3 Charts on the State of the U.S. Airline, Restaurant and Hotel Industries
As you may have already heard, the European Union (EU) just released its list of 15 countries that are permitted to visit the 27-country bloc starting today, and the U.S. was not among them. With the rate of new coronavirus cases spiking in a number of states including Texas, Florida and Arizona, EU officials have determined that the risk is too great to welcome Americans at this time.
Although disappointing, the decision is but a temporary setback. The EU plans to revisit the list of approved countries once every couple of weeks or so, meaning American travelers could be given the green light as soon as mid-July—provided the rate of infection starts going in the opposite direction.
It’s not all bad news for the U.S. travel industry, though. Within the U.S., the number of people boarding commercial flights continues to rise at a healthy pace. On Sunday, June 28, close to 634,000 passengers were screened by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Not only is that a post-pandemic high, but it’s also up more than seven times from the low of 87,500 passengers on April 14.
Many Americans are understandably leery about flying at this time, but carriers have taken drastic measures to ensure that passengers are safe and comfortable during flights. That includes everything from requiring mask-wearing at all times to conducting a deep cleaning before every flight to, in some cases, blocking off the middle seats.
American Airlines officials are so confident in the carrier’s ability to keep their planes disinfected that, beginning today, flights will be booked to capacity, up from 85 percent capacity. Meanwhile, United Airlines will be adding 25,000 flights to its schedule in August, to reach 48 percent of its total capacity from the same time a year earlier.