Internet Travel With Context
April 12-April 18, 2020
Read all about it! U.S. governors talk about when the states can reopen even as nationwide Coronavirus deaths surge past the 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 mark. Airlines whine about the terms of the bailout money they're getting from the nation's taxpayers. And only fools and self-important pundits know anything about the future of travel. Here's how we're covering it. The latest items are at the top. Read up from the bottom for context.

Coronavirus Update for April 18, 2020

Florida began reopening some beaches last night. Statewide, the daily infection rate soared to a record number. Probably just a coincidence, though. Here are today's developments:
        Canada has ordered all passengers to wear face protection when flying. The edict goes into effect on Monday (April 20). The full details are here.
        The uptick The TSA screened around 106,000 yesterday, a rather notable 10+ percent rise from Thursday.
        The counterpoint Eurocontrol says there were 4,162 flights in Europe's skies on Thursday. That is 87 percent below last year's number.
        Etihad Airways, flag carrier of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, says it will resume flying on May 1. Its schedule includes four weekly flights to both New York/JFK and Washington/Dulles.
        Plane parking The unique problem of finding parking places for literally thousands of grounded aircraft is covered in this Bloomberg News deep dive.
        Part-time problems Hotel occupancy in the United States has fallen to around 20 percent. It's even worse for seasonal hotels that only open part of the year.
        Texas is aiming to be the first state to fully reopen. Toward that end, it has sanctioned a retail-to-go scheme beginning April 27.

Coronavirus Update for April 17, 2020

Despairing of any federal leadership, at least three groups of states have emerged to coordinate their Coronavirus response. Along the West Coast, California, Oregon and Washington are acting together. In the East, it's New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Delaware. And a Midwest group has coalesced with Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky working together. Here are today's developments:
        That which survives ... The TSA screened around 95,000 yesterday compared to 2,616,000 on a similar day last year. If the math escapes you, that's less than 4 percent of the year-on-year volume.
        Hilton says it has closed nearly 1,000 hotels worldwide. That's 16 percent of its global system. It translates to 60 percent of its European, African and Middle East properties; 12 percent of its Americas hotels; and about 15 percent of Asia-Pacific locations. As reported below, Marriott has shuttered about 25 percent of its hotels worldwide.
        Australia has pledged A$165 million so Qantas and Virgin Australia can maintain basic flight service between capital cities and regional centers. Qantas will operate 164 flights a week while Virgin Australia will run 64 flights.
        Cathay Pacific of Hong Kong says its current schedule is just 3 percent of normal. In March, it carried 311,000 passengers, down from 4.3 million in March, 2019. Its loads in April will be below 1,000 passengers a day, the airline says.
        Singapore Airlines says its reduced schedule of flights operated with 57 percent load factors in March.
        U.S. hotels registered an average daily rate (ADR) of $74.18 for the week ended April 13, according to lodging analysts STR. That's more than 45 percent below last year's nationwide ADR.
        Britain has extended its nationwide stay-at-home order for another three weeks. Restrictions may last into June, according to Dominic Raab, who is acting as prime minister while Boris Johnson recovers from Coronavirus.
        Montreux Jazz Festival, scheduled for July 3-18, has been cancelled. Originally held in 1967, it's the first cancellation in the history of the iconic Swiss event.

Coronavirus Update for April 16, 2020

Unhappy with his Health & Human Services Secretary for telling him and others the truth, President Trump has appointed Michael Caputo, a former Moscow resident and image-maker for Vladimir Putin, as HHS spokesman. Here are today's developments:
        Hmm ... The TSA says it screened 90,784 travelers at U.S. airports on Wednesday, up slightly from Tuesday. Be interesting to see if numbers reach 100,000 again today and Friday.
        Emirates Airline says it will begin testing some passengers for Coronavirus before boarding flights at its Dubai hub. Its somewhat hazy statement is here.
        Boeing has 11,000 jets in service at commercial airlines around the world. As of Tuesday, 6,600 were parked and stored, according to Cirium, an industry analyst.
        Farm states, which have refused to implement stay-at-home orders, are now seeing a spike in Coronavirus cases. Apparently MAGA mentality isn't stronger than science after all. has the details.
        District of Columbia, Los Angeles and New York State will continue under stay-at-home rules through at least May 15.
        Germany extended its national lockdown through May 3, but smaller shops will be permitted to reopen next week.
        Expedia will probably spend less than $1 billion on advertising this year, down from $5 billion in 2019, boss Barry Diller told CNBC.

Coronavirus Update for April 15, 2020

I thought of delaying today's update until I could sign every one of them. Then I realized that privilege is reserved for presidents delaying relief checks to needy Americans. Here are today's developments:
        Marriott has closed about 25 percent of its 7,300 hotels worldwide.
        Or maybe not ... Yesterday I speculated that we've reached the floor--about 100,000 daily flyers at U.S. airports. But the TSA says it screened just 87,534 travelers on Tuesday. Even for usually slow Tuesdays, that may upset the calculations. Of course, I could simply call the TSA numbers "fake news." That might cover me ...
        Leipzig, Germany, was the busiest airport in Europe yesterday, according to Eurocontrol. It handled 185 flight movements compared to 179 at Frankfurt.
        JetBlue Airways says it is operating fewer than 150 flights a day. The systemwide load factor is just 10 percent. Before the pandemic, JetBlue was running about 1,000 flights a day.
        Air New Zealand is down to three long-haul destinations from Auckland: Shanghai, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
        Tour de France, the most prestigious event in competitive bicycling, has been delayed. It'll now start on August 29. Maybe ...

