Domestic leisure travel demand return to pre-pandemic levels, aircraft CEOs say
The travel recuperation is formally here, two aircraft CEOs said on Wednesday.
Talking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said that demand for domestic leisure travel was once again at pre-pandemic levels.
“Domestic leisure demand has almost entirely recovered,” Kirby said. “It tells you something about that pent up desire to travel, the pent up desire to remake those connections.”
Kirby affirmed that the airline would see cash-flow get back to positive levels for the month of March, something the aircraft proposed was a chance in a SEC filing recently.
Eminently, even as domestic leisure travel recuperates, business and long haul travel remain seriously discouraged.
“Business demand is still down over 80%, and of course international borders, particularly long-haul, are still closed,” he said. “So those are huge chunk of our business that are still almost at zero, but it’s really nice to see that recovery.”
During a press conference marking Alaska Airlines’ inclusion in the Oneworld alliance, CEO Ben Minicucci was correspondingly hopeful, taking note of that the carrier would make positive cash flow for the month.
Albeit the airline typically sees about 30% of its clients traveling for business, and the rest for leisure or to visit companions and family members, Minicucci said that the aircraft as of now sees leisure demand recuperating quicker, something in accordance with what other industry insiders have noticed.
Outstandingly, leisure travel tends to offer fundamentally lower yields than price-agnostic business travel, while domestic flying doesn’t generally offer similar benefits as long haul travel.
In any case, the booming demand — including current flying and forward bookings, as Americans book summer trips fully expecting being inoculated by at that point — is a welcome sign for airlines and the more extensive the travel industry.
Airlines are adding new routes and upgrading existing ones to take advantage of the summer demand — United is flying over 100% of its 2019 ability to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, and South America, where a few nations have returned to Americans.