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Why is the Qantas share price hitting new all-time highs?

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price opened higher this morning, hitting a new all-time high just after market open, making today the second consecutive day the airliner has reached record highs. The Qantas share price has since pulled back slightly to $6.78 at time of writing.

Why is the Qantas share price climbing higher?

The Qantas share price has only climbed 17.36% higher so far this year. While that looks good as a standalone performance, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (INDEXASX: XJO) has gained 21.70% over the same period.

So, what’s driving the movement in Qantas shares and why did they hit a new record high of $6.84 per share this morning?

On Monday, the company announced a plan to become net carbon neutral by 2050. Qantas is looking to slash emissions by way of a $50 million investment over 10 years. Shareholders were boosted by the news as the Qantas share price rocketed to a new all-time high.

Qantas said it will double the number of flights being carbon offset with a cap on net emissions starting next year. The airline is looking to exceed its targets set as part of an aviation industry movement to cut down on CO2 emissions.

The big question you may be wondering is, “what about the fuel?”, and it’s a fair point. Aeroplanes burn a lot of jet fuel but Qantas is looking to move towards more fuel-efficient aircraft going forward.

The B787 Dreamliners burn 20% less fuel than aircraft of a similar size while Jetstar’s A321neo (LR) aircraft use 15% less than the aircrafts that they are replacing.

Should you buy Qantas shares in 2020?

While the Qantas share price has underperformed the benchmark ASX 200 index in 2019, it is still surging higher. Qantas shares are currently trading at 12.49x earnings with a tidy 3.67% dividend yield to boot.

In contrast, Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) shares have had a difficult time in 2019. The Virgin share price is down 21.05% in 2019 as earnings continue to slide for the group.

If you’re looking for exposure to the aviation industry, then Qantas could be a good value, blue-chip ASX dividend stock for your portfolio in 2020.

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Motley Fool contributor Kenneth Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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