Airline stocks represent publicly traded shares in companies that operate both domestic and international aircraft services. In this article, I’ll cover the best airline stocks to invest in as the world attempts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As countries slowly lessen lockdown restrictions, I expect travelers to eagerly await their next vacation either domestically or abroad. I don’t think the entire travel industry will recover until 2023 or 2024 but that still gives investors a chance to pick up some airline stocks on the cheap.
List of Best Airline Stocks
- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV)
- Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL)
- United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL)
- Jetblue (NASDAQ: JBLU)
- Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE)
- Alaska Air (NYSE: ALK)
- American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL)
What are the best airline stocks to buy right now? Here’s a quick rundown of my favorite picks:
1. Southwest Airlines (LUV)
Southest Airlines is the world’s largest low cost airline and one of the best run companies in the industry. LUV stock has one of the best reputations for returning cash to shareholders although the company suspended its dividend due to COVID-19.
In Q2 2021, Southwest turned an unexpected profit thanks to the Payroll Protection Program and generated $4 billion in revenue along with $1.9 billion in free cash flow.
Leisure traffic exploded due to pent up demand while business traffic returned to pre-COVID-19 2019 levels. It’s a step in the right direction but there could be more headwinds in the future as the Delta variant wreaks havoc on the planet.
Southwest held $16 billion in cash on its balance sheet and improved key metrics like ASM & RPM. Average revenue per passenger improved greatly YOY to $136.
Southwest has a good chance to surviving the pandemic chaos although LUV stock has basically traded flat for a whole year.
2. Delta AIrlines (DAL)
Delta airlines is a stock I personally hold in my IRA retirement account because I fly with them all the time. While they aren’t as strong as Southwest, they are one of the more profitable airlines and should survive this mess. DAL stock has taken the biggest beaten out of my 3 recommendations, trading around 44% off its 1 -month high. I’m actively buying Delta stock now because I plan to hold the shares for 20+ years.
3. United Airlines (UAL)
United is losing $100 million a day due to the Coronavirus but they hold the most comprehensive fleet in the world. The company has done a lot of things to survive the crisis and should be okay. I prefer LUV or DAL but UAL is my 3rd best choice.
Let’se wait and see how things shake out for the airline industry. I’m going with quality when it comes to airline that will survive the Coronavirus crisis.
Consider adding any of these stocks to your portfolio since they are well off their 52 week highs.