Issue No. 817

A Summer of Opportunity

Airlines See a Bright Summer Ahead

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

Memorial Day on May 31 symbolically kicked off summer in the U.S., when the entire country fires up their grills and gets ready to relax. And this Memorial Day looks a lot different than last year, when a devastating second wave of Covid-19 started to take hold. If you listen to airline CEOs speak, however, it appears that between grilling burgers and hot dogs, people are racing to their computers to book travel. In fact, demand to some leisure destinations is approaching — if not exceeding — 2019 levels. Will this hold through the autumn? And the big unanswered question is will business travel rebound after September's Labor Day holiday — the symbolic end of summer — when kids go back to their newly reopened schools?

The picture elsewhere in the world is not as bright. Europe is starting to feel more optimistic, now that vaccines are more readily available. But European demand appears to be lagging the U.S. Apart from a handful of countries, South America remains locked down, with borders closed and quarantines still in place. Although China's domestic market is booming, other parts of Asia remain locked down, and rising infections are causing some Japanese to call on their government to cancel the Olympic Games. A travel bubble between Australian and New Zealand didn't pop, but it wobbled as Covid cases forced the shutdown of a few routes. And India remains in the vise of a horrifying Covid surge. Beyond Covid, the strongman president of Belarus is facing widespread opprobrium and sanctions for forcing a Ryanair flight to land in Minsk in order to detain a dissident journalist, setting a terrifying precedent for how countries use their airspace.


“This is not about Aeromexico, this is about the Mexican version of the FAA. We have no issues with the safety of Aeromexico itself.”

Delta President Glen Hauenstein on the FAA's downgrade of Mexico's safety rating to Category 2

Weekly Skies

The pandemic partnership of Azul and Latam Airlines broke up faster than almost anyone expected. Latam is pulling the plug on the codeshare and frequent flyer relationship on August 22 — less than a year after the pact launched — citing the…

Routes and Networks

Air France is headed north with new service to Helsinki. The SkyTeam carrier will begin flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and the Finnish capital on July 6, raising frequency to daily later that month. Air France will continue to…

Landing Strip

The needed new Midfield Satellite Concourse at Los Angeles International Airport officially opened last week. Renamed the West Gates at Tom Bradley, the airport’s main international terminal, the up to 15-gate satellite will support operations of 15 domestic and international…


SMBC Aviation is the latest to add 737 Max commitments since the jet was recertified late last year. The lessor has ordered 14 737-8s bringing its total "portfolio" — a combo of orders and sale-and-leaseback deals — of the Max…

By the Numbers

The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over worldwide, as the catastrophic public-health emergency in India tragically demonstrates. The recovery is diverging, with some regions and countries of the world bullish about the summer travel season, and others locking down to…