This paper investigates the relationship between oil and airline stock returns under different time frequencies. First, we propose an Autoregressive moving average model with mixed frequency exogenous variable to analyse the different impacts of oil on airline stock returns on daily, weekly, and monthly basis. We consistently find a negative oil-airline stock return nexus on a daily basis, but a positive relationship on a weekly basis. While the former supports the economic-based channel, the latter is in line with the market inertia channel. Our findings help explain mixed results reported in the literature. Further, our time frequency connectedness analysis shows that the economic-based channel dominates the market inertia channel since the connectedness is more pronounced in the short-run compared to the medium- and long-run. Our block connectedness results highlight that business models of airline firms can play a significant role in affecting the connectedness, in which the low-cost airlines are more sensitive to the oil price changes. It is worth noting that there are distinguished drivers of the oil-airline stock return nexus in different time frequencies. The drivers also vary between the Global Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results are consistent under a battery of robustness checks and deliver important implications to investors, portfolio managers, and executives of airline firms. © 2022 Elsevier B.V.