Top 5 Airline Stocks To Own Right Now


One month ago, a bankruptcy judge determined that Anadarko Petroleum (APC) had fraudulently spun out Tronox before the latter’s bankruptcy and ruled that Anadarko should be liable for between $5 billion and $14 billion in damages. Last night, Anadarko offered its rebuttal.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Reuters has the details on Anadarko’s response:

Anadarko Petroleum Corp said it should pay as little as $850 million in damages over the 2005 spinoff of paint materials company Tronox Inc, 94 percent below the maximum amount a federal bankruptcy judge said it might owe.


The estimate was provided on Monday, one month after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in Manhattan said a higher payout of $14.17 billion might be in order because Anadarko’s Kerr-McGee Corp unit intended to harm Tronox creditors by saddling the spinoff with unsustainable environmental liabilities.

Top 5 Airline Stocks To Own Right Now: Southwest Airlines Co (LUV)

Southwest Airlines Co., incorporated on March 9, 1967, operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline, which provides scheduled air transportation in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was serving 72 cities in 37 states throughout the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company added addition services in two new states and three new cities: Charleston, South Carolina; Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Newark, New Jersey. Southwest provides point-to-point. On May 2, 2011, the Company acquired AirTran Holdings, Inc. (AirTran).


AirTran’s route system provides hub-and-spoke, rather than point-to-point, service, with approximately half of AirTran’s flights originating or terminating at its hub in Atlanta, Georgia. AirTran also serves a range of markets with non-stop service from bases of operation in Baltimore, Maryland; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Orlando, Florida. As of December 31, 2011, AirTran was serv ing 68 United States and near-international destinations, including San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, The Bahamas; Oranjestad, Aruba; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Bermuda. As of January 31, 2012, AirTran served 65 destinations. During 2011, approximately 71% of Southwest’s customers flew non-stop, and Southwest’s average aircraft trip stage length was 664 miles with an average duration of approximately 1.8 hours.


As of December 31, 2011, Southwest offered 25 weekday roundtrips from Dallas Love Field to Houston Hobby, 13 weekday roundtrips from Phoenix to Las Vegas, 13 weekday roundtrips from Burbank to Oakland, and 12 weekday roundtrips from Los Angeles International to Oakland. Southwest offers connecting service opportunities from over 60 Southwest cities to different Volaris airports in Mexico including Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, Mexico City (MEX), Mexico City-Toluca (TLC), Morelia, and Zacatecas. The Company’ s International Connect portal conducts two separate transac! tions: one with Southwest’s reservation system and one with Volaris’s reservation system.


Southwest bundles fares into three categories: Wanna Get Away, Anytime, and Business Select. Wanna Get Away fares are lowest fares. Business Select fares are refundable and changeable, and funds may be applied toward future travel on Southwest. Business Select fares also include additional perks, such as priority boarding, a frequent flyer point multiplier, priority security and ticket counter access in select airports, and one complimentary adult beverage coupon for the day of travel. The Company’s Internet Website, southwest.com, is the avenue for Southwest Customers to purchase tickets online. During 2011, southwest.com accounted for approximately 78% of all Southwest bookings. During 2011, approximately 84% of Southwest’s Passenger revenues came through its Website, including revenues from SWABIZ, the Company’s business travel reservation Web page.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tiernan Ray]

    Virgin has some pressure on “yields” as a result of price cutting by Southwest Airlines (LUV) in the Dallas market, and by JetBlue Airways (JBLU) in New York:

  • [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]

    Stew Milne/AP Considering that it’s largely a brick-and-mortar retailer in a world that’s buying more goods online, PetSmart (PETM) has posted some very good fundamentals recently. Given that, it might be a tempting stock for an investor to own. But it’s not going to be on the market much longer. Under pressure from some of the private equity firms that own big chunks of it, the company has solicited bids for a sale, which will end its time as a stand-alone, publicly traded entity. Its venture into private waters is the latest in a series of such deals so far this year. Here’s a look at several other companies that took (or are taking) themselves off the market in 2014. CEC Entertainment Even during its time on the high-visibility New York Stock Exchange, CEC Entertainment was not a familiar name. But the company’s key property, the Chuck E. Cheese chain of hyperactive-themed restaurants aimed at kids, has been a well-known brand for years. That might be why CEC Entertainment and financial adviser Goldman Sachs (GS) were able to find a wealthy buyer so quickly after announcing their intention to go private this past January. A mere week after that came to light, investment management firm Apollo Global Management (APO) offered $950 million plus roughly $370 million in debt assumption for the company. As that offer represented an amount 25 percent or so higher than the stock’s most recent closing price, CEC Entertainment readily accepted, and the deal closed in February. The company is probably better off in Apollo’s arms. Chuck E. Cheese’s one-stop dining and entertainment model is looking a bit creaky next to the many options for fun available to 21st-century kids. At the time of the deal’s announcement, the company’s results were sagging, with sales and net profit both declining in recent periods. Going private — well, semi-private, as Apollo is a publicly traded entity — reduces the pressure for the company to return to growth right away, and give

