It Gets Rough for U.S. Airlines: Why Buffett Dumped His Airline Stocks Though There Was Blood On the Tarmac, Which Should Have Been a Buy Signal

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

Just can’t catch a break: Friday after hours, United disclosed it abandoned its junk-bond offering after investors balked. Shares fell.

Here’s what US airlines are going through: The TSA has been reporting the number of daily checkpoint screenings. This is the number of people in the US who got on a plane for at least the first leg of a trip. A connecting flight would not trigger another screening. This is a rough indication of passenger air traffic.

Between March 1 and May 9, 2019, the TSA checkpoint screenings ranged between 2 million and 2.6 million per day. This year between March 1 and May 9, they have collapsed to as low as 90,000 screenings, and though they have ticked up, they remain abysmally low:

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