Issue No. 773
United's Piles of Miles
Pushing Back: Inside This Issue
With each passing week, more and more Americans are returning to the air. But will the current sunbelt spike in Covid cases, affecting markets like Florida, Arizona, Texas, and southern California, derail the nascent leisure recovery? Or are enough people now simply unafraid of the virus? Would a second wave of infections this fall reverse the industry’s momentum?
Hoping to benefit from the revival while it lasts, JetBlue is bringing more of its planes and people back. Most interestingly, it’s disavowing the principle of sticking to its core network strengths, instead launching a scattershot of new routes that in normal times would elicit a ferocious competitive response. Its boldest move: Marching into Newark while United lies dormant, attacking even its prime-time California routes. Florida, unsurprisingly, also features prominently in JetBlue’s forceful reawakening.
A reawakening is underway within Europe too, as leisure carriers like Norwegian and TUI see encouraging restart opportunities. Wizz Air, for its part, continues to add new bases, including one in Russia. The goliath of central Europe meanwhile, Lufthansa, awaits a fateful shareholder vote on the bailout it’s supposed to get from Berlin — a bailout with heavy strings attached.
Latam will detach Argentina from its South American empire, closing its unit there. It will still fly to and from the land of Tango, just not within. Will Aeromexico be next to join Latam in bankruptcy? Another Latin bankruptcy victim, Avianca, announced a Q1 operating profit last week. But as usual, its operating profits were accompanied by heavy net losses.
Frontier’s losses were exceptionally heavy last quarter. Sun Country on the other hand, made money. On the other side of the earth, Virgin Australia is getting closer to new ownership. Will it be Bain? Or will it be Cyrus?
“We’re in the process of a recovery. No question about it.”Delta CEO Ed Bastian, speaking on Bloomberg TV
Mondays With Skift Airline Weekly
On Mon., June 22, PaxEx.aero Editor Seth Miller answered the question: What is the passenger experience during a pandemic and what can airlines do to reassure passengers. Watch the archive version here.
January-March (3 Months)
- Avianca: -$121m; 0%
- Frontier: -$60m; -18%
- Sun Country: $7m; 8%
- VivaAerobus: -$17m/-$8m; -4%
*Net result in USD/*Net result excluding special items/ Operating margin