Coronavirus Special Report
April 10-April 16, 2021
Read all about it! More than 560,000 565,000 Americans have died from the virus and more than 21% of the nation has been fully vaccinated. But new-case numbers are rising quickly. U.S. flying slows from the Easter rush. Several South American and Asian countries tighten Covid restrictions. Malta will pay tourists--in cash, not falcons--to visit this summer. And more. Read from the bottom for context.

Coronavirus Update: Friday, April 16, 2021

Dr. David Kessler, chief science officer of the Biden Administration's Covid task force, told Congress yesterday that he expects vaccinated Americans to need booster shot as more information is known and more variants emerge. Here are today's other developments:
        Not hopping like a bunny   According to the TSA, 1,491,435 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Thursday. It represents 57% of 2019's volume on a similar day. While this is better than the traditional Tuesday-Wednesday slowdown, it is clear that the travel recovery has slowed after last week's Easter rush.
        Way too high   There were 74,289 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Thursday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 887. Most concerning is that young, unvaccinated people are the bulk of the new infections.
        Hotel high   Average nightly occupancy at U.S. hotels reached 59.7% for the week ended April 10. STR, the industry recordkeeper, says half of the nation's properties are now registering occupancy above 60%. Florida markets--Tampa (at 83.7%) and Miami (74.1%)--lead the nation. Minneapolis (40%) and Boston (40.7%) trail the Top 25 markets.
        Stuck in the middle with you   Delta Air Lines president Glen Hauenstein claims the carrier's blocked middle seat policy cost it $100-$150 million in revenue in March. Delta ends the policy at the end of April.
        Back to the beach   Myrtle Beach airport says it handled 74,725 arriving passengers in March. That's 89.7% of its 2019 volume. Several airlines are adding capacity at MYR in the coming month as beachgoers and golfers flock to the South Carolina destination.
        France   has passed 100,000 Coronavirus deaths, the third European nation after the United Kingdom and Italy to reach that sad milestone.

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, April 15, 2021

Canada is undergoing another serious wave of infections. For the past seven days, Johns Hopkins says there were 59,657 new cases, higher than Canada's record high of 58,956, recorded from April 4-10 this year. Fewer than 3% of Canadians have been fully vaccinated. Here are today's other developments:
        Glass half empty   According to the TSA, 1,152,703 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Wednesday. It represents 49.7% of 2019's volume on a similar day. That's two consecutive days when comparative volume has fallen below 50% and the only two days in April when volume was below 55%. Volume had hit almost 70% of 2019 levels on April 3.
        Really, pay attention to this   There were 75,375 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Wednesday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 956. Infections averaging 75,000 or more a day would have been alarming as recently as last November.
        New York state of mind   New York State dropped its requirement that international visitors quarantine on arrival. CDC testing rules still apply, of course.
        American Airlines   says it will fly more than 90% of its domestic schedule this summer when compared to 2019. International capacity will be at about 80% of 2019 levels.
        Delta Air Lines   says its second-quarter capacity will be approximately 68% of 2019 levels, but international long-haul demand is just 15% of "normal."
        Denmark   has permanently discontinued the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

We've finally hoarded enough toilet paper and sales have fallen below pre-pandemic levels. The Wall Street Journal has the details. Here are today's other developments:
        The plunge   According to the TSA, 1,085,034 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Tuesday. It represents 49.1% of 2019's volume. That's a 10-point plunge from Monday's performance, an 8-point fall from Tuesday, April 6, and the first time in a month that traffic fell below 50% of 2019 levels.
        Pay attention   There were 77,878 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Tuesday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 823. Experts say young, unvaccinated people are driving this surge in new infections.
        Sales story   As U.S. carriers prepare to release first-quarter reports, airlines are discussing sales during the first three months. American Airlines says 1Q revenue is forecast to be down 62% compared to 2019's first quarter. At United Airlines, the decline is expected to be 66%. Alaska Airlines forecasts 1Q revenue will be down 57.5%.
        The Philadelphia story   Philadelphia International Airport says it is now operating at 66% of capacity. American Airlines, which hubs at PHL, will probably operate 270 to 285 flights this summer. The airline ran 400 daily flights during the summer of 2019.

Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Most of the Muslim world observes the first day of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Here are today's other developments:
        The J&J "pause"   Federal authorities today abruptly stopped administering the J&J vaccine. The halt is called a "pause" while the FDA and CDC investigate six cases of rare blood clotting. One person has died and a second is hospitalized in critical condition. All six were women between the ages of 18 and 48. To date, less than 5% of the 190 million vaccine shots administered are of the J&J version.
        Slowing train   According to the TSA, 1,468,972 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Monday. It represents 59.1% of 2019's volume, about six points below Monday, April 5.
        Back to ugly highs   There were 70,234 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Monday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 467. Experts continue to warn that such high levels of new cases are a sign of another wave of infections.
        Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow   Toronto/City-based Porter Airlines has again delayed its relaunch. The newest new restart date is now June 21. Porter has continually delayed its restart since its first shutdown on March 21, 2020.
        It was that bad   The Department of Transportation says U.S. airlines carried 61% fewer people in February compared to February, 2020, the last full month before the nation began to shut down. The DOT says airlines carried 26.5 million flyers in February compared to 67.6 million in February, 2020.

Coronavirus Update: Monday, April 12, 2021

More than 20% of the nation is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins. Here are today's other developments:
        Rolling thunder   According to the TSA, 1,561,495 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Sunday. It represents 63.8% of 2019's volume, slightly more than April 4, which was Easter Sunday.
        Fragmentary and better   There were 46,378 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Sunday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll was 283. That's better--but weekend numbers are always fragmentary and incomplete.
        Bangladesh   will lock down again in a desperate attempt to control the spread of Coronavirus. Starting Wednesday (local time), international passenger flights to and from the country are suspended until April 20. A nine-day nationwide lockdown ends tomorrow, but it will be followed by a new seven-day lockdown.
        Broken skies   During the last week, aircraft traffic in Europe skies was 35.7% of 2019 volume, according to Eurocontrol.
        Bad medicine   In a rare admission of failure, Chinese officials say the country's Coronavirus vaccines are not particularly good. Politico.com has the details. Meanwhile, there are indications that the so-called South Africa variant of the virus may defeat any vaccine. TheHill.com has the details.

Coronavirus Update: Sunday, April 11, 2021

The United States hit a daily average of 3 million vaccine doses for the week of April 2-8, according to statistics released by the White House. Today's other developments:
        An April apex   According to the TSA, 1,378,237 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Saturday. It represents 66.9% of 2019's volume, the second best day of the month so far.
        Still not good   There were 66,533 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Saturday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll was 709.
        The stuff that dreams are made of   Malta will pay travelers to visit the island this summer. Under certain conditions, you'll receive nearly $240, which, you have to admit, is better than a falcon. Reuters has the details.
        Crapped out   Profits at Atlantic City casinos fell by more than 80% last year, according to New Jersey gaming officials. The nine casinos collectively posted $117.5 million in gross operating profits in 2020, down from nearly $594 million in 2019.
        Russian roulette   Officials from Vladimir Putin on down have insisted that Russia handled the Coronavirus outbreak with a comparatively minimal death toll. But The New York Times reports year-over-year deaths were 28% higher in 2020 than 2019. That could indicate a 2020 Coronavirus death toll of about 300,000.

Coronavirus Update: Saturday, April 10, 2021

The World Travel & Tourism Council says the global travel industry lost $4.5 trillion in 2020. The segment's contribution to the global gross domestic product was 5.5% in 2020, down from 10.4% in 2019. Today's other developments:
        Is anyone seeing this?   There were 82,698 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Friday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll was 958. That brings us back to the numbers in early November of last year, just before the holiday spikes of new cases and deaths began.
        Slowing down   According to the TSA, 1,549,181 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Friday. It also represents 59.8% of 2019's volume, four points below the performance of the previous Friday (April 2).
        Capital controls   The eight million residents of Bogota, the capital of Colombia, are now under stay-at-home orders. Four other cities in Columbia are under similar orders.
        Argentina   began a nightly curfew from midnight to 6am. Bars and restaurants in the country's most-populous areas must close at 11pm.
        Japan's jitters   Japanese authorities issued stricter Coronavirus measures in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa. Restaurants and bars will have to close by 8pm. Large events will be capped at 5,000 people. The measures begin Monday and are expected to be in place until May 11 in Tokyo and May 5 in Kyoto and Okinawa.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 3-April 9

Read all about it! More than 553,000 555,000 560,000 Americans have died from the virus and more than 155 160 165 170 175 million vaccine doses have been administered. New cases and deaths spike up despite increased vaccinations. April is off to a (literal) flying start and airline traffic is the busiest since mid-March of 2020. The CDC bungled messaging aimed at vaccinated travelers. Europe flying is still just 40% of normal. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 27-April 2

Read all about it! The CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can fly and travel again. More than 547,000 550,000 553,000 Americans have died from the virus. More than 135 140 145 150 154 million vaccine doses have been administered. U.S. flying roars back and was 52.5% of 2019 volume. American Airlines says bookings are 90% of 2019 levels and United says domestic leisure demand has almost returned to normal. European nations continue to lock down, however. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 20-26

