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Aviation Industry Updates: March 2, 2021

By March 2, 2021March 8th, 2021Industry News

Delta Bringing All Pilots Back To Active Flying Status | New Bid Assignments Posting March 5


  • The Atlanta-based carrier is gearing up for recovery and plans for all affected pilots to have an active status by October of this year.

  • Delta SVP and COO John Laughter shared that his company is seeing hopeful trends as the vaccine rollout continues. Nonetheless, his team remains cautiously optimistic about the future of travel demand and the industry’s recovery.
  • “Looking ahead, we’re preparing to potentially build back to 2019 levels of flying by summer 2023. With that projection in mind, we will post an Advanced Entitlement on March 5th that will begin the process to return all remaining affected pilots to active flying status by October. Bob Schmelzer will provide full details about the AE in a memo soon. This decision is a significant step to position Delta for the network recovery and supports projected customer demand,” Laughter said in the memo.
  • This move is to help the airline prepare for growth in future flying, as it looks to anticipated customer demand in 2022 and 2023.
  • Delta’s teams have to build in time to train pilots on the aircraft needed to fly the planned increased flight schedule – this process takes several months.
  • In December 2020, Delta pilots ratified an agreement to protect all pilots from furlough. The pilots returning to active flying are those who were designated into a No-Fly status (while still employed with Delta).

Simple Flying

Survey Says: 38% of Americans Vote Giving Up Sex For Traveling Again


  • Desperate vacationers said they would willingly give up love, sex or money in exchange for a trip, according to a recent survey by travel search site Trivago.
  • To that end, nearly half, or 48%, would give up their job, 38% would give up sex for a year, one-quarter would fork over all of their savings and 1 in 5 said they would dump their partner if it meant they could take a trip in the near future.
  • Undoubtedly, the last 11 months have taken a toll. In 2020, an overwhelming majority of Americans shortened, postponed or canceled their planned time off.
  • At the same time, the average workday lengthened by nearly an hour, according to a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Now, more than half of U.S. consumers said they will take a vacation later this year, but that also largely depends on vaccinations.
  • But that doesn’t mean Americans are set to jet off to an exotic locale. Most said their idea of a “dream vacation” was now the opportunity to spend time with friends and family.


Vaccine Distribution | Will This Affect International Travel?


  • The rollout of vaccines against the coronavirus (Covid-19) has started in developed countries, but mass immunization will take time.
  • Production represents the main hurdle, as many developed countries have pre-ordered more doses than they need.
  • The costs associated with mass immunization programs will be significant, especially for less-developed countries that have limited fiscal resources.
  • Vaccine diplomacy will play a role in determining which countries get access to a vaccine in the coming months.
  • Russia and China will use the rollout of their own coronavirus shots to advance their interests.
  • With priority groups vaccinated in rich economies by end-March, The EIU expects global economic prospects to brighten from mid-2021.
  • For most middle-income countries, including China and India, the vaccination timeline will stretch to late 2022.
  • In poorer economies, widespread vaccination coverage will not be achieved before 2023, if at all.

Economist Intelligence Unit


United Orders More Boeing 737 Max’s | Shrewd Move or Overconfidence?


  • United Airlines said on Monday that it was adding 25 planes to its order for Boeing’s 737 Max jet, bringing its total to 180 in the coming years, and that it had sped up the delivery timeline as it seeks to position itself for the expected recovery in travel.
  • “These new aircraft are going to allow us to be more competitive,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer. “It’s the right aircraft at the right time.”
  • United plans to use the jet throughout North America and in Hawaii, replacing smaller planes as demand returns, Mr. Nocella said. And the plane will help United restart its strategy of strengthening connections at hub airports in the middle of the country, in Houston, Chicago and Denver, he said.
  • The Max has a list price of more than $120 million, but often sells for less, particularly in large orders. Industry analysts say airlines have leverage to bring that price down further as the travel slowdown eased pressure to build up fleets.
  • Unlike its competitors, United did not remove planes en masse from its fleet throughout the pandemic, part of a strategy aimed at making sure it had maximum flexibility as travel recovered, Mr. Nocella said. With another round of federal payroll aid for the industry seeming likely, United will also be able to retain much of its work force through September.
  • Mr. Nocella said United hoped to reach an “inflection point” late in the year, after which the recovery in travel would accelerate rapidly.

New York Times

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