2022 Archive
Coronavirus Daily Reports
When Joe Brancatelli launched JoeSentMe.com two weeks after 9/11, it was all he could do to get his own columns, Brancatelli File and Tactical Traveler, posted. When he decided to keep the site running, however, one of the first things he created was the Travel Newsstand. At the time, it was aimed at linking to all travel news and commentary sites on the Web. Now it is Joe's way of linking to useful travel stories that appear elsewhere on the Internet. But when Covid hit in 2020, it became the vehicle for delivering a daily update on travel conditions.

MAY 14-MAY 20: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! Traffic at Cathay Pacific continues to be down almost 99% since the beginning of the pandemic. Regular gasoline prices continue to shatter records. Not a single automobile was sold in locked-down Shanghai in April. Travel's contribution to the national GDP falls by half-point compared to pre-pandemic days. Britain bars Russian airlines from selling U.K. airport landing slots. Weekend traffic on Vancouver public transportation is returning to pre-pandemic levels faster than on weekdays. A Japanese man accidentally received an entire community's Covid relief funds--and he gambled them all away. And much more.

MAY 7-MAY 13: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass the one-million mark and Europe's toll passes two million. The European Union lifts its airport and in-flight mask mandate next week, but Spain and Italy will maintain their restrictions. United Airlines predicts "unprecedented" leisure travel demand for Memorial Day and Fourth of July. New Zealand says it will open to flights and cruises on July 31. The busiest day of the year for global airline capacity? OAG says it will be August 12 with 16 million seats available. France drops mask mandate on all forms of transportation. Europe is at 85% of 2019 flights--but Germany is doing much worse as Istanbul passes 2019 levels. SAS cuts summer schedules by 5%. Revival of U.S. rail services continues to lag. And more.

APRIL 30-MAY 6: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 996,000 while the national vaccination rate is stubbornly stalled below 67%. U.S. airline traffic is falling from the post-pandemic boom of mid-April. Italy has dropped some Covid-era paperwork for visitors. Greece has dropped all Coronavirus-related entry rules. Nationwide average gasoline prices rose 12 cents this week. Things are not going well at all in Shanghai, locked down since March 29. Europe nears 85% of pre-pandemic aircraft volume. Hilton and Marriott say hotel demand, even business travel, is getting back to something like normal. British Airways is cutting flights again. And more.

APRIL 23-APRIL 29: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 993,000, but the national vaccination rate is stalled below 67%. Etihad Airways says 90% of business class passengers are now leisure flyers. BART in San Francisco reinstates a mask mandate. Europe flying passes 80% of 2019 levels. Israel drops indoor mask mandate and South Korea drops outdoor one. Covid was the third-leading cause of death in the United States last year. Asian airlines carried just 11% of 2019's international traffic in March. Italy and Germany extend some Covid regulations, but Malaysia is loosening up and Bulgaria and Lithuania end all Covid entry requirements. And more.

APRIL 16-APRIL 22: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 990,000. National vaccination rate inches toward 67%. Florida judge's ruling against CDC travel mask mandate led U.S. airlines and Amtrak to drop mask rules, but some airports and local transit systems keep theirs. The Justice Department will appeal, but the CDC won't demand emergency legal action to reinstate mask rules. Canada says it won't drop its mask mandate. Air Canada tops 100,000 passengers in one day for the first time in more than two years. Uber and Lyft dump their mask mandate. Spain ends indoor masking policy after more than 700 days. Even as travel booms again, Italy and the Netherlands expect sharp declines in volume compared to 2019. And more.

APRIL 9-APRIL 15: UKRAINE DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Ukraine! British Airways turns away a family of Ukrainian refugees even though all their papers were in order. The European Union bans 21 Russian carriers due to "serious safety concerns." The Russians couldn't take Antonov Airport outside Kyiv--and that's one key reason the assault on the Ukrainian capital failed. As it skirts Russian airspace, Delta's Atlanta-Seoul nonstop now takes about 16 hours. Gasoline prices continue to decline from last month's highs. An automotive escape route from Russia to Europe opens in Norway's far north. And more.

