Consumers appetite for travel is reaching new heights after years of waning demand. This earnings season has already highlighted gains from traditional airliners like United Continental, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
All three major airlines topped earnings expectations this past week on improving travel trends and lower fuel costs. In separate announcements, each company reported booming passenger traffic for September, which will be reflected during in the fourth quarter. One key metric — total revenue per available seat mile metrics, or TRASM — remains a source of concern that will continue to drag on future reports though.
The remaining airlines are scheduled to report earnings this week with expectations trending higher following last week's reports. They include Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways on Tuesday morning and Southwest Airlines on Wednesday.
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Combined they represent a subset of the industry best known as budget airlines that has attracted customers with no frills and lower price points. Today's economic conditions favor value channels, which is why these airlines have thrived compared to larger competitors.
Year-to-date stock performance