American airlines are ready to take-off on record Labor Day weekend travel buoyed by last-minute trips, robust economic growth in four years, a near two-decade low unemployment rate, 18-year record consumer confidence, and higher spending boosted by tax cuts.
According to Airlines for America (A4A), about 16.5 million Americans are expected to fly on U.S. airlines worldwide over the Labor Day holiday (Aug 29 to Sep 3), up 3.5% from last year. In order to accommodate higher travel demand, U.S. airlines increased the number of seats available for their late summer getaway by about 92,000 (read: Airlines ETF Gains in 1-Month Period Despite Mixed Results). The busiest travel day of the weekend is projected to be Aug 31 when an estimated 2.76 million passengers will fly onboard U.S. airlines. This was followed by Aug 30 and Sep 3, with 2.6 and 2.58 million passengers traveling, respectively. VIDEO
However, this Labor Day weekend is the most expensive in the past four years. Per GasBuddy.com, the average gasoline price is expected to be $2.84 per gallon this weekend, up 20 cents from last year, while American Automobile Association projects national average retail price for regular unleaded gasoline at $2.84 per gallon, up 48 cents higher from last year (read:
What's Behind the Recent Rally in Airlines ETF?). Huge travel demand should boost revenues and profitability for the airlines, thereby leading to skyrocketing share prices. Investors shouldn’t miss this opportunity and could tap this trend through ETF and stocks that stand to profit big time from the upbeat Labor Day travel trend. U.S. Global Jets ETF ( JETS - Free Report) This pure play ETF provides exposure to the global airline industry, including airline operators and manufacturers from all over the world, by tracking the U.S. Global Jets Index. In total, the product holds 34 securities that are heavily concentrated on the top four firms with at least 11% allocation each. Other firms hold less than 4.9% share. The fund has gathered $102.4 million in its asset base while sees moderate trading volume of nearly 25,000 shares a day. It charges investors 60 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #4 (Sell) with a High risk outlook (read: ETFs Buoy on Booming Q2 Corporate Profits: 5 Best Charts). Hawaiian Holdings Inc. ( HA - Free Report) Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii's biggest and longest-serving airline and the world's most punctual airline. It saw positive earnings estimate revision of 8 cents for this year over the past 30 days, with expected growth of 4.08%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and VGM Score of B. SkyWest Inc. ( SKYW - Free Report) This Utah-based company operates one of the larger regional airlines in the United States. It saw rising earnings estimate of 28 cents for this year over the past 90 days, with expected growth of 43.44%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and VGM Score of B. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here United Continental Holdings Inc. ( UAL - Free Report) This Illinois-based carrier provides air transportation services in North America, the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The stock has seen positive earnings estimate revision of 18 cents for this year over the past 30 days, with expected growth of 19.53%. It has a Zacks Rank #3 and VGM Score of A. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>