Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"Mobs Do Not Rush Across Town to Do Good Deeds." -- James Lee Burke

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, April 10, 2020

The Massive Hit to Air Travel

The number of Americans getting on airplanes has sunk to a level not seen in more than 60 years as people shelter in their homes to avoid catching or spreading the new coronavirus.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 94,931 people on Wednesday, a drop of 96% from a year ago and the second straight day under 100,000.

The official tally of people who passed through TSA checkpoints exaggerates the number of travelers – if that is possible – because it includes some airline crew members and people still working at shops inside airport security perimeters.

Historical daily numbers only go back so far, but the nation last averaged fewer than 100,000 passengers a day in 1954, according to figures from trade group Airlines for America.
That was back when air travel within the U.S. was by piston-engined aircraft: DC-3s and Martin 4-0-4s for shorter flights, DC-6s, DC-7s and Constellations for longer flights.

One might expect that some of the smaller carriers are going to go Tango Uniform.


Frank Wilhoit said...

No. They will be bailed out and put to delivering derisory quantities of medical equipment to the home states of endangered Republican Senators.

JustMusing said...

CM, the link to article appears to be blocked or broken.

Comrade Misfit said...

Cameron, yeah, I messed that up. It's fixed.

Thanks for letting me know.

Pigpen51 said...

I have heard the airlines spoken about and how this pandemic was going to hurt them a lot. And of course, there is no doubt that there will be a lot smaller, local carriers that will just not make it. That is really a bad thing, for many Americans have become dependent on not just the big airlines,but these smaller local outfits tend to be the backbone of people who are using them as part of their work and how they service customers, or send critical parts to previous customers, for items such as an X-Ray unit at a hospital in Arkansas, when the part needed is in New Jersey, or in Colorado. If the X-Ray unit is down, in a rural town in Arkansas, it can cause a hardship for them, and so the smaller airlines are used for not just passenger flights, but often for sending things like parts for needed equipment, that are time sensitive.
My parents owned a restaurant in a small town of about 1,000 people, but it was located at a crossroads in Michigan, where people passed when headed up north for the sporting activities, hunting, fishing, golf, boating, etc. So from that small town restaurant, they often grossed over 300K a year. But if they were alive and owned that place today, there is no doubt that they would not make it, but would go bankrupt. You must sell a very large amount of food, in order to make a decent amount of money. So out of that 300K, they might have skimmed 20,000$, plus showed another 25,000$ or so. They also employed a pretty good amount of people. But like a lot of small businesses now, they would have lost their business. Now multiply that place by literally thousands, if not many more, and you will see that while the airlines will get hit, perhaps even some of the larger ones, like always, the smaller places owned by working class people, are going to suffer the most.
I know that there is a stimulus bill that passed,and will put some money into some peoples pockets. But if the shutdown goes too long, say past the first of June, I think that a lot of mom and pop businesses, like that of my parents,will not be able to reopen. They will have lost all of their fresh food that they had stored in their walk in coolers, and their refrigerators. The food in their freezers will still be fine. I suspect that most of them have already had to donate some to either food banks,or other places like that. And here in Michigan, restaurants are still able to run, but only for delivery or takeout food. And while economy stimulus money will help in come cases, there is no doubt that it won't be enough.
My wife and I used to go on yearly vacation trips via airplanes to Florida, via Allegiant air service. They often had unbelievable fares, and they were, to be blunt, a cut rate company, and we sometimes had bad experiences, once having one engine blow on takeoff, on a MD 80. It was very scary and harrowing. And while they flew another plane from Atlanta, my wife would not get back on and we eventually got them to issue a voucher for a different time. We don't go anymore due to her failing health, having beaten breast cancer just a couple years ago. And while at times, I miss it, the truth is, things are different now, and I don't feel the need to get away anymore. Yet I still think that the smaller airlines are just so very important to our nation's economy and it's ability to stay homogeneous. Many cities require tourism need the airlines to operate in order to stay vibrant. So I join with everyone in hoping that it will resolve as quickly as possible, and that those who do have this illness recover quickly, and have no lasting effects.


CenterPuke88 said...

pigpen51, the good news is that FedEx and UPS have a shitload of contracted small aircraft to move things from hubs to distribution points nearer the destination. The loss of passenger cargo carry capacity will be felt, but not as much as you’d think. I expect Congress to beef-up the Essential Air Service again, something they’ve been busy cutting, and that will deliver service to a number of smaller bergs. The budget carriers will be washed out, the contract affiliates will be ruthlessly pruned, the major carriers will be protected, although a consolidation to three from four so not out of the question, Unitinental and Delta may just decide to shack-up over this, we’ll see.

B said...

Have a friend who flies for Republic.

5 days of flying, 3 or more legs each day.

Not ONE had more than 10 people on board.

Several had zero.

I don't understand why they keep flying.

Ten Bears said...

🎶 Blues sky's, nuthin' but blue skies, all day long 😎

Rarely have I agreed why B, but ... why?

Comrade Misfit said...

B, I suspect that those flights are also carrying some cargo and mail. In the '30s, a lot of nearly empty planes flew because they were carrying the mail. That may be happening now.

But I don't know for sure.

Eck! said...

Cargo, mail and general freight were all important. The 10 or so people
are techReps, field engineers and no doubt other people who would
rather be home.

The town in the middle of no and where will get their XRay part
as that freight still moves. THere are many places where small
Air-services companies were never fully passenger and their prime
business model as critical material, food, tools, and mail.

As to the small restaurants, If people are still driving by the
old carhop [curb pickup] and A&W stand models will be a possible
way to stay alive. Around me that is a thriving business and the
food if very good. Truck stops and good food cheap have always
been part of America.

The world as we knew it changed, but it didn't end. For those
willing to try new things it may be a way to keep going maybe

Where it really sucks is those that never had more than enough
to get to the next paycheck. Some of that is self inflicted
most however its not. They never had a chance to amass enough
to stand a week of lock down.


Ten Bears said...

Probably bad form for me to make light of the improved air quality v the reduced air travel when in truth it is not air but ground traffic that is the major polluter. Air traffic is very little of it.

I have for the past year been residing under a thousand foot under the glidepath of a major east coast seaport; Harley's and helicopters: can't speak to airspeed but though the runway is only ten, maybe twelve miles line-of-sight they're banking a big uturn twenty-five maybe thirty miles out over the bay to lose airspeed and altitude. Generally, they're stacked up seven minutes deep. Not as impressive as Portland, straight line in stacked up three minutes apart but at any given time look up and see one. Haven't seen one in days, at least.

Talking with my son out home on the high desert had him step outside: no contrails. Had him ask his grampa, been counting airplanes off that deck for eighty years: hasn't seen a contrail in days. It's one of those things you don't notice until you notice, and then can't quite put a finger on just exactly when.

Kinda' spooky ...

Pigpen51 said...

I don't pretend to know about the airline industry, but I have to wonder if when they fly a nearly empty plane from one airport to another, it is in order to have the airplane at the other airport the next day, ready to go and take out the full plane load of passengers.
I doubt that it is cost efficient to fly one leg of a route just to deliver a part for a widget making machine, no matter how important that widget is, or how much they pay for the delivery of that one part.


DTWND said...

Northwest Airlines, that airline that Delta took over, had a 747 that went 5 days a week from Detroit to Tokyo. The cargo alone on those flights brought in more revenue that the hub in Memphis brought in. Delta still has daily flights there, but its an A350 now.