The Motley Fool's readers have spoken, and I have heeded your cries. After months of pointing out�CEO gaffes�and faux pas, I've decided to make it a weekly tradition to also point out corporate leaders who are putting the interests of shareholders and the public first and are generally deserving of praise from investors. For reference, here's�my previous selection.
This week, we'll head into unchartered territory and I'll show you why Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV ) CEO Gary Kelly is truly an incredible and innovative force in the airline industry.
Kudos to you, Mr. Kelly
When comparing the pros and cons of the airline industry, there are two primary reasons airline companies are worth buying: They have a safer track record than automobiles and are the only time-feasible way to get across the country. On the flipside, there are about 1 million reasons airlines should have permanent caution tape surrounding them from an investors' perspective.
Best Airline Companies To Buy Right Now: Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL)
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Delta) provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and around the world. The Company�� route network gives it a presence in every domestic and international market. Delta�� route network is centered around the hub system it operate at airports in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Each of these hub operations includes flights that gather and distribute traffic from markets in the geographic region surrounding the hub to domestic and international cities and to other hubs. The Company�� network is supported by a fleet of aircraft that is varied in terms of size and capabilities.
Delta has bilateral and multilateral marketing alliances with foreign airlines to improve its access to international markets. These arrangements can include code-sharing, reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits, shared or reciprocal access to passenger lounges, joint promotions, common use of airport gates and ticket counters, ticket office co-location, and other marketing agreements. Its international code-sharing agreements enable it to market and sell seats to an expanded number of international destinations. The Company has international codeshare arrangements with Aeromexico, Air France, Air Nigeria, Alitalia, Aeroflot, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, CSA Czech Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Olympic Air, Royal Air Maroc, VRG Linhas Aereas (operating as GOL), Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Australia and WestJet Airlines.
In addition to the Company�� marketing alliance agreements with individual foreign airlines, it is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Delta also has frequent flyer and reciprocal lounge agreements with Hawaiian Airlines, and codesharing agreements with American Eagle Airlines (American Eagle) and Hawaiian Airlines. It has air service agreements with multiple do! mestic regional air carriers that feed traffic to its route system by serving passengers primarily in small-and medium-sized cities.
Through the Company�� regional carrier program, it has contractual arrangements with 10 regional carriers to operate regional jet and, in certain cases, turbo-prop aircraft using its DL designator code. In addition to Delta�� wholly owned subsidiary, Comair, it has contractual arrangements with ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. and SkyWest Airlines, Inc., both subsidiaries of SkyWest, Inc.; Chautauqua Airlines, Inc. and Shuttle America Corporation, both subsidiaries of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc.; Pinnacle Airlines, Inc. and Mesaba Aviation, Inc. (Mesaba), both subsidiaries of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (Pinnacle); Compass Airlines, Inc. (Compass) and GoJet Airlines, LLC, both subsidiaries of Trans States Holdings, Inc. (Trans States), and American Eagle.
The Company�� SkyMiles program allows program members to earn mileage for travel awards by flying on Delta, Delta�� regional carriers and other participating airlines. Mileage credit may also be earned by using certain services offered by program participants, such as credit card companies, hotels and car rental agencies. In addition, individuals and companies may purchase mileage credits. The Company reserves the right to terminate the program with six months advance notice, and to change the program�� terms and conditions at any time without notice.
SkyMiles program mileage credits can be redeemed for air travel on Delta and participating airlines, for membership in the Company�� Delta Sky Clubs and for other program participant awards. Mileage credits are subject to certain transfer restrictions and travel awards are subject to capacity controlled seating. During the year ended December 31, 2011, program members redeemed more than 275 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 12 million award redemptions. During 2011, 8.2% of revenue miles flown on Delta were from a! ward trav! el.
The Company generates cargo revenues in domestic and international markets through the use of cargo space on regularly scheduled passenger aircraft. Delta is a member of SkyTeam Cargo, an airline cargo alliance. SkyTeam Cargo offers a network spanning six continents and provides customers an international product line.
The Company has several other businesses arising from its airline operations, including aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); staffing services for third parties; vacation wholesale operations, and its private jet operations. Delta�� MRO operation, known as Delta TechOps, is an airline MRO in North America. In addition to providing maintenance and engineering support for its fleet of approximately 775 aircraft, Delta TechOps serves more than 150 aviation and airline customers. Its staffing services business, Delta Global Services, provides staffing services, professional security, training services and aviation solutions to approximately 150 customers. The Company�� vacation wholesale business, MLT Vacations, is the provider of vacation packages in the United States. Its private jet operations, Delta Private Jets, provides aircraft charters, aircraft management and programs allowing members to purchase flight time by the hour.
