Lehigh Valley International Airport officials give tips for summer travel |PHOTOS – The Morning Call

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LAS VEGAS, April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) has scheduled its first quarter 2022 financial results conference call for Wednesday, May 4 at 4:30 p.m. EST. A live broadcast of the conference call will be available through the company’s Investor Relations website homepage at http://ir.allegiantair.com. The webcast will also be archived on the “Events & Presentations” section of the site.    

Allegiant – Together We FlyTM

Las Vegas-based Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) is an integrated travel company with an airline at its heart, focused on connecting customers with the people, places and experiences that matter most. Since 1999, Allegiant Air has linked travelers in small-to-medium cities to world-class vacation destinations with all-nonstop flights and industry-low average fares. Today, Allegiant’s fleet serves communities across the nation, with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket. For more information, visit us at Allegiant.com. Media information, including photos, is available at http://gofly.us/iiFa303wrtF

Note: This news release was accurate at the date of issuance. However, information contained in the release may have changed. If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.

For further information please visit the company’s investor website: http://ir.allegiantair.com

Reference to the Company’s website above does not constitute incorporation of any of the information thereon into this news release.

Media Inquiries: mediarelations@allegiantair.com

Investor Inquiries: Sherry Wilson: ir@allegiantair.com

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/allegiant-travel-company-schedules-first-quarter-2022-earnings-call-301532258.html

SOURCE Allegiant Travel Company

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Another View: A prudent call on air travel masking

A resigned sigh is the adult response to this week’s announcement that air travelers must continue donning face masks amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s not welcome: entitled bellyaching. Continued masking is a minor inconvenience as leisure and business travelers return, especially for the shorter flights domestic travel involves. Just deal with it like a grown-up. Any complaints should be stuffed into the overhead bin next to carry-on luggage instead of being hurled at flight crews.

On Wednesday, federal officials announced a two-week extension of the mask requirement for travelers on “planes, trains and in transit hubs.” That requirement previously had been set to expire Monday but will remain in place at least through May 3.

As much as everyone wants this pandemic to be over, it clearly isn’t. The continued mask requirement sensibly reflects this reality, though the two-week extension may be overly optimistic.

As of this week, more than 500 Americans are still dying each day on average after infection with COVID-19, according to The New York Times COVID tracker. That’s down 26 percent over the previous 14 days, but nevertheless is an appalling number.

A comparison of the current COVID-19 death count to that from a recent severe influenza season offers chilling perspective. The flu virus often arrives with winter weather. In the 2017-18 flu season, an estimated 61,000 Americans died after contracting the virus, far outpacing any year in that decade.


That works out to 167 deaths a day on average. Now consider the same stat for COVID-19: 533 deaths daily. COVID-19 may now be a familiar foe as the pandemic enters its third year, but it remains a serious health threat.

News reports from the United Kingdom underscore this. New, more transmissible COVID-19 variants are circulating. Cases spiked in the U.K. in mid-March. Employee infections contributed to flight disruptions and airport security backups.

What happens in Britain often foreshadows COVID-19’s U.S. course. This week, Philadelphia announced that it will reinstate its indoor mask requirement with cases at low levels but rising. Another red flag: a COVID-19 outbreak affecting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others who attended a recent high-profile dinner in Washington, D.C.

Leaving the mask requirement in place for travelers, particularly air travelers, is a reasonable and targeted alternative to reinstating broader mitigation measures. People from around the world sit in confined indoor spaces on board, on jetways and at gates. Then they disburse into the community shortly. These conditions can turn a regional outbreak into a global threat.

Other objections to be dismissed:


• “Planes filter the air.” True. But filtration might not be effective in the jetway, ticket counter or baggage carousel. And by now, the hazards of relying on a sole solution against COVID-19 should be clear. A layered approach is vital. That includes filters but also vaccines, masks and good hygiene.

• “But I’m vaccinated.” The vaccine is indeed the most potent weapon against COVID-19, but its effectiveness against infection can wane over time or against variants, even as it continues to protect against severe illness. The vaccine also isn’t available yet for travelers 5 and younger. Masks help protect them and those who are immunocompromised.

• “I heard that masks don’t work.” Nothing is 100 percent effective, but masks can dramatically decrease COVID-19’s spread. One large recent study involved 1.1 million schoolchildren in nine states. It found that schools where masking was mandatory “during the delta surge had approximately 72 percent fewer cases of in-school transmission of SARS-CoV-2 when compared to schools with optional or partial masking policies.”

