There are three steps to an airline industry recovery. First, airlines have to return capacity to the sky. Second, passengers need to fill those airplanes. Lastly, the fares those passengers pay must be economically sustainable. The industry has not yet reached the first step.
You can only blame so much on a pandemic. Like a pre-existing condition that can make a case of COVID-19 deadly versus asymptomatic, the business model governing engine makers and their relationship to aircraft manufacturers made them exceptionally vulnerable. The collapse of global commercial aviation merely revealed the fundamental weakness baked into the relationship.
There was supposed to be an air show in Farnborough this week. And even if there was, Americans wouldn't be able to attend. Our Travel Sentiment model is reliably predicting the ups, downs and stagnation of the U.S. air traffic recovery. Here's an update. British Airways decommissions its 747 fleet, another in a series of the long goodbye to the Queen of the Skies. It's hard out there for big airplanes.
The first in a two-part series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business of building commercial aircraft...
In the middle of the single most acute crisis to hit the airline business in the history of flying, U.S. airlines are seemingly trapped playing a cascading series of one upmanship games as they chase market share, risking further destabilizing their airlines at a time when the industry’s very survival hangs in the balance.
The first signs of a slowing recovery in air traffic are beginning to show in the United States just as airlines make their largest capacity increases. Even as screened passenger numbers from the Transportation Security Administration continue their upward trajectory, so do new cases of COVID-19 in states not first hit by the virus. With that growing uncertainty, the spread is showing its first indications of a slowing recovery in the months ahead.