TSA Checkpoint (National Traffic)
After a promising two weeks of increasing passenger throughput, TSA traffic has stagnated again this week. Dropping 1.5% on average compared to last week, it failed to set a record high on Monday like it has historically. With a high of 841,806 passengers, 21,143 below last week’s high there may be a cause for alarm, however the market continued to surge up in the airline sector this week, with a 5% increase in Delta stock by midday Monday and other airlines following a similar trend.
FAA Traffic (Atlanta)
While TSA checkpoint traffic stayed relatively level for the month of July, flights in and out of Atlanta certainly did not. According to the FAA website, for the month of July traffic to and from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport jumped up a staggering 58%. While in the month of June the daily average of planes was 815, July jumped up to 1295 planes per day. This puts the amount of air traffic for the month of July at half of what it was in 2019.
Other large airports (LAX, SLC, JFK) did not receive this massive up tick in traffic that Hartsfield-Jackson did, which is quite surprising, especially considering that passenger traffic did not increase at all through the month of July. One reason for the jump at ATL is that Delta announced at the beginning of July that they would add almost 1,000 flights system wide. A similar jump can be seen in the airports of Florida, suggesting that these new flights were intended for leisure travelers. There isn’t any sort of uptick in any major business hubs in the US.
Delta stock jumped up nearly 9% today, $2.41 above what it closed at Friday. American and United showed similar stock increases, at 10% and 9.5% respectively. This comes after more lawmakers came out in support of a second payroll stimulus. Additionally, on Sunday American Airlines was approved to try a new sanitation procedure that may make air travel significantly safer. As more procedures are found to make COVID-19 less of a threat, such as plasma donations, expect airline stocks to continue to rise.
In the News
Airline stocks rose on Monday with the broader market on hopes that new coronavirus treatments could soon be available, while American Airlines (AAL) is trying a new method of cleaning its cabins.
Reuters reported on Sunday that the EPA on Monday would likely allow American Airlines to use a new surface coating to sanitize aircraft cabins on flights coming out of Texas.
The EPA said the coating could disarm viruses and bacteria for as long as seven days, according Reuters. The agency is expected to approve an emergency exemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act to allow the use of Allied BioScience’s SurfaceWise2 coating.
According to the union president, the lack of a plan and instructions from the federal government has put the airlines in a difficult position. This has caused, in the union boss’ opinion, problems with passengers challenging certain rules that they don’t agree with.
“This has been the strangest thing that I have ever experienced in my 25 years on the job,” she said. “I have never seen before that an administration has not put forward a plan to deal with an epidemic, a communicable disease pandemic. There is no plan in place, and there is no instruction from the federal government.”