion” has Failed to Displace Alaska Airlines
By Steve Wilhelm. If you thought the Seattle invasion by Delta Air Lines would dislodge Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, think again.
Alaska reported record profit and decreasing costs for the fourth quarter, and executives struck a note of confidence during the earnings call Thursday.
Alaska Air Group, which includes Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, reported a record $571 million in net 2014 income excluding special items, up 49 percent from the year before. Alaska’s passenger revenue grew 7 percent for the year.
“Alaska has real and durable competitive advantages that will help us sustain these results going forward,” said Brandon Pedersen, chief financial officer. “We’re safe, we run an excellent operation, we offer
award-winning service, have really loyal customers, a great network, low costs, a modern fuel-efficient fleet, a strong balance sheet, and engaged employees.” (Read more from this story HERE)