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SkyWest's (SKYW) Block Hours & Load Factor Increase in May

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SkyWest (SKYW - Free Report) reported an 8.3% year-over-year increase in block hours (a measure of aircraft utilization) to 124,404 in May. The carrier stated that the rise in block hours resulted from the addition of E175, CRJ700 and CRJ900 aircraft to its fleet since last May.

Currently, this regional carrier is focused on streamlining its operations. It also intends to reduce the 50-seat jets in its fleet and add new E175 aircraft.

For May, SkyWest’s dual class aircraft (E175, CRJ900 and CRJ700) accounted for approximately 65.3% of the carrier’s total block-hour production compared with approximately 59.5% a year ago.

Additionally, load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) improved to 83.9% in the same month from 82.9% a year ago. Also, the number of departures and passenger count increased 8.7% and 11.7%, respectively. For the first five months of 2019, this St. George, UT-based company reported a 6.6% increase in block hours.  Year to date, load factor improved 30 basis points to 80.4%.

Notably, SkyWest completed the sale of ExpressJet Airlines to a third party on Jan 22, 2019. The traffic report does not include ExpressJet figures in the year-ago period as well for comparison purpose.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

SkyWest carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector may also consider Fly Leasing (FLY - Free Report) , GATX Corporation (GATX - Free Report) and Norfolk Southern (NSC - Free Report) . While Fly Leasing sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), GATX and Norfolk Southern carry a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Fly Leasing, GATX and Norfolk Southern flaunt an encouraging earnings history, having outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters.

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