  • [By Adam Levine-Weinberg]

    Earnings at the top U.S. airlines — particularly American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL  ) , Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL  ) , and Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) — have soared in the past two years or so. In many ways, a new golden age of the U.S. airline industry has begun.

Top 5 Airline Stocks To Own Right Now: AMR Corp (AAMRQ)

AMR Corporation (AMR), incorporated in October 1982, operates in the airline industry. The Company’s principal subsidiary is American Airlines, Inc. (American). As of December 31, 2011, American provided scheduled jet service to approximately 160 destinations throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. AMR Eagle Holding Corporation (AMR Eagle), a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR, owns two regional airlines, which do business as American Eagle – American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and Executive Airlines, Inc. (collectively, the American Eagle carriers). American also contracts with an independently owned regional airline, which does business as AmericanConnection (the AmericanConnection carrier). As of December 31, 2011, AMR Eagle operated approximately 1,500 daily departures, offering scheduled passenger service to over 175 destinations in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.


American, AMR Eagle and the AmericanConnection airline ser ved more than 250 cities in approximately 50 countries with, on average, 3,400 daily flights and the combined network fleet numbered approximately 900 aircraft as of December 31, 2011. American Airlines is also a founding member of the oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, LAN Airlines, Iberia, Qantas, JAL, Malev Hungarian, Mexicana, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines. Together, oneworld members serve 750 destinations in approximately 150 countries, with about 8,500 daily departures. American is also one of the scheduled air freight carriers in the world, providing a range of freight and mail services to shippers throughout its system onboard American’s passenger fleet.


To improve access to each other’s markets, American has established marketing relationships with other airlines and rail companies. As of December 31, 2011, American had marketing relationships with Air Berlin, Air Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, B ritish Airways, Cape Air, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airl! ines, Dragonair, Deutsche Bahn German Rail, EL AL, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, GOL, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, JetStar Airways, LAN (includes LAN Airlines, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru), Niki Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines.


American has established the AAdvantage frequent flyer program (AAdvantage). AAdvantage members earn mileage credits by flying on American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection carrier or by using services of other participants in the AAdvantage program. Mileage credits can be redeemed for free, discounted or upgraded travel on American, American Eagle or other participating airlines, or for other awards. American sells mileage credits and related services to other participants in the AAdvantage program. There are over 1,000 program participants, including a credit card issuer, hotels, car rental companies, and other products and s ervices companies in the AAdvantage program. As of December 31, 2011, AAdvantage had approximately 69 million total members.


The Company competes with Alaska Airlines (Alaska), Delta Air Lines (Delta), Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways (JetBlue), Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines (Southwest) and AirTran Airways (Air Tran), Spirit Airlines, United Airlines (United) and Continental Airlines (Continental), US Airways and Virgin America Airlines.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading UP
    AMR Corporation (OTC: AAMRQ), the parent company of American Airlines, gained 8.11 percent to $11.46 after a judge rejected a bid to block the AMR US Air merger on price claims.

  • [By Dimitra DeFotis]

    On Wednesday, a federal judge cleared the way for American Airlines parent AMR (AAMRQ) to exit bankruptcy, which hastens the merger of American Air and U.S. Airways Group (LCC). Shares of AMR are down nearly 1% this morning, while U.S. Air stock dropped nearly 2%. The merged airline would be up against United Continental Holdings (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL), which merged with Northwest. Shares of each are down 1%.

  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    A federal judge cleared the way for AMR (AAMRQ) to exit bankruptcy, clearing the way for a merger between American Airlines (owned by AMR) and U.S. Airways Group (LCC). AMR and U.S. Airlines rose 2.7% and 0.6% respectively.

  • [By Alexander MacLennan]

    Experimental method
    On certain routes, American Airlines, a subsidiary of AMR (NASDAQOTH: AAMRQ  ) , is testing a new selling method of allowing passengers to bid on upgrades. In its own words, American Airlines explains how the process works.

