This week, Delta Air Lines announced that thanks to customer demand and lower non-fuel costs, it was raising its first-quarter projections. This not only caused Delta’s stock to jump up six percent but it gave United, American Airlines, and other airlines a boost as well.

Overall, the NSE Airline Index was up 2.5 percent this week. And analysts are optimistic about the airline industry as a whole, saying that stocks could continue to rise this year.

4 airline stocks to pay attention to this year

This good news couldn’t come soon enough for the airline industry, which struggled after the grounding of Boeing 787 jets. Here is what you can expect to see from the four major airlines in the coming year.

Delta Air Lines

Delta’s shares rose six percent this week which is a level not previously seen since early December. The airline anticipates seven percent earnings growth for the first quarter and $1.6 billion in shareholder returns.

Delta said its partnership with American Express helped the company gain momentum and increase revenue. They recently extended the partnership through 2029.

American Airlines

American Airlines shares have been on a downward trend since the beginning of 2018. The company had a hard time improving its quality of service and the grounding of 787 MAX jets didn’t help.

The company will report its first-quarter earnings on April 25. Analysts expect to see earnings of 59 cents per shares.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest shares have been up and down since mid-2018 though they are currently experiencing a boost, thanks to Delta’s announcement. And the company was impacted by the grounding of the 787 MAX jet.

The company recently expanded its service to Hawaii which should contribute to its growth in 2019. Southwest will report its earnings on April 25 and investors expect to see earnings of 64 cents per share.  

United Continental

United Continental is starting to rallying from its low of $77.50 per share in late March. CEO Oscar Munoz is optimistic, saying that customer demand for the airline industry remains strong.

The company’s shares may be able to reach its mid-November high. United will report their results on April 17 and analysts expect to see earnings of 96 cents per share.

Conclusion

The airline industry will continue to face its share of challenges but analysts agree the overall outlook is positive. S&P analyst Erin Gibbs says that increased revenue per passenger and a growing airline demand could cause profits to grow by 20 percent in 2019.