Is the US Airline Industry... Recovering?

Hello IFC,
Today I would like to start a discussion on whether or not the US aviation industry is recovering.
Here is what I know and whats facts from my many friends in the aviation industry and pilots also. Here is a few things why I think the Airline Industry is recovering by the airlines I know.
Southwest Airlines… I have a few friends who work at SWA as both ramp agents and as pilots and recently they have seen a drastic increase of people flying in their airplanes. Out of my home station, i talked with a friend who says his flights are the fullest they have been in 2 months with about 100 people per flight vs 25 people per flight 2 months ago. That is a big increase in just a few months. Also I have another friend who works the ramp at SWA and said he put over 100 people on all of his flights from San Diego in a 16 hour shift. He told me he has seen a big increase in people traveling with bags and pax count.

American Airlines: According to a captain friend of mine who flies for AA, his flights have been three quarters full since the begining of may. He also is back on his normal 4 day trips and 5 days off vs being on for 2 days and off 7 days. That to me says people are getting out and wanting to travel since states are starting to open back up. Also, I have a family member work for AA as a ramp agent and he says that flights are coming in full out of dallas and chicago to name a few places as well as half full from charlotte. He also says that bag counts are heavier than they have been in 2 months.

Will this upwards trend continue for the airlines and will they recover?

Now for the facts:
Allegiant Airlines: THIS IS FACT! Allegiant plans on running 95% of there flight schedule a very big increase from a few months ago when they were running roughly 25 percent of there flights. If Allegiant plans on running 95 percent of there flights, I expect other airlines to follow and do the same. However this is subject to change.

Based on these trends and what i am told, I do believe that the US airline Industry is recovering and that while it will take time, airlines will get back to being 100 percent.

Comments and Opinions welcomed… I just ask please keep it on track.


I’d say it’s recovering, slightly.

The US3 are beginning to resume international services, such as American’s Dallas to Madrid.

And here’s some data. More people are beginning to travel.

There’s also this:

1 Like

In some ways this could just be reduced capacity ie less flights thus flights have increased loads. Given states are re-opening though it’s also likely that it is genuinely increasing. It’s only natural for this to happen. Unlike Europe though travel never really stopped.

As states start easing restrictions obviously more people are going to begin flying. Also airlines are now taking more precautions which is good.
But with more people flying and going out and about we will probably see another spike in cases, which may force more people to stay away from traveling.

So it may be a good sign, or it could lead to more complications we’ll have to wait and see.
But in the long term the US aviation industry will be fine, and carriers that weren’t already in trouble will likely come out alive once Corona isn’t an issue.

I personally don’t think it cause most cases. I know here where I live with both AA and my Airline were required to wear masks while working. I’m cross trained so I do ramp and customer service

So, I have another question for you all. Because I like to fly as realistically in IF as possible, I have been only putting about 15-30 PAX on each flight. Does it make sense to start putting around 100+ PAX on each flight now? (At least considering the numbers that @N1DG provided…)

I’d say between 75 and 100 would be accurate

1 Like

Very good to know. I am all for the aviation industry stabilizing again. I hope people will not be too scared to travel as long as they follow the proper precautions

1 Like

I think before we answer the question, we need define “recovering”.

Recovering back to normal? That won’t happen for 4-5 years at a minimum. In fact I don’t think the industry will ever be “normal” again. I’m sure there are plenty of unforeseen changes that will arise as the world begins to reopen.

Recovering from their lowest points? I wouldn’t call that a recovery, rather a step in the right direction.

1 Like

I disagree. I don’t think it take 4-5 years. I think people want to travel and get out. Business have to make money. And people have to travel. I know this bc my dad travels every other week for business and has been home for 2 months. The more people are traveling including business more money for airlines more profit which means more stability. People already are traveling now which means people aren’t scared. Are they going to be careful yes but not scared. Airlines already have seen a BIG increase in passengers on board

1 Like

Well maybe not necessary from flying, but there will be a spike in general when states open back up which could affect passenger numbers again.

It’s natural, people want to travel now as they’ve been stuck inside for months now and they want to explore. Same thing is happening for the cruise industry cruises next year are being sold out left and right and onward to 2022 and 2023 because people want to travel. Glad to see travel industries starting to recover

1 Like

And yet due to COVID, people will realize they can travel via car to most domestic destinations. People will be afraid to take planes, etc.

Yes, and yet it depends on the business. For example, some work needs to be done gave to face. That being said, many businesses are realizing how effective it is to meet over a video chat. So I’d assume some companies will actually be attempting to save money by meeting online.

People may be traveling more, but with extremely decreased capacity it’s impossible to see the big picture.

More doesn’t mean normal, it just means more.

1 Like

I don’t think people will be afraid more so then they were in about a month or so because while it’s nice to drive, it can be exhausting and slow and cars are only really good for traveling distances 200 miles or less because most of the population (atleast in the US) would rather fly or even take the train then drive for 300+ miles

Numbers don’t lie so I’ll tell you this. My flights were booked to 20-25 people last month. I have over 60 people now for my flight on Friday and it’s continuing to increase! I just looked at TSA numbers and they are slowly BUT surely increasing.


Here are some things to bite on:

A particular airline that grounded most of there E140/175 fleet due to COVID-19 wants that fleet to be all ungrounded by June 3. Folks, that is like three weeks away. I know I have a seen a steady demand for flight travel even though flights are going to be capped at 85%. If airlines can fill all 85% of those seats on every flight, then I think that’s a win for them


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.