For people trying to paint a picture that air travel is back.....look at 2019 vs 2020 numbers it's not. You might want it to be, but it's not.
What you are seeing are many less flights so the ones running are sometimes packed. Some regional variation. Places like Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada we do see alot of flyers but Nationwide people are not back. There are some regional differences , people in Florida totally seem willing to jump on a plane and people in NY and BOS are not. Nationwide numbers are way down comparing anything to same week 2019. Just look at TSA screening numbers not how full your flight was.
August is hard to predict but cancellations are rolling in faster than bookings again. Bad sign. With business travel still cut September and October will be terrible but all airlines expect them to be at this point. My company last week banned all business travel until 7/1/2021 now. This thing is gonna be really hard on the airlines and hotels , really unprecedented situation.
No one is even remotely claiming that air travel is, "back." No one.
What most are saying, including myself, is that there are hopeful signs. Calling those who see these hopeful signs "truthers' or other such nonsense is both sneeringly arrogant and expectedly ignorant. No one is "wishing it away." No one is saying don't take precautions. From the data posted, it appears as though we are running about 25%+ of last-year's all-time record pass-through counts. This is a stunning number given the single-digit rates of just three months ago. Airports like SMF are showing month-to-month growth in June of over 100%.
The big question now is will this growth be sustained? I agree with those who say it's unlikely. 100% month-to-month growth is a tall mountain to climb and if that's the standard you want to use, then the industry will not "back" anytime in the near future. Of course, if 100% monthly growth is your standard, the industry has never been "there" at all.
But are the data points trending in right direction? Typically these things have peaks and valleys, they reach plateaus and then continue on course, either up or down. So far, the trend is clear and unmistakable. The trends are up. In my own view, I'd expect a plateau for the next couple of months as I expect leisure travel to level-off, but I'd love to be wrong. I also expect that companies that are banning business travel will be at a competitive disadvantage compare to those with more liberal travel policies.
This isn't the first time that "Zoom" type meetings are getting all the love, but just as before, the pendulum eventually swings back. Is that likely to happen in 2020? I think we can all agree the answer is "no." But for a company to unequivocally ban all business travel for a year out seems short-sighted and an overreaction. So many things can happen between now and next July. Overall though, I think we are unlikely to see business travel return to 2019 levels without strong, overall economic growth. Those decisions will get made from both sides of the labor/management equation as more workers discover the joys of working from home and business sees that money is saved. What will those numbers be? No one knows, but a strong economy means that those levels are reached more quickly. For my own company, the key is access to capital. If banks continue to lend, we'll pull out of this just fine. If the markets freeze (as they did in March/April), we are doomed.
I can, of course, only make statements based on the TSA numbers I see posted and linked here, and my own experience. My own experience last week was a shock as both flights and the Vegas airport were absolutely teaming with activity.
I saw that as a good thing, but if I am wrong about continued increases, I will take no joy "in reading these posts in a month." What that will mean is real economic devastation to millions of my fellow Americans. These are real people suffering crippling losses to themselves and their families. They are not merely political points to score. The pain and economic agony is real. So if the wished-for (by some) economic collapse occurs, take that into account when reading some of these posts with "joy" in a month.
So yes, I very much want air travel to be "back," but no one here is claiming that it is, or that it will be in the near future. We are claiming that things are looking better than they were last month, and the month before and so on. We are claiming that because it's true.
I just don't get this seemingly cheering for economic catastrophe.