Coronavirus Special Report
October 4-October 10, 2020
Read all about it! More than 209,000 210,000 214,000 Americans have died during the virus pandemic as a second wave engulfs many Western nations. Cities once past the worst of the virus begin new shutdowns. The White House Coronavirus crisis deepens. Airlines rethink international routes. Read up from the bottom for context.

Coronavirus Update for October 10, 2020

At least nine people who attended a Trump rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, have contracted Coronavirus. Meanwhile, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has labeled Trump's White House function for Amy Coney Barrett a superspreader event. Here are today's other developments:
        On the third hand ... The TSA says that 968,545 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday, the second-highest total since the pandemic began. But at 36 percent of 2019 volume, it's no better performance than Thursday. But on the third hand, two successive days of 36 percent is, um, not encouraging exactly, but a few points better than recent weeks.
        No masks for you The CDC prepared a sweeping order mandating masks on flights, railroads, buses and all other forms of public transportation. The White House vetoed it. The New York Times has the details.
        Gee, if we'd only known Coronavirus cases in Arizona jumped 151 percent after the statewide stay-at-home order expired, dropped 75 percent after local mask mandates were imposed, according to a new CDC report. The Arizona Republic has the details.
        So much for big sticks New York's iconic Roosevelt Hotel, named in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, closes at the end of the month. Owned (and mismanaged) in recent decades by Pakistan International Airlines, the 1,000-room property connected to Grand Central Terminal was the first hotel in America with a television in every guestroom. Its ballrooms launched the careers of bandleaders Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk.
        Yeah, we noticed ... The Department of Transportation says airline traffic fell by 70 percent in August compared to August, 2019. The 21 airlines tracked by the DOT carried 24.4 million passengers in August, up fractionally from the 24 million in July.

Coronavirus Update for October 9, 2020

The United States recorded more than 56,000 new cases of Coronavirus yesterday. That's the highest one-day total since mid-August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Here are today's other developments:
        A month later ... The TSA says 936,915 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday. That is 36 percent of 2020 volume, the best performance since September 8, the first day after the Labor Day weekend, which registered 36.2 percent of 2019 volume.
        Seven weeks later ... Nationwide hotel occupancy reached a pandemic high of 50.1 percent for the week ended August 15. But it has been slowly trending downward ever since. For the week ended October 3, U.S. occupancy fell to 47.9 percent, according to lodging recordkeepers STR. Occupancy in Canada was only 34 percent nationwide.
        Ferm√© Four more French cities--Lille, Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne--have joined Paris and Marseille on "maximum alert" for the Coronavirus. That means bars are required to close for 15 days beginning Saturday.
        The darkness will continue The Broadway League, which represents New York's Broadway theaters, says shows will remain closed until at least May 30. The League previously said shows would resume in January. Broadway has been dark since March 12. The Metropolitan Opera announced last month that it cancelled its entire season and didn't expect the opera to return until next fall.
        Halfway measures U.S. airlines consumed 801 million gallons of fuel in August, down from 1.7 billion gallons in August, 2019. According to the Transportation Department statistics bureau, airlines paid an average of $1.21 a gallon in August, down from $1.94 in August, 2019.
        Austrian Airlines will operate 20-30 percent of its winter schedule, down from the planned 50 percent of 2019 schedule. It will operate to 60 destinations, 20 fewer than planned.

Coronavirus Update for October 8, 2020

President Trump, hospitalized on Friday with Coronavirus and released on Monday, says he will not participate in next week's debate because the Commission for Presidential Debates has switched to a virtual format. Here are today's other developments:
        The new normal The TSA says 668,519 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday. At 30.2 percent of 2019 volume, that performance is right in line with the post-Labor Day new normal.
        California says theme parks in the state must remain closed.
        Last orders Pubs in Glasgow and Edinburgh must close for 16 days starting Friday. Elsewhere in Scotland, pubs, bars and restaurants cannot serve alcohol indoors during the 16-day period. Last orders are 10pm.
        Wisconsin is planning to open a remote hospital as Coronavirus cases in the state spike again. The details are here.
        Big bucks in the bubble National Basketball Association superstar Russell Westbrook left an $8,000 tip for the housekeeping staff at the Orlando hotel where he stayed during the NBA's "bubble" schedule. "They took great care of us. Took the time and energy to do their job at a high level. That was the right thing. I like to do the right thing," he said. The Washington Post has the details.
        Allegiant Air, the low-fare/high-fee leisure carrier, says its load factor is below 50 percent and its cash burn was $1.3 million a day during the third quarter.

