Tag Archives: Airlines

The Covid Lockdown, ‘Controlled Demolition’ of the Air Travel Industry. The Derogation of the ‘Right to Travel’. By Joachim Hagopian

Our feudal overlords intend to keep us confined to our tiny hovels for our lifetimes. From Joachim Hagopian at lewrockwell.com:

This presentation will focus on the apparent controlled demolition of just one highly important, critical industry slated allegedly for sacrificial destruction – the airline industry as part of the elites’ lockdown control agenda potentially even forbidding our right to travel.

With the COVID pandemic outbreak in early 2020, by mid-April 2020, the US government committed a $25 billion bailout to the air travel industry after the pandemic banned virtually all international travel. Despite the compensation package, the airline industry has been floundering ever since. In February 2022, the World Economic Forum reported the industry suffered its “worst year in history”:

International passenger demand dropped 75.6 percent and domestic demand fell 48.8 percent below 2019 levels.

Just as declared pandemics facilitate elites’ centralized authoritarian lockdown control keeping the human population literally isolated, largely cut off inside their homes, unable to assemble in groups, preventing crucial face-to-face contact with friends and loved ones in a devastating assault to destroy our basic human need for social bonding and regular social interaction, the elimination of our capacity for air travel constitutes a derogation of freedom of movement and “mobility rights”.

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American Airlines To Offer Bus Service In Place Of Connecting Flights Due To Soaring Gas Prices, Pilot Shortage, by Tyler Durden

The airlines might make offering bus service than they do with planes. Intercity bus companies generally make money, while airlines often lose tons of it. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

As gas prices continue to rise into the peak driving (and flying season), expect to see more bizarre twists in conventional behavior… like airlines offering bus service in place of connecting flights.

Take American Airlines, which according to the Associated Press is “expanding” its network into and out of Philadelphia with a new bus service that will connect the carrier’s hub with two other airports in the region. Starting in June, the company will begin offering buses as connecting flights to and from Philadelphia International Airport with both Lehigh Valley International Airport and Atlantic City International Airport.

Passengers traveling to or from Philly, Allentown or Atlantic City will be able to book connecting itineraries through American, according to The Points Guy: travelers whose trips begin in Allentown or Atlantic City will check their bags and go through security as if they were taking a normal flight. However, passengers will board a bus rather than a flight to Philly, where they will be dropped off at their terminals without having to go through security again. Bags will be automatically transferred to their connecting flights. Similarly, travelers landing in Philly will head to a dedicated gate from where the bus will pick up. Bags will be automatically transferred to the bus.

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Flight From Reality: Airlines Demanding ‘Vaccine Passports’ Signals the Death Knell of Democracy, by Robert Bridge

You’ll be free to refuse the coronavirus vaccine. You’ll also be free not to fly. From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:

Dozens of airlines are pushing for a system that proves passengers have “complied with health requirements,” whether in the form of a test or a future vaccine. And with passengers weary of lockdowns, they just may get their draconian wish. But this is just a sampling of horrors to come as the global elite enact their ‘great reset.’

Soon, international travelers may be required to carry an additional passport aside from the one showing their nationality. The big three alliances, Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam, which represent 58 airlines, are looking to the so-called CommonPass digital health passport system, the brainchild of the World Economic Forum and Swiss-based foundation The Commons Project, to get their wheels off the tarmac once again.

Airlines, Trying to Dodge Bankruptcy with Air Travel Still Down 70%, Threaten Oct. Jobs Massacre Unless they Get 2nd Bailout, by Wolf Richter

The airlines are in a world of trouble. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

“Unfortunately, we see few catalysts over the next six months to meaningfully change this trajectory”: Delta.

October 1 and the days that follow are going to be rough in terms of tens of thousands of well-paid service jobs – that’s what airlines are threatening unless they get another $25-billion bailout. Airlines have been trying to shed employees by offering packages that induce employees to depart voluntarily because the $25-billion bailout package under the CARES Act banned “involuntary” furloughs or layoffs through the end of September.

The air passenger business is still down roughly 70% in the US, six months after the initial collapse of traffic began, according to TSA airport screenings of air travelers entering into security zones. And demand has hardly improved any since early July, and airlines continue to slash costs and cash-burn to survive:

“It was assumed that by Sept. 30, the virus would be under control and demand for air travel would have returned. That is obviously not the case,” American Airlines CEO Parker and President Robert Isom told employees in a grim message on Tuesday.

Under its buyout, early retirement, and long-term leave-of-absence programs, 23,500 employees had already voluntarily departed. But that wasn’t enough. So the executives told employees what the next step would be: 19,000 “involuntary” furloughs on October 1.

American, which started the year out with about 140,000 employees, expects to have fewer than 100,000 employees in October.

“The one possibility of avoiding these involuntary reductions on Oct. 1 is a clean extension” of the bailout package, they said. So if given another bailout, American, which received $5.8 billion under the first bailout package, will then not lay off those employees on October 1 – but instead on the date when the second bailout package would expire?

