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SkyWest's (SKYW) May Block Hours Decline, Load Factor Up

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SkyWest Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) reported a 6.7% (10,500) year-over-year decline in block hours (a measure of aircraft utilization) to 145,300 in May 2018.

The regional carrier, which remains focused on streamlining its operations, stated that the fall in the metric was in sync with its fleet transition plans. The company aims to reduce the 50-seat jets in its fleet and add new E175 aircraft. Notably, SkyWest‘s dual class aircraft accounted for approximately 53% of the carrier’s total block hour production for the month. The comparable figure was approximately 50% a year ago. This St. George, UT-based company reported a 4.5% decrease in block hours for the first five months of the year.

Load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) improved 70 basis points (bps) to 82.1% in the month. The number of departures in May was down 9.3% on a year-over-year basis.

Price Performance

Shares of SkyWest have performed very well in a year’s time. While the stock has gained 51.3%, the Zacks Airline industry shed 10.8% of its value.

The increase in May load factor is a further positive for the stock.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

SkyWest has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation sector are GATX Corporation (GATX - Free Report) , China Southern Airlines Company Limited (ZNH - Free Report) and Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD - Free Report) . While GATX and China Southern Airlines carry a Zacks Rank #2, Expeditors sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of GATX, China Southern Airlines and Expeditors have rallied 17%, 33% and 38.8%, respectively, in a year’s time.

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