Coronavirus Update for October 7, 2020

If you still have a pleasant fantasy that Coronavirus remains largely a big state/blue state problem, consider: Hospitals in Lincoln, Nebraska, are now scrambling to keep up with the demand for ICU beds. The Lincoln Journal-Star has the details. Here are today's other developments:
        Normal is as normal does The TSA says 590,766 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday, the lowest number since last Tuesday, traditionally one of the slowest travel days of the week. At 29 percent of 2019 volume, yesterday's performance is right in line with the post-Labor Day normal.
        Working on its backward walk Eurocontrol, which handles Europe's air traffic control, says yesterday's flight volume was just 41 percent of 2019 levels. That's the lowest traffic level since July 28.
        Been down so long ... Lufthansa says its cash burn is now one million euros every 90 minutes. That's actually an improvement since the Lufthansa Group--Swiss, Austrian, Brussels and Lufthansa itself--said during the spring that it was burning a million euros every hour.
        Italy has extended its mask mandate nationwide. They must be worn outdoors and in enclosed indoor spaces except the home.
        Belgium has instituted stiff new Coronavirus restrictions. Bars and cafes nationwide now must close at 11pm and non-family tables are limited to four-person seating. In the Brussels and surrounding capital region, bars and cafes must close completely. The rules take effect on Thursday.

Coronavirus Update for October 6, 2020

As autumn arrives, the Coronavirus is picking up steam. Twenty-two states have more positive cases than last week. New infections are averaging about 40,000 a day, twice the lows of summer. And we're now near 7.5 million infections nationwide. The sole silver lining: The average daily death count has declined slightly. Here are today's other developments:
        No moonlight, no Vermont Amtrak has not operated in Vermont since the pandemic began. The Ethan Allen Express has been terminating at Albany, New York. The Vermonter ends at New Haven, Connecticut. Vermont Public Radio has the details.
        Just another manic Monday The TSA says that about 816,000 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday. That's 34 percent of 2019 volume, just about where we've been since Labor Day.
        Magic deferred Virgin Atlantic has once again delayed the resumption of its London-Orlando flights. The new target date: December 10. Whenever it relaunches, there'll be changes. Airbus A330s replace the larger Boeing 747s and service has been moved to Heathrow from Gatwick. Manchester-Orlando nonstops also begin December 10.
        California has now passed New Jersey in the number of Coronavirus deaths. If you're keeping score, the current order is New York, Texas, California, New Jersey and Florida as the five deadliest states. According to John Hopkins, those five states account for around 95,000 of the country's 211,000 deaths.
        Dial it up to 11 Brussels Airlines won't resume flights to New York/Kennedy until February 15. That means JFK-BRU service will have been shuttered for almost 11 months. The carrier, controlled by Lufthansa, first stopped the route on March 21.
        Gone at Gatwick The Gatwick Express that offers a nonstop rail connection between London's second-busiest airport and Victoria Station has not run since March 31. The Independent has the details.

Coronavirus Update for October 5, 2020

Add White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two assistants to the growing roster of Trump Administration officials who've tested positive for Coronavirus. Last one out of the White House turn out the lights. We pay for that electricity. Here are today's other developments:
        Paris when it sizzles Once again becoming a virus hot spot, Paris is tightening restrictions again. All bars must close starting tomorrow. Gyms and swimming pools must also close for at least two weeks. Restaurants can remain open, but must close by 10pm.
        The statistics lie The TSA says nearly 901,000 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday. It's one of the highest absolute passenger counts during the pandemic--but, at 35.4 percent of 2019 volume, actually two-tenths of a percent below last Sunday's performance.
        That's not entertainment Regal Cinemas, the nation's second-largest chain of movie theaters, is closing again. Regal's 500+ locations had only reopened in August.
        Down so long ... After briefly reaching 50 percent of 2019 flight volume in August, Eurocontrol says Europe's skies continue to empty. There were about 500 fewer flights per day last week than the week before. The system is now running at about 45 percent of 2019 volume.
        Auckland restrictions have been lifted after New Zealand's largest city reported no new Covid cases for 12 days.
        Politics and passengers The odd politics of the Middle East and the Muslim world has kept the once bustling air corridor between Istanbul and Dubai effectively closed to passengers. Bloomberg has the details.

