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Ryanair Posts Increase in December Traffic, Load Factor Flat

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Ryanair Holdings plc (RYAAY - Free Report) posted impressive December traffic figures primarily owing to solid demand for air travel. Traffic (including 0.3 million from its LaudaMotion unit) rose 12% year over year to 10.3 million. However, load factor were unaltered at 95%. This European low-cost carrier’s passenger growth, excluding traffic from LaudaMotion unit, was only 9% in the month.

On the punctuality front, the company scored impressively in December. According to the traffic report, more than 81% of Ryanair’s flights arrived on time. According to Ryanair, the reading made it the most punctual major airline in the European Union in the month.

However, the carrier is suffering from several labor-related headwinds for quite some time. The adverse scenario is reflected in the company’s price movement that fared dismally in the past six months. The stock has declined 36.6% compared with the industry’s fall of 6.3%.

Nevertheless, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company received encouraging tidings on the labor front in December. The company provisionally agreed to sign collective labor deals with a union representing its pilots in Germany by March 2019. The contracts, covering issues like pay, pension, pilot allowances and annual leave, will be inked per the German labor law. The agreements are expected to instill employees' trust and confidence in the company.

Other Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Transportation Sector may consider Azul S.A. (AZUL - Free Report) , Spirit Airlines, Inc. (SAVE - Free Report) and Fly Leasing Limited (FLY - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Azul and Spirit Airlines have surged 79.4% and 56% in the past six months, respectively. Meanwhile, Fly Leasing boasts an impressive earnings history, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, the average being 13.5%.

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