Opinion: Airlines takeover suspended as Covid-19 strikes again
However, thanks to the Delta variant of Covid-19, hospitalizations are once again approaching pandemic peak in several parts of the United States, and those moments of hope have been canceled for now. While the Delta variant has inconsistently affected various regions, it has managed to introduce an element of uncertainty that seeks to reverse the return of business and international travel, and at least dampen the growth of the domestic leisure market.
Domestic demand is unlikely to pick up until Thanksgiving or Christmas. Based on this easing, we now expect domestic pleasure travel in the United States to return to 2019 levels by next summer – essentially on the same schedule as before vaccinations took off. That, of course, could be reversed by another variant if a significant number of unvaccinated Americans continue to resist getting vaccinated.
The end result for travel may seem obvious, but returning to demand levels of 2019 will be difficult to achieve – even in the midst of an impressive economic recovery – if large numbers of people go unvaccinated and Covid-19 is unvaccinated. is not contained. Until we have to forestall the spread through vaccination, increased demand will remain vulnerable to variant outbreaks and any sign of a return of Covid.