Airline stocks set for record weekly gains as passengers start returning

Key Points
  • The NYSE Arca Airline Index is up nearly 50% this week.
  • Airlines like Southwest, American and United are adding service as demand rebounds from six-decade lows.
A passenger aircraft of American Airlines.
Silas Stein | picture alliance via Getty Images

Airline stocks are headed for their biggest weekly gains ever on hopes for a rebound in the U.S. economy and air travel demand.

The NYSE Arca Airline Index, which tracks 16 airlines, mostly in the U.S., is up nearly 50% this week — its biggest weekly percentage gain ever.

Airline stocks soared in Friday morning trading. American Airlines jumped 23%, United Airlines was more than 15% higher and Delta Air Lines was up 8%.

Airlines this week detailed planes for increased summer flying to cater to passengers traveling again as the peak vacation season gets underway and states start lifting shelter-in-place and other measures aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.

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