APRIL 9-APRIL 15: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 988,000. The national vaccination rate still below 67%. The CDC says that the in-flight mask mandate will continue through May 3. JetBlue Airways has another weekend meltdown while airline traffic was close to 2019 "normal." The FAA proposes more than $150,000 in fines for two disruptive passengers. Philadelphia restores mask mandate for indoor public places. Thailand and Hong Kong are eliminating Covid rules. Vienna and South Korea loosen theirs. Traffic in Europe's skies nears 80% of 2019 volume, but travel in locked-down China plunges to 20% of normal. And more.

APRIL 2-APRIL 8: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 984,000. The national vaccination rate is mired below 67%. White House Covid czar says the test requirement for travelers returning to the United States stays. Another airline meltdown over the weekend did not stop travelers flying at 92% of 2019 levels. British carriers cancel hundreds of flights due to Covid sick-calls. Airlines jockey Australia and New Zealand routes and schedules as the countries reopen to travelers. Ryanair and Turkish Airlines now have more capacity than in 2019, but Lufthansa and SAS remain down more than 30%. And more.

APRIL 2-APRIL 8: UKRAINE DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Ukraine! Global crude oil and U.S. gasoline prices fall, but jet-fuel prices hit an 8-year high. Some Ukrainian refugees will be housed on a cruise ship. U.S. officials work to halt sales of spare parts to Russian airlines. Cuba is grinding to a halt because it cannot source spare parts for its Russian-made Lada cars and trucks. Russia's IT workers--and Army-aged young people--are leaving the country as fast as they can. And more.

MARCH 26-APRIL 1: UKRAINE DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Ukraine! Ukraine International Airlines says it is grounded until April 15, but the carrier is willing to lease crews and aircraft to other airlines. Finland cuts the EU's last passenger rail link with Russia. Burger King's Russian franchisee refuses to close its restaurants in Russia. Renault and Nestle wind down Russian operations under intense global pressure. Will Russia aim for Poland next? Paul Manafort, Trump's convicted and pardoned 2016 campaign chief, caught trying to use his revoked passport to fly to Dubai. Russia says 78 commercial jets have been seized by Western lenders.

MARCH 26-APRIL 1: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 980,000. The national vaccination rate is stuck around 66% and vaccinations have fallen to the lowest rate since December, 2020. A new passenger punch-up at Southwest Airlines. January passenger traffic in the United States remained a third below 2019 "norms," but 19 days in March surpassed 2 million travelers at U.S. airports. Europe aircraft traffic continues to climb despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Two late legal challenges to the mask mandate. Global airline capacity grows 3% during the first week of spring. Airline traffic in Asia was down more than 90% in February. Some flyers are still fighting for refunds on flights the airlines canceled during the pandemic. And more.

MARCH 19-MARCH 25: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 975,000. The national vaccination rate is stalled around 66%. Hong Kong and Singapore reopen to visitors in April. Austria reimposes a mask mandate as new infections rise again. Shanghai Disneyland closes again. China issues new stay-at-home orders for millions of residents. Spring Break traffic is near 2019 "norms" and is 11 times the volume of 2020, when Coronavirus first hit travel. A chain of Covid testing sites named O'Hare performed about how you'd expect. Hotel occupancy is bouncing back. South Africa drops testing for vaccinated travelers entering the country. And more.

MARCH 19-MARCH 25: UKRAINE DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Ukraine! Ukraine International Airlines says it is grounded until April 15, but the carrier is willing to lease crews and aircraft to other airlines. Finland cuts the EU's last passenger rail link with Russia. Burger King's Russian franchisee refuses to close its restaurants in Russia. Renault and Nestle wind down Russian operations under intense global pressure. Will Russia aim for Poland next? Paul Manafort, Trump's convicted and pardoned 2016 campaign chief, caught trying to use his revoked passport to fly to Dubai. Russia says 78 commercial jets have been seized by Western lenders.

