There was an 8-month high in air travel last weekend (Thanksgiving 2020). It was still 60% below the same dates a year ago and wasn't as big as the airlines were aiming for. . iHeartMedia's Aviation expert Jay Ratliff says he doesn't see numbers growing any time soon. "The bottom line is: Until people feel comfortable in flying, and until the vaccine is used by everyone, many people simply are not going to return to the airport." Ratliff says airlines are doing everything they can to make flying safe.
Ratliff says it's all about the fear of Covid and Americans are still not sure they want to spend any time on a plane no matter how pristine the airlines say their cabins are. Ratliff says December flight numbers will depend upon Covid numbers. "If the numbers continue to grow in the next couple of weeks - especially those who are in the hospital - over Christmas the airlines could see a further reduction in passengers." He says with Dr. Anthony Fauci predicting surge upon surge of infections in the coming weeks, he doesn't think flight numbers will improve much until June of 2021 at the earliest.
Ratliff says that President Trump left travel protection policies to the airlines, the FAA and the CDC to establish. "I believe a Biden administration would quickly step in and say, 'We're mandating everyone wear a mask on every mode of public transportation. If you fail to do so, you will be arrested and detained.'"