Coronavirus Update for April 14, 2020

New York has apparently plateaued albeit it at a very high level: more than 750 daily deaths. Here are today's other developments:
        Welcome to the floor. It seems that we've reached the floor of air traffic. The TSA reports that about 102,000 travelers were screened at U.S. airports on Monday. That basically gives us a sense of where we are now: About 100,000 passengers daily, on average, with slightly lower numbers on slow days and slightly higher numbers on the "busy" days.
        Amtrak is carrying about 4,000 passengers per day, down from 100,000 in pre-pandemic days. “We are running trains where we have more staff than customers,” Amtrak boss Richard Anderson told employees. The railroad has cancelled about 57 percent of trains nationwide and around 77 percent in the Northeast Corridor. Anderson says Amtrak is burning about $50 million a week.
        South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has resisted calls for a statewide stay-at-home decree. Now the state has one of the worst Coronavirus clusters in the nation. The Washington Post has details.
        Italy has already extended its nationwide lockdown into May, but several retail businesses will be permitted to reopen next week. That includes bookshops, dry cleaners and laundromats.
        France has extended the nationwide lockdown until May 11, but French president Emmanuel Macron may permit select businesses to reopen before then. However, restaurants, bars and public events venues will remain closed until at least July.
        Grupo Posadas, a large chain of Mexican lodging under the Fiesta, Live Aqua, one and Gamma brands, has closed virtually all of its properties until at least May 1.

Coronavirus Update for April 13, 2020

The Easter holiday came and went with no change in America's status--except the continued climb in the pandemic's death toll. Meanwhile Italy and France will hear from their leaders this week about the future there. Here are today's developments:
        Airlines gonna airline. The government is holding firm against airlines who are balking at the Treasury Department's demand for a 70/30 grant/loan split for the initial tranche of federal bailout. Because airlines want free money and the right to set the terms for which they get taxpayer dollars, too. Reuters has the latest details.
        Still swinging low. The TSA yesterday screened a record-low 90,510 passengers at U.S. airports. On a similar day last year, 2.4 million passengers were at the airport.
        Switzerland has announced a ban on foreigners entering the country. Transit flyers are permitted. The ban lasts until at least June 13.
        Delta Air Lines says it has adjusted boarding processes to maintain social distance. Passengers will now board from back to front to minimize contact. Except for premium and elite passengers. They can board at will because, apparently, Delta thinks elites are immune. Or something.

Coronavirus Update for April 12, 2020

President Trump Friday claimed he was forming an "opening our country council" to reopen the nation. Which begs the question of what he could reopen since he didn't close anything. Not even air routes to Europe and China, a boast he frequently makes. Here are today's developments:
        Swing low sweet chariot. The TSA yesterday screened 93,645 passengers at U.S. airports. That's the lowest on record, not unexpected given the time (the day before Easter) and the times.
        No highway in the sky. Eurocontrol says aircraft traffic in European skies yesterday fell to 2,223 flights. That's down 92 percent year-on-year.
        Michigan now has the strictest stay-at-home rules in the country. No non-essential shopping is permitted and even home visits are barred. Details here.
        Air France/KLM, the holding company of those carriers, says it is losing 25 million euros a day. That's on par with earlier claims from Lufthansa. At that rate of burn, Air France/KLM boss Ben Smith says, the company will run out of cash in early June. Losses do not include the unemployment financial support already extended by the French government.
        Thailand has extended its ban on international flights until at least April 18.

Coronavirus Update for April 5-April 11, 2020

Read all about it! As the world convulses with the waves of Coronavirus, the toll on the travel industry is revealed. Remaining flights are essentially empty, airports are shutting terminals and business travelers have no where to go--and aren't in a rush to get there. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 29-April 4, 2020

Read all about it! Domestic travel is down more than 90 percent from last year. More states impose stay-at-home orders. The death toll in Italy and Spain continues to skyrocket. And doctors and nurses are scrambling for supplies to help Coronavirus patients--and protect themselves. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 21-28, 2020

The new "new normal"? International transit airports barring transit passengers. U.S. states demanding arrivals from other U.S. states quarantine themselves on arrival. U.S. passenger volume dropping by 90 percent in a matter of days. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 15-21, 2020

Read all about it! The world is closing--and we watch in personal and transportation isolation. Countries are closing borders, airlines are all but shut and hotels are putting the keys in the door. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 8-14, 2020

Read all about it! Italy, Spain, France and Israel shut down. Other countries close their borders as the United States preps for what's to come. The Trump Administration botches the roll out of a ban on "all travel from Europe." U.S. carriers begin cutting service to the bone. Here's how it's happening. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 1-7, 2020

Read all about it! Italy emerges as the new Coronavirus hotspot so airlines begin making huge service cuts there. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines resume some flying. The chief rabbi of Israel says don't kiss the mezuzah. The travel industry starts tallying the financial damage. Here's how it's happening. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for February 15-29, 2020

Read all about it! The Coronavirus spreads around the globe. Japan, South Korea and Italy are hit hard and airlines quickly drop their flights. Tourism disappears and companies begin telling employees to curtail business travel. The Tokyo Summer Olympics may be threatened. Airlines begin rolling out gimmicky fee waivers to nervous flyers. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for February 1-14, 2020

Read all about it! The spread of the Coronavirus is still mostly affecting mainland China, but Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are losing flights and visitors, too. As Chinese tourists stay home, however, the travel industry learns how much they mean to airline traffic, cruise ships and hotels. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for January 23-31, 2020

Read all about it! As the Coronavirus worsens, airlines have reacted by slashing service to Hong Kong and mainland China. Retailers and food-service giants such as McDonald's are closing locations, too. And neighboring countries are closing their borders. Click here for the day-to-day details.