Coronavirus Update for October 4, 2020

As the White House battles its credibility crisis on how it is offering details of President Trump's illness, one of his personal assistants has also tested positive. Here are today's other developments:
        He'll make a point of taking that away from you New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio says he has no choice but to shut down schools and nonessential businesses in certain sections of the city. Most districts targeted for another lockdown are in neighborhoods with heavy concentrations of Orthodox religious groups that have largely ignored earlier rules about mass gatherings. The closures require the approval of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and would begin mid-week. The details are here.
        A nasty habit of disappearing overnight The TSA says 677,661 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday, around 180,000 fewer than on Thursday and Friday. At 35.2 percent of volume compared to a similar day in 2019, however, it's about where this week has been compared to last year.
        Move over once, move over twice Amtrak has once again extended elite status in its Guest Rewards program. Elite status now has been grandfathered through February 28, 2022. The details are here.
        Calling all their nowhere plays for nobody The NFL game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs has been cancelled due to Coronavirus outbreaks on the teams. The Tennessee Titans-Pittsburgh Steelers game was axed earlier in the week.
        Holy host of others sittin' around you South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced Friday that South Carolina restaurants can now operate without capacity limits. Restaurants across the state were operating at 50 percent occupancy.
        Cold Turkey Turkish Airlines has cancelled plans to resume flights this year to Newark and Vancouver from its Istanbul hub. The routes are now due to return in January.
        Thello, goodbye Thello, which operates trains between Italy and France, says it will end one next year. The Italian company says it will drop its route between Milan, Nice and Marseille. The run shut down in the early days of the pandemic and resumed June 4.
        These Ukraine flights really knock me out Ukraine has eliminated restrictions on visiting the country, but Ukraine International apparently didn't get the memo. The carrier announced last month that it would resume its New York/JFK-Kyiv flights in December. Now the airline, which was planning to operate Boeing 737 flights over Iceland, has closed reservations for the route. It still shows that B-777 nonstops will resume on April 1, however.

Coronavirus Update for Sept. 27-October 3, 2020

Read all about it! More than 204,000 205,000 209,000 Americans have died during the pandemic as global deaths pass one million. Airlines trim fall/winter transatlantic flights since there's little chance countries will open their borders to the United States. And more. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for September 20-26, 2020

Read all about it! More than 199,000 200,000 204,000 Americans have died during the Coronavirus pandemic. Airlines and hotels cut back because there is little traffic to support more optimistic approaches. Europe resumes some limited lockdowns. Airline bosses expect the worst. And more. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for September 13-19, 2020

Read all about it! More than 193,000 195,000 199,000 Americans have died during the virus pandemic as positive cases pass the 6.5-million mark. Countries that once "beat" the virus experience a dreaded second wave. Flying numbers fall as both business and leisure travel slows. Hotels are closing forever. Ground borders in North America remain closed. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for September 6-12, 2020

Read all about it! More than 188,000 190,000 193,000 have died during the pandemic in the United States. Schools and universities continue to cancel or curtail in-person classes. U.S. airlines press for another bailout, but the Senate omits it from its bill. The travel industry begins autumn cutbacks as the summer uptick flattens. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 30-Sept. 5, 2020

Read all about it! The United States has now passed 6 million confirmed cases and 182,000 185,000 188,000 dead. That's about 24 percent of the global cases and 20 percent of the death toll. We are 4 percent of the world's population. Meanwhile, more and more 2021 events are cancelled as travel dials back from a brief summer "high." And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 23-August 29, 2020

Read all about it! The death toll from Coronavirus surges past 175,000 180,000 182,000 as European and Asian nations deal with resurgences of the virus. Flying hits the wall as daily traffic sags noticeably. Airlines globally begin to pull down service again. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 16-August 22, 2020