Top 5 Airline Stocks To Own Right Now: Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion SAB de CV (VLRS)

Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion SAB de CV (Volaris Aviation Holding Company) is a Mexico-based company principally engaged in the airline passenger transportation industry. The Company is a law-cost carrier airline. Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion SAB de CV offers direct, point-to-point flights. The Company serves through secondary, lower cost airports and provides a single class of service. The Company utilizes such aircraft as the Airbus A319 and A320 families, among others. The Company has such subsidiaries as Comercializadora Volaris SA de CV, Servicios Corporativos Volaris SA de CV, Concesionaria Vuela Compania de Aviacion SAPI de CV, Deutsche Bank Mexico SA Trust 1484, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    When most American investors think of discount airline stocks, they probably think of relatively large capped Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE: LUV) or sort of small cap JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) rather than small cap Controladora Vuela Co Avcn SA CV (NYSE: VLRS) which owns Volaris – a discount airline serving the Mexican market. However, any investor who has read Benjamin Graham’s Intelligent Investor might want to remember his sage advice about avoiding airline stocks – mainly because airlines were such a new and unproven sector that had yet to make money. But could Controladora Vuela Co Avcn SA CV actually be an airline stock worth owning?

Top 5 Airline Stocks To Own Right Now: SkyWest Inc (SKYW)


SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest), incorporated in 1972, through subsidiaries, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet) operates the regional airline in the United States. In addition, the Company provides ground handling services for other airlines throughout its system. The Company operates in two segments: SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet. On December 31, 2011, its subsidiary, ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet Delaware) was merged into its subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. (Atlantic Southeast), with the surviving company named ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (the ExpressJet Combination). ExpressJet includes the operations of Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. (Atlantic Southeast) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet Delaware), which is prior to the ExpressJet Combination.


As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest and ExpressJet offered scheduled passenger and air freight service with approximately 4,000 total daily dep artures to different destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. All of its flights are operated as Delta Connection, United Express, Continental Express, US Airways Express or Alaska under code-share arrangements with Delta, United Air Lines, Inc. (United), Continental Airlines, Inc. (Continental), US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways) and Alaska Airlines (Alaska). As of December 31, 2011, its consolidated fleet consisted of a total of 732 aircraft, of which 443 were assigned to United and Continental, 268 were assigned to Delta, eight were in preparation for new code-share assignments, five were assigned to Alaska, four were subleased to affiliated entities, two were assigned to US Airways and two were subleased to unaffiliated entities. In addition, it provides electronic or paper copies of its filings free of charge upon request.


As of December 31, 2011, it operated two types of regional jet aircraft: the Bombardier Aerospace (Bombardi er) regional jet, which include the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ20! 0 Regional Jet (the CRJ200), the 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 Regional Jet (the CRJ700) and the 70-90-seat Bombardier CRJ900 Regional Jet (the CRJ900), and the 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet (ERJ145). As of December 31, 2011, it also operated the 30-seat Embraer Brasilia EMB-120 turboprop (the Brasilia turboprop). During the year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 65.2% of the Company’s aggregate capacity was operated under the United Express Agreements and Continental Express Agreement, approximately 33.6% was operated under the Delta Connection Agreements, approximately 0.9% was operated under the Alaska Capacity Purchase Agreement, approximately 0.1% was operated under the US Airways Express Agreement and approximately 0.2% was operated under a code-share agreement with AirTran Airways, Inc.


On November 17, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and US Airways entered into the SkyWest Airlines US Airways Express Agreement. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines ope rated two CRJ200s under the SkyWest Airlines US Airways Express Agreement, flying a total of approximately ten US Airways Express flights per day between Phoenix and designated outlying destinations. On April 13, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and Alaska entered into the SkyWest Airlines Alaska Capacity Purchase Agreement. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines operated five CRJ700s under the SkyWest Airlines Alaska Capacity Purchase Agreement, flying a total of approximately 30 Alaska flights per day between Seattle, Portland and designated outlying destinations.


As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet scheduled the daily flights as Delta Connection carriers: 530 flights to or from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, 316 flights to or from Salt Lake City International Airport, 132 flights to or from Minneapolis International Airport, 94 flights to or from Memphis International Airport, 94 flights to or from Detroit International Airpor t and 8 flights to or from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Inte! rnational! Airport.. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines scheduled 15 daily flights as an Alaska carrier to or from Portland International Airport and 15 daily flights as an Alaska carrier to or from Seattle International Airport. As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines scheduled ten daily flights as an US Airways Express carrier to or from Phoenix International Airport.


