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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: American Airlines, Boeing, Ryanair, Alaska Air, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 04, 2021 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL - Free Report) , The Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) , Ryanair Holdings plc (RYAAY - Free Report) , Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK - Free Report) , United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL - Free Report) and Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Airline Stock Roundup: AAL, BA, RYAAY and More

In the past week, American Airlines restarted commercial flight services using Boeing's 737 MAX jets. With this, the company became the first U.S.-based carrier to resume operations through the 737 MAX jets, ever since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave its green signal in November to the aircraft for taking to the skies. Notably, the jets, manufactured by The Boeing Company, remained grounded since March 2019 after being involved in two deadly accidents in different parts of the world within a span of a few months.

Meanwhile, European low-cost carrier Ryanair Holdings reportedly chose to strip its UK shareholders of their voting rights, once Britain leaves the EU tomorrow, in a bid to comply with the EU rules on airline ownership. Hungary-based Wizz Air also took similar action.

Alaska Air Group's subsidiary Alaska Airlines was also in news, courtesy of its decision to ban emotional support animals on its flights, shortly. The move followed the U.S. Department of Transportation's order to tighten the rule pertaining to passengers travelling with service animals on flights

Recap of the Past Week's Most Important Stories

1 American Airlines, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), operated its first 737 Max flight on the Miami-New York route on Dec 29. Maintaining its pro-customer stance, the carrier is providing flexibility to customers for switch flights in case they are skeptical of flying on the Boeing 737 Max. The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is sought after in the airline space, mainly because of its fuel efficiency.

Other U.S. airlines which have these jets in their fleet are United Airlines and Southwest Airlines. United Airlines plans to start flying the MAX aircraft on Feb 11, 2021. Southwest Airlines expects to resume commercial flight services in March 2021 using the planes, per the previous week's write up.

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

2. From Jan 11, Alaska Airlines will only allow service dogs to accompany passengers on its flights. However, for tickets booked prior to that date for travel on or before Feb 28, 2021, the airline will continue with its usual policy of transporting emotional support animals. The complete ban on emotional support animals will be effective after Feb 28.

3. Per a FOX Business report, Southwest Airlines' CEO Gary Kelly stated that the pay cuts or furloughs are no longer anticipated at the Dallas-based carrier in 2021 following the outgoing President Donald Trump's decision to sign the $900 worth relief package bill. With the president's stamp of approval, the bill became a law. The new package includes a $15-billion grant to the U.S. airlines. With this fresh payroll aid, United Airlines and American Airlines are also contemplating calling back their laid-off employees.

4. Despite the rise in coronavirus cases in the United States, the final weekend of 2020 (Dec 26 and Dec 27) was a busy one for the U.S. airlines. This can be gauged from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) data. The TSA reported that 1,128,773 and 1,284,589 passengers passed through the TSA checkpoints on Dec 26 and Dec 27, respectively. Notably, this has been the busiest weekend in the past nine months.

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