Airline ETF Finds Tailwind from Soaring Delta Profits

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) revealed a strong first quarter earnings on higher cost savings, lifting the lone airline industry-related exchange traded fund.

The U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSEArca: JETS), the only dedicated airline industry-related ETF on the market, gained 1.6% Thursday after Delta Air Lines reported earnings. JETS increased 14.3% over the past three months and rose 2.5% year-to-date.

Airline stocks rallied Thursday on Delta Air Lines’ strong first quarter earnings. Delta Air Lines’ first quarter earnings surged 27% to $946 million, capitalizing on cheaper fuel costs, reports David Koenig for the Associated Press.

The airline spent about one-third less on fuel, compared to the same period year-over-year, which resulted in a savings of more than $700 million. The savings helped offset higher spending costs on labor, notably profit sharing for employees.

Additionally, airliner reassured markets of its focus on continued growth and consumer retention.

“We are focused on getting unit revenues back to a positive trajectory and we will make adjustments to our fall capacity levels if we are not making sufficient progress over the coming months,” said Delta exec Glen Hauenstein, who will become Delta’s president or second-ranking executive next month.

DAL shares rose 1.6% Thursday.