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Trader bets on turbulence for this airline company

Options Action: Turbulence for Delta?

Airline stocks have taken off this week, with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue all gaining more than 5 percent. However, one trader is betting on some turbulence for one airline company in particular: Delta.

On Wednesday, the biggest options trade of the day on Delta was a purchase of 2,700 March 39 puts for $2.40. The trade will be profitable if Delta shares falls below $36.60 by March expiration.

Delta shares were trading at $46.10 midday Thursday.

CNBC contributor Dan Nathan said Delta's stock price has continued to hold above an important support line at $40.

Traders could be buying put options as cheap protection for long positions on Delta, since options prices have become relatively less expensive compared to a spike in options prices from last fall's Ebola scare, Nathan said.

"This trader may be thinking about, in a market where option prices have been elevated, this price of options may be relatively cheap protection if you own Delta," Nathan said Wednesday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

Of 17 analysts covering Delta Air Lines, all have a buy rating, with an average price target of $59.

In a Monday note, Stifel analyst Joseph DeNardi wrote that the outlook for Delta has become "incrementally more positive," based on the potential to reach investment grade credit, growing global demand, and management of hedging strategies given the declines in oil prices.