US airline stocks trade lower; Delta backs Saudi Arabian Airlines for Skyteam

US airline stocks were generally lower in US markets thanks to lower Dec-2010 traffic forecasts from several carriers last week, as a result of the poor holiday weather. Delta (-3.2%), Atlas Air (-1.8%), JetBlue Airways (1.4%) and American Airlines (-0.8%) all saw their stocks decline.

United Airlines announced the Dec-2010 snowstorms would strip approximately USD10 million from its 4Q2010. Traffic in Dec-2010 increased 1.4% year-on-year. United Continental shares were up 1.0%.

Shares in TAM declined 2.7%. The company is reportedly facing cuts to the number of flights it operates by the Brazilian Government, as a result of the number of cancellations and delays in its operations over the holiday period.

Delta Air Lines announced it is supporting efforts by Saudi Arabian Airlines to join the SkyTeam alliance in 2012. Skyteam, which includes Air France-KLM and China Southern, is the only alliance that lacks a Middle East member.

Selected North American Airlines daily share price movements (% change): 11-Jan-2011