MARCH 12-MARCH 18: UKRAINE DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Ukraine! U.S. gas prices reach record highs, then fall a bit. Uber and Lyft add surcharges to all rides. Air Astana drops Russia routes because it cannot secure flight insurance. Korean Air bails on Russian routes, too. No Western hotel chain has closed or deflagged a property in Russia. Brent crude, which closely tracks the price of jet fuel, plunges from last week's highs. Russian tourists are trapped at Thai beach resorts because they cannot find flights home. Finnair explains how Airbus A350s fly over the North Pole to avoid Russian airspace. Russia seizes hundreds of leased commercial jets that should have been returned to Western lessors. Canada and Britain ban RT from the airwaves. And more.

MARCH 12-MARCH 18: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 970,000, but new cases have plunged since January peaks. The national vaccination rate finally reaches 66%. Canada drops testing requirement for fully vaccinated visitors starting on April 1. Flying for Spring break is roaring. Heathrow Airport and British airlines drop their mask mandates. New Zealand and South Korea welcome tourists again starting in April. Domestic airline traffic fell 27.3% in 2021. Global seat capacity remains 22% below pre-pandemic highs. Miami Airport reports busiest day in its history. Shenzhen locks down and China closes parts of Shanghai, too. And more.

MARCH 5-MARCH 11: UKRAINE DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Ukraine! Transatlantic bookings dropped 13% after Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia grounds most of its international flights to keep leased aircraft from being repossessed by Western leasing firms. United Airlines drops two India routes. A scheme to help Ukrainians by renting their Airbnbs runs into the realities of home-sharing sites. Western carriers reroute flights and drop others to avoid Russian airspace, but runs are now hours longer. Western hotel chains have yet to sever their relationship with Russian franchisees. Emirates blames high oil prices for its revival of fuel surcharges. And more.

MARCH 5-MARCH 11: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 965,000 and the global death toll has passed six million. The national vaccination rate is stalled below 66%. Hawaii and Ontario drop their indoor mask mandates. Ireland, Belgium, Romania and Hungary drop their entry restrictions, but Luxembourg says leisure travelers are still not welcome. Taiwan and Saudi Arabia loosen Covid restrictions. Malaysia reopens to vaccinated tourists on April 1. United Airlines says its unvaccinated employees may return to work. And more.

FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 4: UKRAINE DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! The United States and Europe close airspace to Russian aircraft, but an Aeroflot jet eludes Canada's ban. Finnair is in financial turmoil as it loses Russian business and Asian traffic. Russia bans flights from dozens of countries. United, Air France, KLM and SAS drop Asia flights because they can't overfly Russian territory. JAL and ANA drop Europe flights because they can't overfly Russia. Oil firms, retailers and sports groups bailing on Russia. Boeing and Airbus won't service aircraft operated by Russian carriers. And more.

FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 4: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 956,000 while national vaccination rate remains below 66%. Hotels are charging us lots more while they offer much less. Hawaii will drop entry tests and proof-of-vaccination rules before the end of the month and Bali ends mandatory quarantines on March 14. Philadelphia and Boston drop indoor mask mandates and New York City will end its proof-of-vaccine rules. Bad drivers created havoc on the nation's roads during the height of the pandemic. U.S. airline traffic during the last weekend of February reached 90% of 2020 volume. U.S. carriers operated 78% of pre-pandemic schedules in 2021. And more.

FEBRUARY 19-FEBRUARY 25: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 944,000 as the national vaccination rate stalls around 65%. Boston drops proof-of-vaccination rules and Los Angeles County ends mask mandate. England drops all Coronavirus restrictions. Ireland drops masking requirements. EU advises member nations to end Covid entry rules and testing and Italy drops them effective March 1. The DOT says 2021 air traffic was 27% below 2019's record total as passengers skewed more domestic than ever before. Washington-area airports were around 60% of 2019 volume. Atlanta/Hartsfield was about 68%. Notable exception? Austin/Bergstrom Airport. And more.

