After a year of virus-related travel restrictions and with Covid vaccinations picking up steam nationwide, Americans are feeling more comfortable to get out of town, fact that is causing a surge in post-vaccination travel. Using our proprietary geolocation data, we can see the sudden increase in travel-related indexes, a sign that consumers are ready to travel again.
US airlines reported an increase in airfare activity as restrictions started to ease more across states. Looking at the US airports, the traffic dropped -41% in late January and progressively increased to +40% in early April compared to the week between 12/29/2020 and 1/4/2021.
For the Americans that chose to drive instead, we saw an increase in our Miles Driven index of over 40% since early February hitting up to 60% in recent days.
For the car rental companies, the story is somehow different. Big companies in the US such as Avis and Hertz forced to sell a huge amount of their vehicles to survive the pandemic. Especially for Hertz, this movement secured some much-needed liquidity since the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the first months of the pandemic. However, the demand for rentals has increased over the last two months to the extent that it cannot keep up with the current inventory.
Rental car companies are doing everything in their capacity to cope with the recent surge in demand, but this may take a while until they can procure new cars primarily due to the chip shortages which led car manufactures to halt the production – read our blog about semiconductor shortages