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The US reopens aviation: World aviation shows signs of improvement.

22-10-2021

 

The United States prepared to welcome a large wave of international passengers after the airline was opened at 00:01 on 9/11. This was the first time that US airlines reopened after 20 months of closure to control the pandemic. The US's resumption of long-haul flights forced many other aviation markets to open up if they didn't want to lose.

 

 

Flights are full.

United Airlines said the number of international passengers would increase by 50% today compared with 20,000 passengers they received on November 1. Particularly, CEO Ed Bastian of Delta Air Lines warned that passengers had to wait in line for quite a while. “We can be a bit overwhelmed at first. I can be sure that passengers will wait in the long line. We will deal with this soon,” Bastian said.

Many Delta flights would land at international airports in the US today with 100% occupancy. Since the US announced its reopening six weeks ago, Delta's international bookings had increased by 450% compared with the previous six weeks,  spokeswoman Morgan Durrant said.

About 253 international flights would land today, increasing 11% from the first day of the week in October at Newark Liberty and John F. Kennedy international airports,  the airport Authority of New York and New Jersey said, the number of flights would gradually increase over the next two months, with international flights reaching 75% compared to the numbers for November and December 2019.

The US airlines were focusing on promoting flights to Europe and other destinations affected by the previous ban. These airlines were preparing events to welcome foreign tourists at all US airports today. The Minister of Commerce, Gina Raimondo and the president of United Airlines, Brett Hart will jointly host a welcome ceremony at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this morning (local time) to celebrate the reopening of the United States.

The US officials planned to hold an online event on Instagram to respond to travelers around the world on November 9.

The US has banned entry of non-US citizens and within 14 days before, if they had been to the following 33 countries – including 26 Schengen countries in Europe with no border control, China, India, South Africa , Iran, Brazil, UK and Ireland.

US Travel (American Travel Association) said countries accounting  for 53% of all visitors to the US in 2019 and border communities suffered serious damage when they lost their source of visitors from the other side of the border in Mexico and Canada. The association estimated that the drop in visitor numbers had caused the loss of  "nearly $300 billion in the export turnover of the US economy" since March 2020.

 

 

Passengers have to queue longer.

That airlines reopen international routes means the number of employees returning to work and the number of planes returning to the sky are gradually increasing. However, staff shortages could be a problem for some airlines and ground services, especially when it requires the staff to be fully vaccinated in Europe and the US.

Customs & Border Protection (CBP) and the  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were both short on staff. Both places had been racing  until a November 25 Thanksgiving that all staff were vaccinated, complying with federal orders.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman, Kevin Munoz said on Twitter: "We believe demands will be very high when the US lifts current air and land travel restrictions today. We are making significant preparations to support the large number of passengers."

The administration of President Joe Biden had many meetings with US airlines to prepare for the "flood" of international travelers to US airports. The government was also advising travelers to travel by land and waterway from Canada and Mexico about longer waiting times from today 8 November.

 

 

Unlocking the most potential aviation market in the world.

"International passenger numbers will slowly recover. According to Flight Database & Statistics OAG, the number of seats booked on flights from Europe to the US this December is forecast to be 67% of the number in December 2019.

Before the pandemic, annual sales of British Airways on the London - New York route reached 1 billion dollars. The flight route between the two airports of Heathrow – John F. Kennedy was known as the most fertile and attractive route in the world because the number of tourists and business people traveling to work was always the highest. After 20 months of stagnation, the top-selling route was back in operation, marking a major turning point in recovering transatlantic long-haul routes. British Airways celebrated this momentous occasion with the reinstatement of the BA001 number, which was previously reserved for Concorde supersonic flights only.

Many other European and American airlines will also get the benefit from flights between London, Paris and Frankfurt  in Europe with destinations across the Atlantic in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The competition on transatlantic routes is often around three main alliances. European and American airlines can enjoy the immunity from antitrust laws in Europe and the US which  allow the alliance to be an airline, coordinate flight schedules, share costs and revenues.

The most profitable alliance is British Airways – American Airlines. American Airlines' booking demand has been equal with the pre-pandemic level, and the airline forecasts that business travel demand will recover in the first quarter of 2022.

The second alliance is Virgin Atlantic - Delta Air Lines, with flights from Europe to the US being 100% full. Delta said it will increase flights this winter from European countries such as London, Amsterdam, Munich, Dublin and Frankfurt.

The third alliance is Air France-KLM with headquarters in Paris and Amsterdam having the right to pick up passengers at Healthrow.

Besides, it is the rise of Lufthansa - which was allied with United. The German airline will operate 200 weekly flights to 17 airports in the US this November. The airline's bookings have increased by 50% since the US government announced the reopening of skies, some routes to New York have quadrupled. CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr said the business travelling demand was growing strongly, especially from tech, car and pharmaceutical firms.

Today's event has special significance for the aviation industry. However the message of the event is bigger. That is when the US remains closed to Europe, which means that many countries are comfortable with closing their borders" said General Director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Willie Walsh spoke."

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