Delta Vs. Alaska Air: Which Airline Stock Is A Better Buy?

white passenger plane in the sky during daytime

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Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL) in Atlanta, Ga., and Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) in Seattle, Wash., are two popular airline operators in the United States. DAL provides scheduled air transportation for passengers, freight, and mail over a network of routes worldwide. It offers flight status information, bookings, baggage handling, and other related services. In comparison, ALK provides passenger and cargo air transportation services. The company operates through the Mainline; Regional; and Horizon segments.

Although 50.3% of the U.S.’ vaccination eligible population is now fully vaccinated for COVID-19, the demand for leisure travel, which increased earlier this summer, has started to decline with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. In fact, many airline operators expect the resurgence of COVID-19 to darken the industry’s recovery prospects through the fall. So, both DAL and ALK could witness a decline in passengers in the coming months.

While DAL’s stock has gained 17.9% in price over the past nine months, ALK has surged 34.1%. ALK is also a clear winner with 52.5% gains versus DAL’s 39.3% in the past year’s performance. But, given the industry’s near-term prospects, are either of these stocks worth buying now? Let’s see how they compare in terms of financials and growth prospects.

Latest Movements

On August 11, 2021, DAL announced the launch of a new Air+Rail program in partnership with Thalys, a French-Belgian high-speed train operator, to provide fast rail connections between Amsterdam and the Belgian cities of Brussels and Antwerp. The program enables customers to seamlessly transfer between plane and train at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport with one-ticket booking. Offering power outlets at each seat and Wi-Fi on every Thalys’ train, both companies expect to provide a better customer experience and convenient train service across European destinations with the program.

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