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US airlines hope for a recovery in the summer

Thanks mainly to the successful vaccination campaign in the USA, the airlines are seeing that bookings for the summer are picking up. More and more Americans want to use their vaccination status to visit family and friends or just to go on vacation. The airlines have therefore already brought most of their pilots back into active service. However, demand for business travel and international flights remains weak.

Most recently, there have been reports that the US and UK could open up to travel between the two countries with high vaccination rates as early as May. "That is very encouraging and we are ready," said the American Airlines boss. "We know there is a huge demand for it, both from private travelers and businesses."

His company is encouraging the government to allow travel to the UK. American supports a "risk-based approach to international travel without rushing things," Parker clarified. Like many competitors, American has used the corona crisis to modernize its fleet with new aircraft that use less kerosene and operate cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Lufthansa partner United Airlines had previously reported a loss of 1.4 billion dollars. CEO Scott Kirby had worried investors about business travel and transatlantic flights. Both areas are currently 80 percent below the level. "The big question is when these two areas will come back and we're not sure when that is," said Kirby. But he, too, estimates that this could probably happen in summer or autumn.

Delta had presented a loss of $ 1.2 billion a week ago, but already announced a break-even point for the summer. "When I look at the first quarter, we realize that our business has turned," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian for many years. "We're seeing a huge increase in bookings over the past few months." Southwest Airlines, which mainly focuses on the American market, has already recovered in the first quarter. The Dallas, Texas-based company posted a profit of $ 116 million in the first quarter, largely due to government aid of $ 1 billion.

Delta and United Airlines offer flights for vaccinated people to Europe

In order to offer at least a few transatlantic flights, the US airlines have included European flights for vaccinated passengers in their program. United wants to fly to Croatia, Greece and Iceland. Delta offers vaccinated flights to Iceland. The US airlines are also reacting to the fact that these countries want to open up to vaccinated tourists and that more and more Americans want to travel abroad again.

The new flights come at a time when half of US adults have already received at least one dose of vaccine. In the United States, anyone over the age of 16 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19.

At Lufthansa partner United Airlines, searches on the website for flights to Croatia, Greece and Iceland rose by 61 percent in March. "As countries all over the world begin the reopening process, private travelers can hardly wait to take a long-awaited detour to new international locations," said United Vice President for the International Network Patrick Quayle earlier this week.

"Americans want to travel and they want to travel abroad," said Delta Air Lines President Glen Hauenstein last week. So far there are still flights over the Atlantic. But only people who have urgent family visits or other important reasons are allowed to fly. Pure vacation trips are not yet allowed.

United plans to fly direct to Dubrovnik from Newark near New York from July, Athens from Washington and Reykjavik from Chicago. The competitor Delta competitor is located entirely in Iceland and offers flights to Reykjavik from Boston, New York and Minneapolis.

American Airlines, on the other hand, wants to fly to Athens like United and also offer new flights from New York and Miami to Israel. Israel is also well advanced with the vaccination of the population and wants to open itself to vaccinated tourists from May onwards.

More: US airlines United and Delta offer European flights for vaccinated people.