As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet scheduled the daily flights as a United or Continental Express carrier: 572 flights to or from Houston International Airport, 486 flights to or from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, 412 flights to or from Denver International Airport, 306 flights to or from San Francisco International Airport, 284 flights to or from Los Angeles International Airport, 214 flights to or from Newark International Airport, 148 flights to or from Washington Dulles International Airport, 128 flights to or from Cleveland International Airport and 64 flights to or from other airports. As of December 31, 2011, it operated 17 CRJ200s for United under a pro-rate agreement. The Company also operated one CRJ200 under a pro-rate agreement with Delta, as of December 31, 2011.


SkyWest Airlines

SkyWest Airlines provides regional jet and turboprop service primarily located in the midwestern and western United States. SkyWest Airlines offered approximately 1,650 daily scheduled departures as of December 31, 2011, of which approximately 1,110 were United Express flights, 500 were Delta Connection flights, 30 were Alaksa-coded flights and 10 were US Airways Express flights. SkyWest Airlines’ operations are conducted from hubs located in Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, Los Angeles, Houston, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. SkyWest Airlines’ fleet as of December 31, 2011 consisted of 21 CRJ900s, all of which were flown for Delta; 96 CRJ700s, of which 70 were flown for United, 21 were flown for Del ta and five were flown for Alaska; 153 CRJ200s, of which 82 ! were flown! for United, 61 were flown for Delta, eight were in preparation for service under a code-share agreement with US Airways and two were flown for US Airways; and 45 Brasilia turboprops, of which 35 were flown for United and 10 were flown for Delta.


As of December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines was conducting its Delta Connection operations pursuant to the terms of an Amended and Restated Delta Connection Agreement, which obligates Delta to compensate SkyWest Airlines for its direct costs associated with operating Delta Connection flights, plus a payment based on block hours flown (the SkyWest Airlines Delta Connection Agreement). SkyWest Airlines’ United code-share operations are conducted under a United Express Agreement, pursuant to which SkyWest Airlines is paid primarily on a fee-per-completed block hour and departure basis, plus a margin based on performance incentives (the SkyWest Airlines United Express Agreement). During December 31, 2011, SkyWest Airlines ent ered into code-share agreements with Alaska and US Airways, pursuant to which SkyWest Airlines is paid primarily on a fee-per-completed block hour and departure basis, plus a fixed margin per aircraft each month.


ExpressJet

ExpressJet provides regional jet service principally in the United States, primarily from hubs located in Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, Houston, Newark and Washington Dulles. ExpressJet offered more than 2,100 daily scheduled departures as of December 31, 2011, of which approximately 650 were Delta Connection flights and 1,450 were Continental Express or United Express flights. As of December 31, 2011, the combined fleet of ExpressJet consisted of 10 CRJ900s, which were flown for Delta, 46 CRJ700s,which were flown for Delta, 113 CRJ200s, 99 of, which were flown for Delta and 14 of, which were flown for United and 242 ERJ145s, which were flown for United or Continental.


Under the terms of a Second Amended and Restated Delta Connection Agreement exec! uted betw! een Delta and Atlantic Southeast and to, which ExpressJet is a party (the ExpressJet Delta Connection Agreement), Delta has agreed to compensate ExpressJet for its direct costs associated with operating Delta Connection flights, plus, if ExpressJet completes a certain minimum percentage of its Delta Connection flights, a specified margin on such costs. Under the ExpressJet Delta Connection Agreement, excess margins over certain percentages must be returned to or shared with Delta, depending on various conditions. ExpressJet’s Continental and United code-share operations are conducted under a Capacity Purchase Agreement between ExpressJet and Continental (the Continental CPA) and two United Express Agreements between ExpressJet and United (collectively, the ExpressJet United Express Agreements), pursuant to, which ExpressJet is paid by Continental or United, as applicable, primarily on a fee-per-completed block hour and departure basis, plus a margin based on performance ince ntives.


The Company competes with Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation, American Airlines, Inc. Delta Air Lines, Inc. Compass Airlines, Alaska Air Group, Inc. Mesa Air Group, Inc., Pinnacle Airlines Corp., Republic Airways Holdings Inc. and Trans State Airlines, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Adam Levine-Weinberg]

    Like other regional airlines, Republic Airways Holdings (NASDAQ: RJET  ) has been hard hit by the growing U.S. pilot shortage. However, while rivals such as SkyWest (NASDAQ: SKYW  ) are struggling to stay in the black in this challenging environment, Republic’s focus on more-profitable large regional jets is allowing it to boost earnings.

