Worst Recovery Ever: To Soothe Investor Pain, Government Agency TSA Hypes Airline Stocks in Chilling PR Stunt

What the TSA stated in its PR stunt and what it forgot to state.

ByWolfRichter for WOLF STREET

Our dear stock jockeys increased airline company stocks today after the TSA stated in a news release— reported by the gushing media– that it “screened over 1 million passengers Sunday, representing the highest number of passengers screened at TSA checkpoints since March 17, 2020,” which it “screened 6.1 million passengers at checkpoints nationwide during the week (Mon., Oct. 12 through Sun., Oct. 18). That weekly volume also represents the highest weekly volume for TSA since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

OK, that wasn’t “6.1 million” however really 6.01 million, according to the TSA’s own day-to-day figures But fine, a typo by some assistant. Happens to me too. We will not quibble over typos. And the media that reported on this didn’t build up the numbers either, however reprinted the typo. OK, takes place.

But there was no mathematical context, such as the contrast with the very same duration in 2015. And this context that the TSA stopped working to go over, which the media then stopped working to discuss, is still unchanged-horrible.

For that week the TSA hyped– the least-worst week “since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic”– traveler traffic stayed 64.5% listed below where it had actually been in 2015. And, regardless of TSA buzz, it wasn’t even the least-worst week, as we’ll see in a minute.

Nowhere might you see in the TSA’s PR statement that, into the 8th month of the crisis now, traveler traffic for the week that the TSA hyped was still down 64.5% from the very same duration in 2015. Nor might you see in the TSA’s PR statement that it wasn’t even the least-worst week, that in reality the least-worst week had actually been a month back, which the TSA makes that clear in its own day-to-day figures of traveler throughput. It didn’t attempt to conceal it. It simply forgot to discuss it, as any great PR stunt would.

The chart listed below programs the seven-day moving average of TSA checkpoint screenings this year (red) and in 2015 (black). Last year, screenings rose after Labor Day as organization travel removed following the summertime calm, and as individuals without any kids in school began taking a trip. This takes place every year, usually. But it didn’t occur this year. The last information point, the average of the 7 days through October 18, covers the week the TSA hyped, and it’s down 64.5% from the very same duration in 2015:

But it wasn’t even the least-worst traffic for a seven-day duration. It was another TSA PR stunt– in regards to neglecting the crucial things. The seven-day average of checkpoint screenings had actually been down “only” 62.8% to 64.4%, compared to the very same duration in 2015, for 4 days after Labor Day, including the calendar inequality of LaborDay This chart reveals the portion of how far down airport checkpoint screenings have actually been for seven-day durations, compared to the very same weekdays in 2015. The least-worst plunge was over a month back:

What this comes down to is this: Airline traveler traffic, compared to the very same duration in 2015, has actually recuperated a bit from the devastating near-zero April lows, however stays down about 64% from a year back, in a phenomenon I have actually called the “ worst healing ever”

While leisure travel has actually ticked up a little, organization travel stays dead. Inflation information by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that ticket costs have actually plunged as airline companies come to grips with the collapse in need. This mix of ticket costs and collapsed need triggered Delta Air Lines’ traveler profits, determined in dollars, to collapse by 83% in the 3rd quarter

This collapse in need has actually brought to life a brand-new metric in the market: “daily cash burn,” which continues to be big. To offer fuel for this day-to-day money burn, airline companies are raising 10s of billions of dollars, from taxpayers, from financiers, from banks, from any place they can, and the most significant single source of loaning has actually become their regular flier programs. Shareholders ought to fret. Read … AirlinesRaised $$$-Billions through Frequent FlierPrograms Delta alone Raised $9 billion through SkyMiles asCollateral How?

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