Airline stock prices, including those for SeaTac's Alaska Air Group, took a price hit today as oil prices hit their highest levels in two years.
Fuel costs are typically airlines’ second largest expense after labor.
Oil futures hit $97 Tuesday amid concerns that spreading unrest in the Mideast could disrupt oil supplies.
Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, saw its stock fall by 6.29 percent to $60 a share at Tuesday’s closing. That’s $4.03 less per share than Friday’s closing. Alaska is one of the best hedged airlines for price protection against oil price spikes. It also has one of the newest and most fuel-efficient fleets.
Other airlines suffered similar declines: United Continental was down almost 9 percent; AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines and American Eagle was down close to 7 percent; U.S. Airways fell almost 7 percent, and Delta dropped by 7 percent
Every penny-per-gallon-per-year increase in the price of jet fuel means $170 million to $180 million more in fuel costs to airlines, said the Air Transport Association.