  • [By Michele Lerner, The Motley Fool]

    Alan Diaz/APAmerican Airlines did better at staying on schedule last year than it did in 2012, when it accused pilots of a work slowdown. DALLAS — A big drop in customer complaints helped U.S. airlines post their best ratings ever even though more flights were late and more bags were mishandled, according to a report released Monday by university researchers. Virgin America topped the ratings, and three regional airlines scored at the bottom. Among the four biggest airlines, Delta Air Lines (DAL) ranked best followed by Southwest (LUV), American (AAL) and United (UAL), according to researchers from Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The researchers have graded airlines since 1991 on government figures for on-time performance, mishandled bags, bumping passengers, and complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Their key findings: On-Time Performance: Airlines operated 78.4 percent of their flights on time in 2013, down from 81.8 percent in 2012. Best: Hawaiian Airlines (HA); worst: American Eagle. Only two airlines improved: American Airlines and United. Bag Handling: The rate of lost, stolen or delayed bags rose 5 percent. Best: Virgin America; worst: American Eagle. Bumping: The rate of bumping passengers from flights fell 8 percent. Best: JetBlue Airways (JBLU); worst: SkyWest (SKYW). Complaints: Consumer complaints to the government dropped 15 percent in 2013 after rising 20 percent the year before. Best: Southwest Airlines; worst: Frontier (RJET). One of the report’s authors, Wichita State business professor Dean Headley, credited the drop in complaints partly to United Airlines. The company suffered several computer-network outages and grounded hundreds of flights in 2012 when it combined the United and Continental computer networks after a merger, but “got their act together” in 2013, he said. Headley said the drop in complaints might also reflect “a certain amount of resignation” that “it’s neve

Top 5 Airline Stocks To Own Right Now: American Airlines Group Inc (AAL)


American Airlines Group Inc., formerly AMR Corporation, incorporated in October 1982, operates in the airline industry. The Company’s principal subsidiary is American Airlines, Inc. (American). As of December 31, 2011, American provided scheduled jet service to approximately 160 destinations throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. AMR Eagle Holding Corporation (AMR Eagle), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, owns two regional airlines, which do business as American Eagle-American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and Executive Airlines, Inc. (collectively, the American Eagle carriers). American also contracts with an independently owned regional airline, which does business as AmericanConnection (the AmericanConnection carrier). As of December 31, 2011, AMR Eagle operated approximately 1,500 daily departures, offering scheduled passenger service to over 175 destinations in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.


American, AMR Eagle a nd the AmericanConnection airline served more than 250 cities in approximately 50 countries with, on average, 3,400 daily flights and the combined network fleet numbered approximately 900 aircraft as of December 31, 2011. American Airlines is also a founding member of the oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, LAN Airlines, Iberia, Qantas, JAL, Malev Hungarian, Mexicana, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines. Together, oneworld members serve 750 destinations in approximately 150 countries, with about 8,500 daily departures. American is also one of the scheduled air freight carriers in the world, providing a range of freight and mail services to shippers throughout its system onboard American’s passenger fleet.

To improve access to each other’s markets, American has established marketing relationships with other airlines and rail companies. As of December 31, 2011, American had marketing relationships with Air Berlin, Air Pacific, A ir Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cape Air, C! athay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, Dragonair, Deutsche Bahn German Rail, EL AL, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, GOL, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, JetStar Airways, LAN (includes LAN Airlines, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru), Niki Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines.

American has established the AAdvantage frequent flyer program (AAdvantage). AAdvantage members earn mileage credits by flying on American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection carrier or by using services of other participants in the AAdvantage program. Mileage credits can be redeemed for free, discounted or upgraded travel on American, American Eagle or other participating airlines, or for other awards. American sells mileage credits and related services to other participants in the AAdvantage program. There are over 1,000 program participants, including a credit card issuer, hotels, car rental co mpanies, and other products and services companies in the AAdvantage program. As of December 31, 2011, AAdvantage had approximately 69 million total members.

The Company competes with Alaska Airlines (Alaska), Delta Air Lines (Delta), Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways (JetBlue), Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines (Southwest) and AirTran Airways (Air Tran), Spirit Airlines, United Airlines (United) and Continental Airlines (Continental), US Airways and Virgin America Airlines.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tiernan Ray]

    Moreover, Virgin’s “premium” clientele has allowed it to generate higher ticket prices, on average, especially for key trans-continental routes, compared to American Airlines (AAL) and other legacy operators:

  • [By Chris Dieterich]

    Airlines consume a huge amount of fuel, so much in fact that fuel accounts for roughly one-third of the industry’s operating expenses. Most airlines hedge the price of fuel to reduce price volatility. Not American Airlines (AAL) or Allegiant Travel (ALGT), Morgan Stanley says, making them the two clearest beneficiaries of lower oil prices.