The Dow Jones U.S. Airlines Index ($DJUSAR) made a very significant breakout late in 2014 and after its peak in January 2015, the group has been doing everything possible to hold onto price support ever since. Despite a revenue and earnings miss by Delta Airlines (DAL) on Tuesday, January 19th and revenue misses from a trio of airlines on Thursday, January 21st - Alaska Air (ALK), United Continental (UAL) and Southwest (LUV), the DJUSAR has managed to close above the 200-205 support level. Check out the chart:
In addition to price support, there's a relative uptrend line vs. the S&P 500 that is at support. A break of this trend line confirmed by a price support breakdown beneath 200 would be enough technical evidence to avoid airline stocks, in my opinion. A rally and renewed relative strength needs to begin from current levels.