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No V-Shaped Recovery for Airlines. Ticket Sales Slide Again. United Announces 36,000 “Involuntary Furloughs” by Wolf Richter

The airline industry has gotten slaughtered in the coronavirus panic. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

“Increase in Covid-19 cases negatively impacting industry demand”: United

With Covid-19 cases surging in the US and in other countries, airline industry ticket sales for both domestic and international flights are declining again, as demand has turned south, according to a presentation to employees by United Airlines, filed with the SEC on July 7.

UA’s presentation included the two charts below of new ticket sales for future travel, by “all carriers and sales channels,” based on data by Direct Data Solutions (DDS) through July 2. They show the percentage decline in industry-wide ticket sales for domestic and international travel from the same period last year (in a 7-day moving average). The charts are titled, “Increase in Covid-19 cases negatively impacting industry demand”:

The first chart shows the decline in ticket sales for domestic flights, in terms of the number of passengers (blue line) and dollar revenues by the industry (purple line):

This second chart shows the decline in international ticket sales in terms of the number of passengers:

So that’s the end of any pretense of a “V-shaped” recovery of ticket sales. And it’s likely that not just airlines are impacted by this resurgence in Covid-19 cases. But airlines are already teetering on the edge.

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The Crony Capitalist Thieves Are Back, by David Stockman

It’s harder to get rid of crony socialists than it is to get rid of cockroaches, and crony socialists are less cuddly. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockwell.com:

The nerve of it is a wonder to behold. The US airline industry has spent a decade shoving itself into harm’s way by strip-mining their balance sheets to fund share buybacks and goose top executive stock options.

For crying out loud – the reckless irresponsibility of it is mind-boggling. That’s because for decades upon decades this has been a highly cyclical industry – vulnerable to global dislocations caused by recessions, storms, wars, terror and more. Accordingly, airline companies absolutely need deep equity balance sheets and ample standby liquidity, even at the expense of short-term earnings.

Needless to say, the Big Four US airlines – Delta, United, American, and Southwest – were having none of financial rationality, prudence and common sense. As Wolf Richter properly pointed out:

“These stocks are now getting crushed because they may run out of cash in a few months, yet they would be the primary recipients of that $50 billion bailout, well, after they wasted, blew, and incinerated willfully and recklessly together $43.7 billion in cash on share buybacks since 2012 for the sole purpose of enriching the very shareholders that will now be bailed out by the taxpayer.”

We say nothing doing!

If the Big Four Airlines can’t raise enough cash in the high cost long term debt markets or by issuing highly dilutive preferred stock or equity, there is only one solution – and that is chapter 11. Holy moly, that’s why we have this legal protection procedure.

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Certain U.S. Airlines Are Testing Mandatory Facial Recognition Scans on Americans Flying Abroad, by Michael Krieger

Bit by Orwellian bit, the state introduces new surveillance technologies…for our own good, of course. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

Just when you thought air travel couldn’t get any more invasive, authoritarian and downright miserable, the Department of Homeland Security and two U.S. carriers are determined to prove you wrong.

Yesterday, Harrison Rudolph, a law fellow at the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, wrote a very troubling article at Slatetitled, DHS Is Starting to Scan Americans’ Faces Before They Get on International Flights. Here’s some of what we learned:

Decades ago, Congress mandated that federal authorities keep track of foreign nationals as they enter and leave the United States. If the government could record when every visitor stepped on and off of U.S. soil, so the thinking went, it could easily see whether a foreign national had overstayed a visa.

But in June of last year, without congressional authorization, and without consulting the public, the Department of Homeland Security started scanning the faces of Americans leaving the country, too.

You may have heard about new JetBlue or Delta programs that let passengers board their flights by submitting to a face recognition scan. Few realize, however, that these systems are actually the first phase of DHS’s “Biometric Exit” program.

For certain international flights from Atlanta and New York, DHS has partnered with Delta to bring mandatory face recognition scans to the boarding gate. The Delta system checks a passenger is supposed to be on the plane by comparing her face, captured by a kiosk at the boarding gate, to passenger manifest photos from State Department databases. It also checks passengers’ citizenship or immigration status. Meanwhile, in Boston, DHS has partnered with JetBlue to roll out a voluntary face recognition system for travelers flying to Aruba. In JetBlue’s case, you can actually get your face scanned instead of using a physical ticket.

While these systems differ in details, they have two things in common. First, they are laying the groundwork for a much broader, mandatory deployment of Biometric Exit across the country. Second, they scan the faces of everyone—including American citizens.

Treating U.S. citizens like foreign nationals contradicts years of congressional mandates. DHS has never consulted the American public about whether Americans should be subject to face recognition. That’s because Congress has never given Homeland Security permission to do it in the first place. Congress has passed Biometric Exit bills at least nine times. In each, it has been clear: This is a program meant for foreign nationals. In fact, when President Trump issued an executive order in January on Biometric Exit, it was actually reissued to clarify that it didn’t apply to American citizens.

To continue reading: Certain U.S. Airlines Are Testing Mandatory Facial Recognition Scans on Americans Flying Abroad