Holiday Travel Should Help "JETS" ETF Take Off

With the holiday season in full swing, the number of travelers taking to the skies will see a marked increase, which should help the US Global Jets ETF (NYSEArca: JETS) take off in time for the season’s greetings.

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, projected that 47.5 million passengers will fly globally on U.S. airlines over the 18-day winter holiday travel period from Thursday, December 19, through Sunday, January 5.

A4A projects an average of 2.6 million passengers will take to the skies each day over the holidays, with daily volumes ranging from 2.2 million to 3 million. That is an increase of 3 percent from the comparable period a year ago, and to accommodate the 72,000 additional daily passengers, airlines will offer 88,000 additional seats per day and 884 more flights per day.

JETS seeks to track the performance of the U.S. Global Jets Index, which is composed of the exchange-listed common stock (or depository receipts) of U.S. and international passenger airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airports, and terminal services companies across the globe. The fund is up 14.38% year-to-date.

Notable projections by A4A:

  • U.S. airlines are expected to see holiday traffic increase 3% to 47.5M passengers for the 18-day winter holiday travel period from December 19 to January 5, according to a forecast from Airlines for America.
  • Airlines are offering 88K additional seats per day and 884 more flights per day this year to accommodate the extra demand.
  • The busy winter holiday season follows a record-breaking Thanksgiving travel period when TSA screenings rose to more than 26M. December 1 was the busiest day in the agency’s history.
  • The strong traffic is taking place even with the Boeing 737 Max grounded.

“Throughout this year we’ve seen steady gains in air travel demand, and this winter will be no exception” said John Heimlich, Vice President and Chief Economist for Airlines for America. “Buoyed by a healthy economy and plentiful, affordable air service, travelers once again are expected to take to the skies in record numbers.”

A4A expects the busiest travel days of the 18-day period to be Friday, Dec. 20; Saturday, Dec. 21; Friday, Dec. 27; and Thursday, Dec. 26. The lightest travel days are expected to be Christmas Eve (Tuesday, Dec. 24); New Year’s Eve (Tuesday, Dec. 31); and Christmas Day (Wednesday, Dec. 25).

Per an A4A press release, the “busy winter holiday season follows a record-breaking Thanksgiving travel period. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened more than 26 million passengers and crew members over the holiday period.”

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