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GOL Linhas AereasInteligentes S.A. (GOL - Free Report) has reported air traffic figures for the month of August. Following this data release, shares of the company rose 1.4% to close the trading session at $20.60 per share on Sep 13.

Traffic — measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) — increased 3.4% to 2.99 billion in August from 2.89 billion a year ago. On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat kilometers/ASKs) improved 3% to 3.82 billion, primarily driven by a rise of 2.6% and 5.6% in domestic and international capacity, respectively. International and domestic RPK in the reported month also grew 5.6% and 3.2%, respectively. However, the carrier witnessed a 0.3% slip in passenger count in August.

On the other hand, load factor — percentage of seats filled by passengers — edged up to 78.1% from 77.7% in August 2016, owing to traffic growth exceeding capacity expansion.

At the end of the first eight months of 2017, RPK inched up 1.8% while ASK slid 0.4%. Load factor for the same period expanded 170 basis points. The company however, recorded a 6.4% reduction in the number of seats in the first eight months of this year. Volume of departures too fell 6.8%.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

GOL Linhas currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in airline space are Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY - Free Report) , Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY - Free Report) and SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) . While Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), SkyWest carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa have soared more than 100% in a year, while SkyWest shares have surged 44.1% over the same time period.

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