United Airlines (UAL) to Resume US Flights to Cuba by Year End

Per a Reuters report, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. UAL is looking forward to restarting flights to Cuba toward the end of 2022. These flights are the ones that got suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Airlines has been actively engaged for months to ease and fasten the flight resumption services. Considering the hurdles it faces in its ongoing processes, the airline company stated that it cannot restart flights by Oct 31, the deadline given by the U.S. Transportation Department (“USDOT”).

The company has requested USDOT for additional 30 days to complete the remaining required works before flight resumption. These include the re-negotiation of contracts (which have lapsed) with service providers and the construction of infrastructure in Terminal 3 at Havana’s airport.

Earlier, seven United Airlines flights used to fly from its Houston and Newark hubs to Havana every week.

We remind investors that the Biden administration recently approved the expansion of U.S. flights to Havana. As a result, apart from United Airlines, other airline companies planning to resume flights include 13 weekly American Airlines AAL departures from Miami and a weekly JetBlue Airways JBLU departure from Fort Lauderdale, FL. These come over and above the six daily American Airlines flights and three JetBlue flights on weekdays to Havana from the Florida airports. Notably, USDOT has lifted the series of flight restrictions on Cuba.

The resumption of flights looks encouraging for United Airlines, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The positivity surrounding the stock is evident from the upward movement of the Zacks Consensus Estimate for third-quarter earnings, which has improved 22.9% over the past 90 days.

Stock to Consider

A better-ranked stock from the broader Zacks Transportation sector is GATX Corporation (GATX), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

GATX Corporation has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.8% for the current year. GATX delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 28.9%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GATX’s current-year earnings has improved 2.1% over the past 90 days. Shares of GATX have gained 12.3% over the past year.


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