There are two conflicting theories. Fear vs. cabin fever. Some think that confinement for so long will lead to a rush to travel once the worst of the pandemic is over. Others see fear of travel on planes and on cruises. Certainly the demographics will determine which works. I expect the "young and the affluent" to rush back. Older travelers less so. The VFR will be more cautious, more for economic than health reasons. Fewer trips to attend a birthday party, and more focus on urgent travel. Maybe usual peak loads, but less in the off peak, requiring lower fares.
Another thing to consider is the infection rate in NY. Recent antibody test in NYC found that over 20% of people have coronavirus antibodies and the % is higher among black and Hispanic population. Assuming that's accurate or close to accurate, we could already be at a point where more than 30% of work class DR/PR new yorkers have had coroanvirus and are unlikely to get to infected again. Of course, nothing is for certain. But another month from now, that could be over 40%. At some piont, herd immunity does kick in. And before vaccine, we could get drugs that at least can significantly reduce the mortality (which is now estimated to be a lot lower than previous thought) and hospitalization rates. With some good anti-viral drugs, this thing is really not that scary for most people. While this may linger in other parts of the country, New York (especially the segment of population hard hit) may get through this sooner than expected.
And even before March, the fares on JFK-SDQ/STI were only $110 on BE fares and JFK-SJU was like $70 in BE fares. I don't see them going much lower than that. So if by Q3, we are at 40% previous year's demand during summer peak season and 70% previous year's demand around Q4 holiday season, I would think JetBlue be ecstatic. And by next summer, I would not be surprised if demand is back to close to 100% of 2019 level in these markets.
BW has no need to consolidate its POS SoFL around MIA or FLL. Two different markets. B6 was already on the way out on the FLL POS route. What will however be interesting will be the Jamaica market. SoFL is virtually integrated into Jamaica so that VFR will bounce back quickly, and with it B6. Will BW have to become "smaller"? If that's the case I expect them to exit from its Jamaica USA routes, potentially putting B6 on a near monopoly on some of these routes, which they already dominate. I would not be surprised if a post COVID 19 results in a BW POS/GEO focus.
Right, it's a very real possibility that B6 will have monopoly on JFK-KIN after this blows over. How long can BW sustain flying empty planes between JFK and KIN/POS/GEO? I don't get the sense they were doing that well financially before this started.
The Caribbean governments are claiming that they expect a slower recovery in the cruise sector and this winter are hoping to focus more on the stay over sector. Given that they are in consultation with the cruise industry I expect that they have reason to hold these views. I expect shorter cruises like those to the Bahamas to be OK. I expect the SJU base to be quite dead. Lots of airlift to that city is cruise based. This "social distance" that will be implemented if cruises are to resume, might be a drag on a long cruise. Not sure how many activities will be available either.
No industry is dying. The death of NYC was widespread after 9/11 but up to 2 months ago such a thought was laughable. Some segments will recover faster. New habits of "social distance" will be implemented. Less business travel, maybe less travel in huge groups, and avoiding crowds. But folks are going to tire of fear. The economic impact is another issue. If folks dont have money they cannot travel.
Right, I do expect the Carribean leisure stuff to be weak until the winter at least. If I'm taking to get out of the house in 3 months, I'm going to go somewhere where I don't have to worry about getting quarantined and not allowed to come back. And that will ACK/MVY or Florida right now.
I also do expect them to make significant cuts to PR in the next year or so. If SJU was peaking at 44 flights a day before this hit. It will be down to around 30 a year from now.
FLL and Florida will be just fine
VFR will be fine too
You know what is going to happen when this opens up? People are going to want to travel. But they are going to want to travel to “safe” “familiar” “close” places.
No place in the US fits the bill better than Florida.
As for VFR, I keep flying 100 Dominicans around in throes of a pandemic. VFR will explode the minute things lighten up...even just a bit.
B6 is well positioned.
You know who you dont want to be right now? An airline with a fleet of hundreds of Trans Oceanic widebody aircraft.
I would not want to be in AA or UA's shoe right now. It does bring the question of what kind of opportunity opens up after this. We will see. BOS and JFK are obvious priorities. But aside from that, B6 should go talk to AA/UA about leasing LGA slots. B6 can maybe get more LAX/SFO gates than they previously thought (even 6 to 8 gates at LAX and 4 at SFO would be great). Does RDU become a place they can grow if DL downsizes there?