The Company competes with SkyTeam, United Air Lines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas.
Best Airline Companies To Buy Right Now: JetBlue Airways Corporation(JBLU)
JetBlue Airways Corporation provides passenger air transportation services in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, it operated approximately 700 daily flights to 70 destinations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and Mexico; and 12 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America through a fleet of 120 Airbus A320 aircraft and 49 EMBRAER 190 aircraft. The company, through its subsidiary, LiveTV, LLC, provides in-flight entertainment, voice communication, and data connectivity systems and services for commercial and general aviation aircraft, including live in-seat satellite television, digital satellite radio, wireless aircraft data link service, and cabin surveillance systems. JetBlue Airways Corporation was founded in 1998 and is based in Forest Hills, New York.
Best International Stocks To Own For 2014: United Continental Holdings Inc.(UAL)
United Continental Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of passenger and cargo air transportation services. As of February 24, 2011, it operated a total of approximately 5,675 flights a day to 372 airports on 6 continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo, as well as in Washington, D.C. The company was formerly known as UAL Corporation and changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc. on October 1, 2010. United Continental Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1934 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Admin]
United Continental Holdings provides passenger and cargo air transportation services. UAL recently traded at $17.3 and lost 15.8% during the past 12 months. The stock has a market cap of $5.7 billion, P/E ratio of 12.5 and forward P/E ratio of 3.5. The stock has total debt/equity ratio of 7 and Beta of 1.04.
Best Airline Companies To Buy Right Now: Latam Airlines Group SA (LFL)
LAN Airlines S.A. (LAN), incorporated in 1983, is the international and domestic passenger airline in Latin America and the cargo operator in the region. As of February 9, 2012, LAN and its affiliates provided domestic and international passenger services in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia and cargo operations through the use of belly space on its passenger flights and cargo freighter aircraft through its cargo airlines in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. LAN and its affiliates offered passenger flights to 15 destinations in Chile, 59 destinations in other South American countries, 15 destinations in other Latin American countries and the Caribbean, five destinations in the United States, two destinations in Europe and four destinations in the South Pacific and, through various codeshare agreements, service to 25 additional destinations in North America, 16 additional destinations in Europe, 27 additional destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean (including Mexico), and two destinations in Asia, as of February 9, 2012. LAN and its affiliates provide cargo service to all of their passenger destinations and to 20 additional destinations served only by freighter aircraft. LAN also offers other services, such as ground handling, courier, logistics and maintenance. LAN and its affiliates operated a fleet, with 135 passenger aircraft and 14 cargo aircraft as of December 31, 2011. On February 15, 2011, Lan Pax Group S.A., subsidiary of Lan Airlines S.A. acquired 100% of Colombian society AEROASIS S.A.
LAN is primarily involved in the transportation of passengers and cargo. Its operations are carried out principally by Lan Airlines and also by a number of different subsidiaries. As of February 28, 2011, in the passenger business the Company operated through six main airlines: Lan Airlines, Transporte Aereo S.A. (which does business under the name Lan Express), Lan Peru S.A. (Lan Peru), Aerolane Lineas Aereas Nacionales del Ecuador S.A. (Lan Ecuador), Lan Argentina S.A. (Lan ! Argentina, previously Aero 2000 S.A.) and the Aerovias de Integracion Regional, Aires S.A. (Aires). As of February 28, 2011, the Company held a 99.9% interest in Lan Express through direct and indirect interests, a 70.0% interest in Lan Peru through direct and indirect interests, a 71.9% indirect interest in Lan Ecuador, a 99.0% indirect interest in Lan Argentina and a 94.99% indirect interest in Aires (a Colombian entity which was acquired on November 26, 2010). Its cargo operations are carried out by a number of companies, including Lan Airlines and Lan Cargo. As of February 28, 2011, the Company held a 69.2% interest in Aero Transportes Mas de Carga S.A. de C.V. (MasAir), through direct and indirect participations, a 73.3% interest in ABSA through direct and indirect participations, and a 90.0% interest in LANCO through direct and indirect participations. In the cargo business, the Company markets itself primarily under the Lan Cargo brand. In addition to its air transportation activities, the Company provides a series of ancillary services. It offers handling services, courier services and logistics, small package and express door-to-door services through Lan Airlines and various subsidiaries.