Read all about it! More than 540,000 545,000 547,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus while 30 million people have been infected. More than 115 120 125 130 133 million vaccine doses have been administered. U.S. flying briefly hits nearly 70% of 2019 volume, but some travelers (and pilots) behave badly. Europe continues to lock down, but Germany reverses its draconian Easter shutdown. The U.S.-Canada land border remains closed another month. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 13-19

Read all about it! More than 532,000 535,000 540,000 Americans have died from the virus. More than 100 105 115 million doses of vaccine have been administered. Travel is roaring back in the United States as flying and hotel occupancy both hit post-pandemic highs. Starved for vaccines--and worried about the AstraZeneca version--Europe is doing less well. Italy, the first Western epicenter of the Coronavirus, locks down again. A late winter storm buries Denver International. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 6-12

Read all about it! More than 522,000 525,000 530,000 532,000 Americans have died from the virus. It's been a year since the outbreak was officially declared a pandemic. States continue to reopen business and dining venues, but many European countries move back to lockdown. March flying in the United States ticks up. The CDC says fully vaccinated people can mingle more freely--but shouldn't travel. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 27-March 5

Read all about it! More than 510,000 515,000 520,000 522,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus. Europe is locking down again but U.S. states rush to shed their mask mandates and other restrictions. February flying traffic roars to a close and early March looks good by comparison. Texas' weather woes led to a surge in hotel occupancy. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 20-26

Read all about it! More than 495,000 500,000 505,000 510,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus and new-case numbers are edging up again. Travel-industry numbers for 2020 were brutal and the first quarter looks even weaker. Italy marks a year after it became the Western epicenter of the disease. Boeing 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines grounded worldwide after Denver incident. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 13-19

Read all about it! More than 476,000 480,000 485,000 490,000 495,000 Americans have died, but the new-case number is slowly falling. There was a Valentine's Day/President's Day boomlet in flying. The government backs off plans to demand negative tests for domestic flights. Nasty winter storms snarl flying nationwide and basically ground Texas. Travel industry financial numbers remain startlingly bad. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 5-12

Read all about it! More than 452,000 455,000 460,000 465,000 465,000 475,000 Americans have died. The TSA sets fines for violating federal transportation mask mandates, but the states are again fighting over masking rules. Travel is in its February funk as the economic recovery stalls. There's little hope for an immediate rebound, either. Global hotel occupancy rates are atrocious. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for Jan. 30-Feb. 4

Read all about it! More than 435,000 440,000 445,000 450,000 452,000 Americans have died as we pass 26 million cases. California, South Carolina and Arizona are the riskiest states for Coronavirus transmission. Canada cracks down on snowbird flights and slaps testing requirements on all arrivals. The CDC codifies President Biden's executive order on masks for travel. Portugal, the epicenter of the current outbreak, closes the country's borders for two weeks. A winter storm in the Northeast disrupts the skeletal air system. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 23-29

Read all about it! More than 412,000 415,000 420,000 425,000 430,000 433,000 Americans have died as we pass the 25-million case mark. U.S. travel slumps as the traditional January downturn depresses flying. Israel again shuts down flights. Sweden and Finland bar their Nordic neighbors and European nations close their borders to many visitors. Airline fourth-quarter "earnings" are awful. Bricks-and-mortar retailers close shops by the hundreds. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 16-22

Read all about it! Global Coronavirus deaths pass the 2-million mark and near the 100-million case plateau. More than 390,000 395,000 400,000 405,000 410,000 412,000 have died in the United States as we near the 25-million case mark. The Biden Administration expects 100,000 additional deaths just in the next month. Flying sags in Europe as nations tighten lockdowns. The United States sees small Martin Luther King Weekend surge, then the January malaise. And much more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 9-15

Read all about it! Coronavirus cases globally surge and more than 367,000 370,000 375,000 380,000 385,000 390,000 have died in the United States. Flying is plunging after the New Year's rush. Airlines ban rowdy travelers flying back from last week's Capitol riots. Washington and the area's airports lock down ahead of next week's Inauguration. Travel numbers from 2020 continue to show the depth of the industry's crisis while current lockdowns force carriers to cut capacity again. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 1-8

The new year starts with more of the same: Coronavirus cases in the United States near 21 million and more than 345,000 350,000 355,000 360,000 365,000 367,000 have died. Canada and England make it even tougher to enter the country as other nations tighten Coronavirus restrictions. More travel shuts down. U.S. flying zigzags after a "huge" Christmas and New Year rush. Click here for the week's updates.

2020 Daily Coronavirus Updates

We began day-by-day tracking of the Coronavirus' effect on travel in late January last year. You can see everything we posted in bullet-point form, grouped into weekly segments, by clicking 2020's archives.