Issue No. 808

European Airlines' Summer of Recovery Remains Hazy

Will the Recovery Actually Happen When the Weather Warms Up?

Pushing Back: Inside This Issue

Almost exactly a year ago, as the world was shutting down in the face of a terrifying new disease and as we watched news reports out of Italy and New York with growing horror, airline CEOs the world over were looking ahead to the crucial summer travel season and assuming travel would be at a standstill. But by May last year, many thought the lockdowns and quarantines had slowed Covid's relentless onslaught and spoke of "green shoots" (remember those?) as people yearned for their summer holidays. And traffic did return, but so did the disease.

Here we are a year later, and there's fresh talk of green shoots. Last week, we reported on U.S. airline CEOs' bullishness on the upcoming summer season. This week, we're reporting on their European counterparts, many of whom think the pace of vaccinations will let people really start traveling again. Are they right? It's too soon to tell. More vaccines are getting into people's arms. But the coronavirus also is surging as people let down their guard.

Elsewhere in this issue, and reflecting that hope for the summer, U.S. airlines are scrambling to add as many leisure routes as they can as the weather warms. Another airline retires the iconic Boeing 747. And airlines all over the world are tapping the capital markets to raise money.


"We’ve been locked up for essentially the last 12 months, people have been home schooling, they’re desperate to go back to the beaches of Europe — they’re desperate to begin enjoying family life again as normal on the back of a successful Covid vaccine program."

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

The Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast

New episodes drop every week and are available wherever you get your podcasts and on In the latest podcast, Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan wonder if Europe's airlines will see demand return or if it will be a cruel, cruel summer and talk about why Wall Street is bullish on airlines. Listen to the episode.

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Sky Money

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Landing Strip

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