As of February 28, 2011, the Company operated passenger airlines in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia. As of February 28, 2011, our passenger operations were performed through airlines in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia where we operate both domestic and international services. As of February 28, 2011, the Company�� network consisted of 15 destinations in Chile, 14 destinations in Peru, four destinations in Ecuador, 14 destinations in Argentina, 24 destinations in Colombia, 14 destinations in other Latin American countries and the Caribbean, five destinations in the United States, one destination in Canada, three destinations in Europe and four destinations in the South Pacific. Within Latin America, it has routes to and from Argentina, B! olivia, B! razil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The Company also flies to a variety of international destinations outside Latin America, including Auckland, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Mount Pleasant (Falkland Islands), New York, Toronto, Papeete (Tahiti), Paris, San Francisco, and Sydney. In addition, as of February 28, 2011, through its various code-share agreements, the Company offered service to 25 additional destinations in North America, 16 additional destinations in Europe, 25 additional destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean (including Mexico), and two destinations in Asia. As of February 28, 2011, the Company operated scheduled international services from Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina through Lan Airlines; Lan Express in Chile; Lan Peru in Peru; Lan Ecuador in Ecuador; Lan Argentina in Argentina and Aires in Colombia. Its international network combines the Company�� Chilean, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Argentinean and Colombian affiliates. It provides long-haul services out of its four main hubs in Santiago, Lima, Guayaquil and Buenos Aires. It also provides regional services from Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina.
The Company�� cargo business operates on the same network used by the passenger airlines business, which is supplemented by freighter-only operations. The Company carries cargo for a variety of customers, including other international air carriers, freight-forwarding companies, export oriented companies and individual consumers. As of February 28, 2011, the Company operated a fleet of 140 aircraft, comprised of 126 passenger aircraft and 14 cargo aircraft.
The Company competes with UPS, FedEx, Centurion, Transportes Aereos Mercantiles Panamericanos S.A., Polar Air, Cargolux, Lufthansa Cargo, Martinair and Air France-KLM.
Best Airline Companies To Buy Right Now: Copa Holdings SA (CPA)
Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Holdings), incorporated on May 06, 1998, is a Latin American provider of airline passenger and cargo service through its two principal operating subsidiaries, Copa Airlines and Copa Colombia. Copa Airlines operates from its position in the Republic of Panama, and Copa Colombia provides service within Colombia and international flights from various cities in Colombia to Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala and Costa Rica, complemented with service within Colombia. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated a fleet of 83 aircraft with an average age of 5.13 years; consisting of 57 modern Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft and 26 Embraer 190 aircraft. . As of December 31, 2012, the Company offers approximately 334 daily scheduled flights among 64 destinations in 29 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, mainly from its Panama City Hub.
Copa provides passengers with access to flights to more than 150 other destinations through codeshare arrangements with UAL pursuant to which each airline places its name and flight designation code on the other�� flights. As of December 31, 2012, Copa had firm orders, including purchase and lease commitments, for 35 additional Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft. Copa also has options for an additional 14 Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft.
The Company competes with Avianca-Taca, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and LAN Group.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Kathy Kristof]
Headquarters: Panama City, Panama
52-Week High: $85.25
52-Week Low: $57.03
Annual Sales: $1.8 bill.
Projected Earnings Growth: 18% annually over the next five years
U.S. airlines have to scratch and claw for every penny of profit they earn. Not so for Panama City-based Copa Holdings, says Bob McAdoo, airline analyst with Imperial Capital, a Los Angeles investment firm. With a hub in the Southern Hemisphere’s cross-roads, Copa has few direct rivals. That has allowed Copa to charge premium prices for its flights and register operating profit margins of 15% to 20% year after year. As economies in Brazil and the rest of Latin America continue to expand, Copa is likely to benefit because it gives travelers the most convenient way to hop around the hemisphere.
Copa’s big advantage lies in the setup of Panama City’s airport, explains McAdoo. Panama knows that it’s a crossroads, so it treats connecting passengers as though they’re hopping on a domestic flight – no trip through customs unless you leave the airport. That saves time, and potentially the need to get a visa for a country you’re just passing through, making the airport the ideal hub for business travelers in a hurry.