The usual surge in travel demand around the Thanksgiving holiday is likely not going to happen in 2020, OAG senior analyst John Grant wrote in a blog post this week, adding bookings for serval major U.S. carriers are running at 25 percent of the last year’s numbers.
“Throughout 2020 scheduled airlines have been looking for glimmers of hope in a recovery, but it looks like the last hope of the year Thanksgiving will be memorable this year for all the wrong reasons,” Grant wrote.
For American and United airlines, current bookings for November are running at just 25 percent of those reported at this time last year, while for Delta Air Lines forward bookings are only at 12 percent of last year’s level for November.
Grant said that carrier capacity continues to be cut to about 50 percent of last year’s levels, adding a lot of the current published capacity is expected to be cut soon.
Adding to the uncertainty is that even passengers that have booked to travel during the Thanksgiving period have a one in two chance of their plans changing, either due to pandemic concerns, the economy or airlines cutting schedules.
“In the current market with no clarity around a recovery and consumer confidence shattered it looks like the last hope amongst the U.S. carriers for some strong revenues in November will not materialize,” Grant wrote.