E.Getting an airline public seems like a bold undertaking these days. The corona pandemic finally had a hard financial impact on the travel industry. Like many competitors, the American low-cost line Frontier Airlines posted a loss last year. But that didn’t stop them from going public a few days ago. CEO Barry Biffle told CNBC that the time was right: “America is opening up again and we are in the best position to take advantage of all the pent-up demand.”
Progress in vaccinating the American population has rekindled the desire to travel and the recovery will accelerate, says Biffle. Frontier’s public debut has been solid. The issue price for the shares was at the lower end of the range initially targeted, but the price has risen above this value since then. In contrast to Europe, optimism is spreading again in the American travel industry after the long corona dreariness.
Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, said a few days ago: “There is light at the end of the tunnel.” The demand for private travel within the United States has almost completely recovered from the pandemic-induced dent. His colleague Ed Bastian from Delta Air Lines recently spoke of “real glimmers of hope”.
The airports are filling up again
After extremely weak business in the first two months of the year amid rising numbers of infections, there was brisk booking in March. The reawakening of Americans’ enthusiasm for travel can be seen in data from the TSA transport security agency. According to this, more than 1.5 million people have gone through security checks at American airports at times in the past few weeks.
That is not yet close to pre-Corona values, when there were sometimes more than 2.5 million people; but it is a dramatic recovery. In January and February, fewer than 500,000 passengers were counted on some days. The increase is all the more remarkable as there are still few business travelers and international air traffic remains severely restricted.
In America it has now become difficult to find bargain prices for flights, as was possible only recently, especially when it comes to popular vacation destinations. A non-stop ticket from New York to Florida over the weekend can now cost $ 500 again, which would have been a handsome price even before the pandemic.
The upswing is also reflected in the stock market. The share prices of United, Delta and American Airlines have risen between 30 and 60 percent since the beginning of the year, far more than the market as a whole. They are now not too far from where they were before the pandemic. The good development goes hand in hand with the increasingly better news about the American vaccination campaign.
Hiring stop lifted
President Joe Biden pushed the date by which all adults in the country should have access to a vaccine forward this week, from May 1 to April 19. In some states, such as New York, any adult can get vaccinated right now. Allegedly, the government expects that the vaccination supply will exceed the demand by mid-May at the latest, which must sound downright ludicrous from a German perspective. And travel will be easier for the vaccinated.
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