Delta Airlines has received a significant amount of attention over the past week, and for several reasons. Some of them good and some of them bad, all dependent on your point of view.

Let’s go over some of the highlights that caused them to make headlines within the last 7 days…

First, Delta Airlines will be launching the world’s first worldwide contact tracing program for COVID-19, starting on December 15th.

Which means that if you are an international traveler flying with Delta, you’ll be asked to provide the following information: Full name, email address, address in the US, and both your primary and secondary phone numbers.

Whether you are a US passport holder or a foreign national, you’ll be approached by a flight attendant with this request for information if your final destination happens to be the United States.

Fortunately, all of this information will be provided voluntarily. So if you don’t want to, you don’t have to!

Second, Delta Airlines’ fees will be significantly lowered in order to fix the ever-lasting lack in passenger volume.

CEO Ed Bastian has more to say about this recent decision:

“We expect in the spring we will be back to positive-generating cash flow… The vaccine cannot come soon enough, and that is going to be the key to getting confidence back in travel and people back out in public.

For the holidays, I’d expect fares are actually going to be at a very good level for consumers. They actually are going to be lower than they were year-over-year.”

The bad news (at least in terms of profits) is that the middle seats will still be blocked off, in accordance with their policies around social distancing.

Third, Delta Airlines is reporting that their daily cash burn has significantly gone down since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the peak of the pandemic, that number was at $100 million. Now, they are reporting that their rate of daily cash burn has gone down by 75% to $24 million in Q3 2020 and the company is hopeful the number can go down even lower to $14 million by the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, Q4 2020 revenue is projected to be just 30% of what was generated in Q4 2019.

All in all… mostly good news for the short-term future, yet some bad news for the long-term future going into 2021 and beyond.

It will be a VERY long time before the airline industry recovers to its pre-pandemic peak of earnings and passenger volume, so don’t hold your breath for any breakthroughs in the immediate future.

What do YOU think about these news stories from Delta Airlines? Do you believe the airline industry is on the right path towards a full recovery? Let us know your thoughts by replying to this newsletter!

Q2 2021: A Big Change for the American Travel Industry?

As 2020 comes to a close, the average American traveler has their sights freshly set on 2021 and what it has to offer in terms of recovery.

Tourism Economics CEO and president Adam Sacks recently presented a webinar to the US Travel Association titled “Assessing Recovery,” where he shared the following data-driven insights:

  • Q2 2021 “sets the stage for a strong leisure travel summer”
  • Business and group travel will start recovering around that time, but will take longer to return to pre-2020 levels than leisure travel
  • Leisure travel will get back to pre-pandemic levels with respect to volume in 2022
  • At the start of Q3 2021, “things will start to look a whole lot more normal”
  • Higher-income households will lead the recovery of the US travel industry, since their ability to work remotely has shielded them from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Many large-scale events and conferences are already being scheduled for 2022

To wrap this all up in a single sentence… leisure travel will be “back” by 2022, international travel will recover 85% by 2024, and 80% of travelers will start flying again within six months following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not bad at all! It seems like we’ll have to wait a while before the world returns to normal, but it certainly won’t be forever…

Attention Remote Workers: Hawaii Wants YOU as a New Resident!

The state of Hawaii is now launching a new initiative to entice remote workers to live on their beautiful islands for a minimum of 30 days.

All of this is being done through their just-launched “Movers and Shakas” program, which posts the following qualifications for temporary residents who want to work remotely in Hawaii:

  • Only 50 people will qualify
  • You must be 18 years or older, and you must live in the United States
  • You must move within one month of being selected, and you must stay for a minimum of one month.
  • You will be responsible for setting up your own living accommodations – a variety of hotels, homes, resorts, and vacation rentals will be made available
  • You must spend a few hours per week volunteering with a non-profit of your choice
  • Your round-trip flight will be fully covered by the state

The deadline for applying to this program is December 15th and it must be done entirely online via the official website.

I’m not currently in the mood for working and living in Hawaii, but I know several people who are. It’s certainly not the type of opportunity you would dismiss when you consider the colder weather we are in right now!

Canadian Airlines Are in the Cold – In Terms of Temperature and Business…

For those of you who don’t know, our neighbors up north have some of the world’s strictest coronavirus-related travel rules. To this day, they are one of the few countries that still enforces a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving and returning travelers (EVEN if you test negative for COVID-19).

And you can see how this is devastating Canadian airlines when you look at the hard numbers: While traffic at security checkpoints are 37% of 2019’s levels in the US for the month of November, that number goes down to 14% for air travel in Canada.

Prime Minister Trudeau is making is extraordinarily difficult for airlines in Canada to have a minuscule chance of surviving the pandemic. He has no intention of relaxing his rules anytime soon, refuses to open up Canada’s borders, and has made no plan whatsoever to provide airlines with any kind of bailout.

Something has to be done. They can shorten the quarantine times. They can replace the quarantines with more rigorous COVID-19 testing, which is not cheap at CAD$150 per passenger, but is certainly the more preferable option for travelers.

One thing is for sure…. at the rate Canada is going, the rate at which their airline industry recovers will be much slower than that of the United States.

“Hey Canadians – Get Vaccinated or Stay Locked Up at Home!”

While the United States is battling with the fear of their government making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for their citizens, the intentions of the Canadian government are unfortunately more obvious (and sinister).

Dr. David Williams, the Chief Medical Officer of the province of Ontario, was asked at a recent press conference about the possibility of making “mandatory vaccination recommendations.”

And without missing a beat, here is how he responded…

“We can’t force someone to take a vaccine… What we can do is to say sometimes for access or ease of getting into certain settings, if you don’t have vaccination then you’re not allowed into that setting without other protection materials.

What may be mandatory is proof of… vaccination in order to have latitude and freedom to move around… without wearing other types of personal protective equipment.

Put another way, the Canadian government does not have the legal right to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory. However, they do have the power to make your life extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient to the point where daily life is unlivable.

And based on what I’m seeing, it’s becoming readily apparent that several businesses in Canada will play along with this recommendation. I would NOT want to be a Canadian resident right now after hearing this news…

But let me know what YOU think about this news by replying to this newsletter. Do you think Americans will soon suffer the same fate as the Canadians with respect to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations?

One Family of Five Lived on Nothing but Bitcoin for Four Years… Across 40 Countries

I came across this interesting piece on CBNC about a Dutch family known as the Taihuttus, who have been living on no other form except Bitcoin since 2017. Back at that time, it was only worth $900 per coin, but that was enough the family of five to liquidate EVERY single asset they had and make the big bet on Bitcoin.

They have admitted that the nearly four year journey of traveling across 40 countries in Oceania, Asia, and Europe was not an easy walk in the park. Many countries and cities are still extremely new to the adoption of cryptocurrency, but the Taihuttus have persistently insisted in going everywhere possible until they finally find someone who accepts Bitcoin as payment.

Car rentals, haircuts, restaurants – you name it. They’ve done an unbelievable amount of bargaining in order to get to where they are today, finally finding two cities where you can pay for damn near everything with Bitcoin: Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Rovereto, Italy. The former is the capital of the nation, and the latter is a very small village.

It’s not something that I would have personally done, but fortunately the world is starting to recognize Bitcoin as a store of value (i.e. a currency) rather than a mere commodity. And all of this is ONLY possible because of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin’s price over the past four years.

Because I can tell you this much: Without Bitcoin’s success, this family would cease to exist.

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