FEBRUARY 12-FEBRUARY 18: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 931,000. Washington ends proof-of-vaccine requirement for most businesses. Business travel flying continues to lag leisure numbers. France ends entry-testing requirement for fully vaccinated visitors. Flight volume between U.S. gateways and London/Heathrow remains down sharply. Two major cruise lines and Disneyland drop mask mandates. Germany, Austria and the Netherlands slowly lift national Covid restrictions. Switzerland ends all its Coronavirus entry requirements. Canada says it will accept some antigen tests to enter the country. Hawaii is last state to maintain all its mask mandates. Two years into the pandemic, Cathay Pacific is carrying fewer than 800 passengers a day and Hong Kong is turning hotel rooms into hospital space. And more.

FEBRUARY 5-FEBRUARY 11: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 915,000 as the national vaccination rate finally reaches 65%. Nevada abruptly lifts indoor mask mandate hours before bettors flood casinos on Super Bowl weekend. Australia opens it borders on February 21. Spain expects two-thirds of 2019's travel volume this year. Italy drops outdoor mask mandate and Finland ends testing for travelers entering the country. California, New York, Nevada and a slew of other states end some mask mandates. Hawaii won't require a booster shot to visit. Malaysia may open borders in March. And more.

JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 4: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 896,000. National vaccination rate remains below 65%. Denver is ending its mask and vaccine mandates, but New York State extends its mask rules. China's largest airlines may have lost US$7 billion in 2021. Iowa will end all Covid measures and data reporting. Dominican Republic now the most visited country in the Caribbean. Scandinavian countries dismantle their Covid restrictions. The U.S. Virgin Islands no longer requires entry tests for vaccinated travelers. New Zealand may welcome visitors from North America as early as spring. Winter storms play havoc with daily travel. Denver Airport traffic in December was down only about 7% compared to 2019. Spain retains, then scraps, its outdoor mask mandate. And more.

JANUARY 22-28: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 878,000. National vaccination rate stalls around 64%. U.S. flying in January plummets. European nations begin lifting or loosening Covid rules. Asia travel all but disappeared last year. Worldwide airline passenger traffic in 2021 was just 42% of 2019 levels. Four of the ten largest European airlines are operating at or below 50% of 2019 capacity. Major routes between Europe and the United States have as many as 44% fewer flights than in 2019. The United States and China continue war over seat capacity. Hong Kong cuts arrival quarantines to 14 days. Rio delays its Carnival parades. And more.

JANUARY 15-21: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 860,000. The national vaccination rate hangs below 64%. U.S. flying plunges while winter storm leads to thousands of cancellations over the King Day weekend. Two transatlantic flights return to departure airports after passengers disrupted operations. Europe aircraft traffic is at lowest rate since September and Eurostar passengers fell 85% last year compared to 2019. About 33 million seats disappear from worldwide winter schedules as airlines slash schedules to cope with Omicron. Sweden, Austria and Thailand loosen entry rules. Emirates Airline won't accept proctored antigen tests from U.S.-bound flyers even though they are accepted by the United States for re-entry. Amtrak cuts schedules through March. And more.

JANUARY 8-14: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 846,000. The national vaccination rate crawls past 63%. U.S. post-holiday flying numbers tumble. American Airlines says it won't fire vaccine holdouts. United says sick calls are extremely high while Delta threatens flight attendants over time off for positive tests. Qantas, Finnair and Virgin Australia slash schedules. Amtrak says fiscal 2022 revenue will be down 20% on pre-pandemic levels. New Orleans reinstates indoor mask mandate, but the Paris outdoor mask rule is overturned. Sweden orders restaurants and bars to close early. Heathrow Airport traffic plunges in December. The United States continues fighting with China over flights and schedules. And more. And more.

JANUARY 1-7: CORONAVIRUS DAILY UPDATE
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 834,000. The national vaccination rate reaches 63%. France clamps down on unvaccinated U.S. visitors while Cyprus demands negative PCR tests of all arrivals. Hong Kong and Macao ban all flights from the United States, Canada and other countries. England and Ireland ease testing rules for entry. Bad weather, Covid absentees and dreadful airline management lead to an end-of-the-year flying disaster that has dragged into this week. Global airline seat capacity was down 35% in 2021. Every cruise ship sailing in U.S. waters has reported Coronavirus cases and the CDC is investigating. And more.