Airlines stocks are taking off.

All after United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said he was “so optimistic about 2023.”

“Despite growing concerns about an economic slowdown, the ongoing COVID recovery trends at United continue to prevail and we remain optimistic that we’ll continue to deliver strong financial results in the fourth quarter, 2023 and beyond,” CEO Scott Kirby said.

That followed news UAL beat earnings expectations.

The company posted a Q3 profit of $942 million, which was down about 8% year over year. Still, it was above expectations.  Revenue jumped to $12.88 billion, as compared to expectations for revenue of $12.75 billion.

“The company just achieved operating revenue growth of 13.2% versus third quarter 2019, with a 25.5% TRASM improvement in the quarter versus 2019, while CASM-ex (cost per available seat mile) came in better than expected, resulting in 11.3% operating margin; 11.5% operating margin on an adjusted basis.”

Cowen analysts like the stock, maintaining an outperform rating, with a $75 price target.

“U.S. citizens will continue to travel through at least year-end, and most likely well
into 2024 before they are sated. There are three years’ worth of travel and bucket list trips for people to take, and they appear to be willing to travel in spite of various economic and geopolitical issues,” they said, as quoted by CNBC.

Shares of UAL last traded at $39.79 – up 6.8% on the day – on a volume spike to 22.1 million shares, as compared to daily average volume of 9.6 million shares.