Issue No. 815
American's Evolving Network
How Domestic Leisure Demand Is Remaking American Airlines' Network
Pushing Back: Inside the Issue
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated Americans can stop using masks in most outdoor and indoor settings, guidance President Joseph Biden lauded as a milestone toward the end of the pandemic. But travelers already had decided the Covid-19 pandemic was nearing its end: Summer demand at airlines like Frontier is almost back to 2019 levels, and regional carrier Mesa said it will operate 100 percent of its 2019 capacity for American. Speaking of, we spoke to American's head of network planning Brian Znotins (in a nod that the pandemic continues, via videoconference) to hear how the carrier is remaking its network to adapt to leisure demand.
Americans may be ready to venture forth, but the pandemic continues its heartbreaking rampage in India. Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia could wait until the middle of next year to reopen its borders. Countries, like Japan, that had early success in containing the virus now are struggling to vaccinate their populations. Dozens of countries in Africa have not started large vaccinations programs. In South America, worrying new outbreaks have slammed borders shut, even as Brazil, the largest market, starts to recover. And in Europe, no timeline exists for letting vaccinated tourists return, although several countries, eager not to lose another tourism high season, have reopened their borders to vaccinated visitors. Meanwhile, no single standard exists for vaccine passports. Also during the week, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated, forcing many airlines that serve the region to halt their flights.
"The international that will be there [after Covid-19] is going to be way different than the international that went away in 2019."American Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja
The Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast
New episodes drop every week and are available wherever you get your podcasts and on AirlineWeekly.com. In the latest podcast, we talk to Jonathan Sullivan, a London-based Accenture managing director, about when business travel might return and how different it may be after the pandemic. In the second segment, Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan discuss what summer might look like for U.S. carriers and why Americans have fallen back in love with their national parks (and what that means for airlines). Listen to episode.