European Union Members Ready To Begin Accepting American Travelers

Today I’d like to update you on the ongoing recovery in the airline industry.

Traveling to Miami marked only the third time I’ve flown commercial in about a year and a half, a huge departure from my globetrotting before the pandemic. Like my other two experiences, the flight was pleasant and comfortable, and I felt at ease that airports were taking every precaution to ensure travelers’ safety.

I should add, though, that there were comparatively many more people catching flights this time around. On Sunday, June 6, air traffic in the U.S. hit a fresh pandemic high of 1.98 million people or 75% of capacity on the same day in 2019. That’s up from 38% at the beginning of the year, so the trend is decidedly moving in the right direction.

This improvement is due in large part to the growing number of Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. As of June 1, over half of all U.S. adults were either fully or partially vaccinated, putting the U.S. well ahead of other developed and emerging countries.

Share of people vaccinated COIVD-19

Last week, in fact, new coronavirus cases hit their lowest point in the U.S. since the pandemic began in March 2020. Axios reports that cases are now so low, and the virus so well contained, that it will stop providing weekly updates on new infections for the first time in 56 weeks.

This is hugely constructive for the domestic travel industry in general and airlines in particular, and I’m optimistic that a full recovery will come much faster than initially anticipated.

Europe Is the Next Leg in the Travel Recovery Story

I expect the next major recovery story to be Europe, which is still lagging behind the U.S. in terms of vaccination rates but accelerating. On June 1, a new digital COVID passport went live in seven European Union (EU) member countries, allowing travelers to move more freely throughout the bloc.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland all jumped ahead of the line in making the so-called “green certificate” available. The remaining 20 EU members are scheduled to go live by July 1.

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As some of you know already, I was in Miami this past weekend attending Bitcoin 2021. I’ll share my takeaways in a Frank Talk later this week, but for now, I’ll say that the conference ...

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