Alarming evidence is also accruing about COVID-19’s lingering consequences. In February, the prestigious Nature journal reported that “Heart-disease soars after COVID – even with a mild case.” A large study published in the same journal in late March found that a COVID-19 infection can increase the risk of diabetes for up to a year after.

Masking protects you and those around you. Extending the mask requirement for air travelers — at least temporarily – was the right call.


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Airlines call on White House to lift mask mandate on travel

The CEOs of several major airlines and cargo carriers are asking the White House to lift Covid-19 precautions for travelers — including mask mandates.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, Airlines for America, a trade group, wrote: “The high level of immunity in the U.S., availability of high-quality masks for those who wish to use them, hospital-grade cabin air, widespread vaccine availability and newly available therapeutics provide a strong foundation for the Administration to lift the mask mandate and predeparture testing requirements. We urge you to do so now.

“We are requesting this action not only for the benefit of the traveling public, but also for the thousands of airline employees charged with enforcing a patchwork of now-outdated regulations implemented in response to COVID-19,” read Wednesday’s letter, which was signed by the heads of 10 airlines, including American, Delta and United.

The Transportation Security Administration announced last month that it was extending the mask mandate on public transportation until April 18.

Frustration over mask requirements on airplanes has contributed to violent outbursts by some passengers who have refused to abide by the rules. The Federal Aviation Administration’s tracker says there have been 961 reports of unruly behavior on planes this year, 635 of which involved masks. Since the coronavirus pandemic started, there have been over 4,000 reports of incidents involving masks, the data show.

The number of Covid-19 cases across the country has fallen by almost 24 percent and the number of deaths has fallen by 66 percent over the past two weeks, even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has loosened its guidelines on masks.

In the letter, the CEOs said their industry had supported the CDC’s guidelines and “leaned into science at every turn.”

“At the outset, we voluntarily implemented policies and procedures — mandating face coverings; requiring passenger health acknowledgements and contact tracing information; and enhancing cleaning protocols — to form a multi-layered approach to mitigate risk and prioritize the wellbeing of passengers and employees,” they wrote.

They contended, however, that “much has changed since these measures were imposed and they no longer make sense in the current public health context.”

“People are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do,” they wrote.

The White House and the Transportation Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jay Blackman contributed.

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Sonder Outlines Corp. Travel Commitment in First Earnings Call

In its first earnings call since going public in January, short-term rental provider Sonder reported a 28 percent year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter revenue and detailed its strategy for the corporate travel market.

Sonder went public on Jan. 19 through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Gores Metropoulos II. 

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the San Francisco-based company posted $86.7 million in revenue, a 28 percent increase compared to fourth quarter 2020; and a net loss of $77.3 million, compared with a net loss of $72 million in the same period in 2020. Full-year Sonder revenue totaled $232.9 million in 2021. 

Sonder pointed to recent corporate travel highlights, including what it called 100 new corporate clients signed during the pandemic and partnerships with travel management companies Egencia and TripActions and booking platform Hotel Engine. Revenue growth in the fourth quarter was attributed in part to the corporate travel focus. 

Sonder founder and CEO Francis Davidson noted the company’s inventory is listed in global distribution systems as evidence of the company’s corporate travel strategy.

Davidson characterized corporate travel as “incremental revenue” compared with leisure demand, but the company’s strategy includes “corporate housing, or internships and relocations—those are all sources of demand that are additive to what we were capable of doing prior to the pandemic.” 

Also citing a nomadic workforce created in part by the pandemic, Davidson said, “There are going to be a lot of important changes [in the corporate travel sector], and we’re ready to take advantage of them as the market recovers.”

Key Performance Metrics

Sonder’s fourth-quarter 2021 revenue per available room reached 112 percent compared to fourth quarter 2019. Full-year 2021 RevPAR reached 82 percent of the full-year 2019 level. The company’s fourth-quarter occupancy 2021 grew 1 percent year over year. Bookable nights in the Sonder portfolio increased 59 percent during the same period.

Sonder’s total unit portfolio, which numbered 18,100 at the end of December 2021, grew by more than 6,000 units since the same period in 2020. But when asked about future pipeline, Davidson only said, “Our deep pipeline of prospective properties that will deliver in 2023 and beyond makes us very excited about the future growth prospects. But of course, we’re not going to provide outlook for 2023 or future years.”

