American Airlines is considering the upcoming holiday season and reopening vital transatlantic routes to regain the momentum lost in the last quarter following the resumption of Covid-19 cases.
A month after the cases of Covid-19, the hopes appeared in the industry that passengers would more confidently make new flights.
Financial services firm Raymond James conducted a seven-day analysis of the Transportation Security Administration's average passenger screening data, which showed that while travel demand still lags the end-July peak, it has improved from mid-September low levels.
In an interview, the Chief Executive of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. told Reuters that cancellations have recovered and bookings are abating. "As Thanksgiving and Christmas are close, we have an opportunity for a strong, solid recovery," he added. Bookings have also recovered at Delta Air Lines, suggesting that domestic travel demand next year will exceed 2019 levels.
On Thursday, United Airlines announced it would be operating its most significant domestic flight schedule since the pandemic began, adding more than 3,500 daily domestic flights in December - equivalent to 91% of its domestic capacity in 2019.
"That's a lot of pent-up demand," Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby said.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a consortium of 290 airlines, expects air carriers in Europe to return next year and bring more profit than their North American counterparts.
The outlook for the industry's cash cow - business travel remains uncertain.
An industry trade group - Airlines for America - estimated that business travel accounted for as much as 50% of airline passenger incomes before the pandemic.
Carriers counted on reopening offices to liven up business travel this fall. However, the Delta variant has forced many large employers to suspend opening offices until next year.
The airlines say recovery is inevitable, but there is no consensus on the terms.
United's Robin Hayes hopes business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023, but JetBlue's Chief Executive Officer Kirby thinks it could take several years. According to Hayes, New York-based e-commerce provider reallocated has positioned flights from some business markets to leisure markets.
In an interview, Hayes told Reuters the following:
"The holiday would be intense, which is certainly the same in our forward bookings at the moment."
Meanwhile, airlines are encouraged by the Biden administration's plan to reopen the United States to air travelers from Europe in November. The transatlantic route is one of the most lucrative globally and accounted for up to 17% of 2019 passenger revenue for the big three airline companies.
All U.S. carriers that serve the market have experienced a surge in bookings since the White House made the announcement.
Kirby said United's reservations for transatlantic flights made last week were higher than the same period in 2019. Sales also jumped at JetBlue and Delta Air.
The reopening is not only an opportunity but also a big test for the industry.
The successful reopening of the world's most important long-haul market is expected to create a trend that other markets follow. Re-introducing restrictions, however, could slow the recovery if Covid-19 cases begin to rise again.
Hayes says the restrictions can't reappear where they have disappeared. According to him, it acts as a big dampener to demand.
Some more good news: how can you make your trip even better?
Besides the information about the reopening of the important transatlantic routes by American Airlines, we'd like to share some more good news with you - you can make your trip even better with the help of the off-site parking. What is it, and how such a type of parking can help you? If you've never heard about it, we recommend you take a closer look at this part of the article, as this information will be handy for those who prefer to travel by air and get to the airport by their own car.
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- You must pay expensive fees without great service.
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How does it work?
Obviously, people who chose a car as a way to get to the airport want to leave their vehicle safely while traveling and not to face the problems we described above. So what can off-site airport parking offer its customers?
Although a few miles usually separate such parking from the airport, you shouldn’t worry about this. Off-site parking provides free shuttles going back and forth between the parking lot and the airport. Thanks to this, it removes any worries about getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport during peak times. So all you need to do is choose the best time for you and inform the parking lot staff.
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In addition, this type of parking is much cheaper, and this is good news, as nobody wants to waste money. Therefore, off-site parking is the perfect option to receive excellent service and save money at the same time.
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