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Alaska Air Posts April Traffic, Expands Codeshare With EL AL

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Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK - Free Report) reported traffic statistics for April. Traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), inched up 0.4% to 4.62 billion.

On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) dipped 0.1% to 5.45 billion. Meanwhile, load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers improved 40 basis points (bps) to 84.7% as traffic increased while capacity declined.

In the first four months of 2019, the carrier generated RPMs of 17.07 billion (up 0.4% year over year) and ASMs of 20.96 billion (up 0.1% year over year). Also, load factor rose 20 bps to 81.4%.

Expanded Partnership With EL AL Israel Airlines

Alaska Air Group’s subsidiary Alaska Airlines has extended its partnership with EL AL Israel Airlines to incorporate a reciprocal frequent flyer agreement. Earlier this year, the carrier entered into a codeshare contract with EL AL by virtue of which, the latter will place its "LY" code on various Alaska Airlines "AS" flights in the United States.

Flights from Newark and Los Angeles, falling under this codeshare agreement, have been available for sale May 5 onward. The expanded codeshare deal will carry the "LY" tag on Alaska Airlines flights from San Francisco as well. Following regulatory approval, the agreement will also cover flights to various points in Mexico. The collaboration offers smoother connectivity for Alaska Airlines’ passengers, who can travel to and from North America and Israel on EL AL as well, simultaneously earning miles.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Alaska Air Group carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation sector are SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) , GATX Corporation (GATX - Free Report) and Trinity Industries, Inc. (TRN - Free Report) . While SkyWest sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), GATX and Trinity carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of SkyWest and GATX have gained more than 5% and 4%, respectively, in a year’s time. Meanwhile, the Trinity stock boasts an impressive earnings history, having outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters, the average beat being 10.9%.

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