The fall of airlines during COVID

by Kevin Lederer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

COVID-19 has changed the way that we will travel forever. Airlines who suffered major losses in the beginning of COVID-19 are looking to continue their rebound by pushing for the changes as fast as they can.
Vaccinations are the first big step that airlines are trying to get ahead with. United Airlines was the first airline to have officially required employees to be fully vaccinated back in August. United has had some backlash from employees who took the company to court. The lawsuit ended in United’s favor. CEO Scott Kirby had this to say about the mandate, “But we’ve now gone eight straight weeks with zero COVID-related deaths among our vaccinated employees.”
Traveling will not only affect the airline workers but the average traveler will have to go through different steps in order to get a flight. Vaccines have not been forced on customers for the time being. There have been some limits set for the unvaccinated such as needing to take a COVID-19 test one to three days before travel and as well as talk about a possible fee of up to $200 for traveling without the vaccine. The White House also said that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States back in November of 2020.
Delta Airlines is one of the many companies that are now relying on holidays like spring break and the summer to break even. Delta continues to suffer the most from COVID-19 and reported losses of $408 million in its final quarter of 2021.
This set back comes from a variety of reasons. The lack of people traveling plays a big factor but not as much as the 8,000 employees that contracted COVID-19 during the last four weeks of the year. This leads to flights being cancelled and employees working overtime which is where a bulk of the losses come from.
Airline companies are doing their best to get out of the major losses that they suffered during the beginning of the pandemic. Stock price has been an important factor that investors are looking to see them return to their original price.
Jetblue Airways is a good example of a company that is making a rebound after their stock dropped by more than half from over $20 a share to less than $10 per share. It has now climbed its way back to a little less than $15 and is still on track to grow.
These companies are just like us and want to bring back everything to the way it was before the pandemic. With the right steps and precautions we will be there in no time.