Airline Stock Roundup: UAL to Resume US-Israel Flights, AAL Hikes Luggage Charge

In the past week, United Airlines UAL announced plans to resume direct flights from the United States to Israel early next month. The announcement makes UAL the first U.S.-based carrier to resume service to Israel since the October attack by Hamas militants.

American Airlines AAL raised its price to check luggage. The hike is applicable for travel booked on or after Feb 20, 2024. This is the first such increase by the airline since 2018. Activist investor Carl Icahn reached a deal with JetBlue Airways JBLU, by virtue of which two representatives from Icahn’s companies secured seats in JBLU’s board. Joby Aviation JOBY announced that it had completed three of the five stages of the Federal Aviation Administration-type certification process.

Recap of the Recent Most Important Stories

1 United Airlines intends to resume daily nonstop flights to Tel Aviv from Newark starting Mar 6 on a Boeing 787-10. On Mar 2 and Mar 4, the Chicago-based carrier will operate flights from Newark to Tel Aviv with a stop in Munich and return flights from Israel to Newark on Mar 3 and 5. The airline is hopeful about starting its second daily flight from Newark to Tel Aviv as early as May.

UAL currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

2. American Airlines announced a substantial increase in its checked bag fees, aiming to persuade passengers to purchase tickets directly from AAL if they want to earn frequent-flyer points. The carrier will raise fees for bags checked at the airport from $30 to $40 and for those checked online through its website from $30 to $35. Moreover, the fee for a second checked bag is increasing from $40 to $45, regardless of whether it's purchased online or at the airport. This marks the first fee hike since 2018.

.3. The strength of JetBlue’s board increased by two to 13. The expansion followed the inclusion of Jesse Lynn, general counsel of Icahn Enterprises, and Steven Miller, portfolio manager with Icahn Capital. They will initially serve as non-voting observers before being granted full voting rights after the airline’s annual shareholder meeting this spring. The expansion was anticipated as Carl Icahn had indicated his desire to seek representation in JBLU’s board after disclosing a 9.91% stake in the company. That story was covered in detail in the previous week's write-up.

4 JOBY took a step toward commercial operations when it completed stage 3 of 5 in the FAA-type certification process. During the third stage, Joby submitted certification plans on the aircraft’s structural, mechanical and electrical systems. The submission also deals with JOBY’s certification approach to cybersecurity, human factors and noise.


The following table shows the price movement of the major airline players over the past week and during the last six months.

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Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

The table above shows that airline stocks exhibited a mixed trend with respect to price over the past week. The NYSE ARCA Airline Index was almost flat at $65.49. Over the course of the past six months, the NYSE ARCA Airline Index has gained 6%.

What’s Next in the Airline Space?

Stay tuned for further news updates in the space.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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