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