Another milestone was reached last week; TSA checkpoint traffic exceeded 750k this July 4th holiday week, putting foot traffic through TSA checkpoints at 1/3 of pre corona traffic. At this rate of recovery, derived from a linear regression, expect to see pre-corona levels of traffic in 292 days.
Though the TSA announced that there would be a change of protocols by the end of June, there still have been no updates regarding the matter.
FAA released an email recently stating that it will not require people to wear masks, nor will it require airports to enforce social distancing.
The FAA flight stats for month of may have been released, and as of the month of May, flights aren’t seeing any signs of recovery. The month of April was where the sharp decline in flights ended, with an average of only 680 flights per day out of Atlanta. For reference, April of last year averaged 2,522 flights daily. May showed no improvements with an average of only 607 flights out of Atlanta daily (once again the one year ago average was just above 2500).
Delta Airlines stock stayed relatively stable this week at around $28, despite their announcement that they would be sending out furlough notifications to over 2500 pilots. It seems that the market has already adjusted for this decrease in employment, and has come to expect dismal announcements.
In the news
Delta’s strategy of blocking the middle seat isn’t as simple as it seems
Delta’s message is that the safest way to fly commercially is with Delta. In an internal company memo viewed by TPG, Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian wrote that “medical experts we’ve worked with advise that keeping middle seats blocked and limiting capacity makes a real difference in keeping travelers and our people safe on board.”
Delta’s trying to ingrain the message that among our competition “we are the airline looking after your health.”
The Coming Apocalypse for U.S. Airline Labor
Cowen estimates that between 800 to 1,000 aircraft in the U.S. fleet might never return to service. Some fleet types will be gone permanently. Delta is retiring its fleet of Boeing 777s and MD-80-series aircraft, while American has said all Boeing 767s will exit the fleet.