2022 Outlook

“We entered this year with strong momentum,” said Sonder president and CFO Sanjay Banker, “and we’re optimistic about our trajectory and the large market opportunity ahead of us. In the first quarter of 2022, we anticipate revenue of more than $75 million, representing a 138 percent year-over-year growth, versus $32 million in the first quarter of 2021.” Banker added that the decrease from fourth-quarter 2021 revenue was to RevPAR seasonality, which was also impacted by the omicron variant of Covid-19. “As a result, we expect Q1 2022 RevPAR to decline versus Q4 2021, but still meaningfully improve year-over-year versus Q1 2021.”

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Major unions call on Sask. government to restrict gatherings, travel

Union leaders representing tens of thousands of front-line workers want Saskatchewan’s government to limit gathering sizes and restrict travel to stem the province’s rising tide of COVID-19 cases.  

“There are concrete ways for us to really slow, if not stop, the spread of this Omicron variant and I think if we have those tools at our access, then we should be using it,” said Barbara Cape, president of Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West), one of six unions that made the joint call to action in a virtual news conference on Thursday.

Cape’s union represents workers in schools, health care and other industries. 

“I think if the premier and government of Saskatchewan choose not to implement stronger public health orders, they’re going to see that this has become a political football as opposed to a public health crisis,” she said. 

Leaders of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union also participated in the call. 

Together they represent 113,000 workers. They called for the province to limit gathering sizes to 10 people, limit the frequency of gatherings, limit non-school and non-work contacts, and restrict non-essential travel. The unions said slowing the spread of Omicron will help front-line workers sustain services.

Union leaders representing Saskatchewan’s frontline workers held a virtual news conference on Thursday, calling on the province to limit gathering sizes and restrict non-essential travel. (Screenshot of Virtual Conference)

Premier Scott Moe has repeatedly said restrictions have no benefit.

“We see no clear evidence that lockdown measures have reduced hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths in other provinces and as a result, there is no reason to impose harmful new restrictions in Saskatchewan,” he said in a statement Thursday. 

He said Saskatchewan’s current hospitalizations, ICU admissions and COVID-19 related deaths are “currently well below the national average and well below other provinces that have introduced severe restrictions.”

Several doctors have criticized and countered Moe’s claims.

Test positivity and hospitalization numbers are climbing steadily in Saskatchewan. The province on Thursday said its total number of people in hospital with COVID-19 stood at 215, with 23 in intensive care. No additional deaths were reported though there were an additional 1,158 lab-confirmed cases.

The union reps said Thursday that simply slowing down the virus would benefit people.

Other sectors including restaurants and hospitality have spoken out against restrictions. 

Systems strained

SFL president Lori Johb said union members across the province are operating in “crisis mode” as resources dwindle while demand on their services grows. Johb warned that continued, uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus will lead to service disruptions. 

Tracy Zambory, president of Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, said health care is already being compromised as rural facilities are closed and emergency rooms are filled “to the rafters.” 

“Morale is low. They cannot continue on,” she said. 

“We have neither the space nor the staff to continue at this pace.”

The union leaders said all public sector workplaces were understaffed before the pandemic, and that employees are now more challenged as they try to navigate pandemic-driven illness, family care, colleagues’ resignations and burnout.

Some SEIU West members “are working 16 to 20 hours in a day, sleeping for a couple of hours and coming back to do it all over again,” said Cape.

“When you look at their ability to provide bedside care or to manage the cleanliness or the dietary needs or the provision of medications to residents — mistakes are going to be made.”

She said there is often no staff available to be called in for help. 

Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said earlier this week that the province’s Omicron wave is lagging behind other provinces. He expects the variant will peak about two weeks from now in Regina and Saskatoon, and that a surge of hospitalizations will follow a few weeks later. 

Premier Scott Moe has said his government will not bring in new restrictions in response to Omicron. (Michael Bell/The Canadian Press)

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Covid: Travel firms call for removal of testing rules

Asked on BBC Breakfast if she would support the removal of pre-departure tests for people travelling back to the UK, Gillian Keegan, Care Minister at the Department of Health, said against the backdrop of the high case numbers, “you look at what makes sense in terms of travelling and travel arrangements”.

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