Read all about it! As the nation begins two weeks of Zoom-like political conventions, the death toll from Coronavirus surges past 169,000 175,000 176,000. As many places open, others shut back down. Travel continues to wobble: Airline passenger volume flattens, hotel occupancy rates remain far below 2019 levels. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 9-August 15, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 162,000 165,000 169,000. There are now more than 20 million cases worldwide and a quarter of them have been in the United States. Travel continues to be in an extended holding pattern as Americans fret about schools, the football season--and the post office. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 2-August 8, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll spikes dramatically as the nationwide tally surges past 155,000 160,000 162,000. Countries that thought they'd tamed the virus are scaling back activities just as the August vacation season kicks into high gear. U.S. carriers and hotels face the wreckage of a shrunken travel industry. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 26-August 1, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 146,000 150,000 154,000 as new cases and rising hospitalization rates tax hospitals in Florida, Texas and other Sunbelt states. European countries consider requirements for returning residents to test after holidays. The travel industry worries about the fragility--and shallow nature--of the "recovery." And more. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 19-25, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 140,000 145,000 146,000 while infections rage out of control throughout the Sunbelt. Countries close their borders again and reopenings in the United States are rolled back or curtailed. The travel industry faces a hard reality: There's no V-shaped recovery. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 12-18, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 135,000 140,000 while countries such as New Zealand can declare themselves virus-free. New York City, however, said it had its first death-free day since mid-March. Meanwhile, Florida is the new global epicenter of Coronavirus. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 5-11, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 130,000 135,000 and new virus infections are rising around the nation and around the world. The question is now what a post-Fourth travel scene will look like as several states with key hubs--California, Arizona, Texas, Florida--report record-breaking infection numbers. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 28-July 4, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 125,000 130,000. As the Coronavirus rages throughout the South, reality sets in about the pace of any possible "recovery" and reopenings. Europe drops most of its intra-continental travel restrictions, but most foreign visitors, including Americans, are still barred. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 21-27, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 115,000 120,000 125,000 126,000. Deaths slowed last week, but the infection rate is growing in half the states. U.S. travel picks up. The Northeast states that suffered in earlier months now quarantine arrivals from the high-infection states. European carriers grow capacity as the continent prepares for a July 1 reopening that may not permit Americans to visit. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 14-20, 2020

Read all about it! The nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 115,000 119,000. The second wave seems to be starting in states that opened early. More airlines around the world resume service. U.S. airlines add back some flights, but traffic remains below 20 percent of 2019's totals. And more. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 7-13, 2020

Read all about it! The nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 110,000 115,000 and the number of confirmed cases passes the two-million mark. Protests around the nation overshadow the pandemic and its effects. New York City opens up just as London and Britain launch 14-day quarantines. Flight traffic jumps yet remains a small fraction of 2019 volume. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 31-June 6, 2020

Read all about it! As the nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 100,000 105,000 110,000, the nation's cities are hit with peaceful protests and violent riots. European carriers begin to fly again and the continent's major tourist countries plan to reopen to the world. U.S travel inches up from its mid-April floor. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 24-May 30, 2020

Read all about it! As the nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 95,000 100,000 103,000, holiday travel "surges" back to about 13 percent of 2019's numbers. Some international travel resumes, but new bans are instituted, too. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 17-May 23, 2020

Read all about it! As the national Coronavirus death toll surges past the 85,000 90,000 95,000 96,000 mark, all eyes are on the states that opened quickly. Will their infection and death rates spike? Asia deals with zero tourism as bans on visitors continue. European countries sweat the decisions to open to some tourism. Flying is still down more than 90 percent compared to 2019, but surges for Memorial Day. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 10-May 16, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 75,000 80,000 85,000 88,000 mark. European countries make plans for slow, phased openings. The United States is more chaotic. Airlines and airports go beyond masks to temperature checks. Travel is picking up--if you squint and squeeze the numbers. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 3-May 9, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 65,000 70,000 75,000 78,000 mark. We enter the era of the masked flyer. New York closes its subways for the first time ever. Airline losses keep piling up. Traffic doesn't. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for April 26-May 2, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 50,000 55,000 60,000 65,000 66,000 mark. Some states loosen restrictions while European countries will keep things closed into the summer. U.S. airline traffic begins to nudge up as airline earnings plunge. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for April 19-April 25, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 35,000 40,000 45,000 50,000 52,000 mark, but progress is made in Italy, Spain, Austria and France. Governors start opening their states. Airlines begin to declare bankruptcy and the first tranche of first-quarter financial results are brutal. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for April 12-April 18, 2020

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. Click here for day-to-day details.

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 nowhere 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 22-28, 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.