Summer is always a big travel season, but travel trends this year take on even greater importance.
I see them as one of the key indicators of a surging economy that I call the Great Grand Reopening as we try to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.
Notice I did not say return to the way things used to be.
I do think some things will change.
And as with any disruption, that means opportunity for smart investors…
Travel has already picked up big-time, especially since February as vaccines started to get distributed more widely.
For the recent July 4th holiday weekend, AAA expected automobile travel to hit new highs, beating the previous record in 2019 right before the pandemic.
Air travel is now back to within about 20% of where it used to be. Charlie Bilello does a good job of tracking the numbers on Twitter (@charliebilello), and you can see how much air travel has roared back.
I think we will get most of the way back to the good old days before COVID-19. But with a disruption as big as a pandemic, I also think some things will change.
First — and this may surprise you — I expect an increase in private jet travel. I believe heightened awareness of virus transmission along with the superior comfort of private jets could lead to a boom for the private air travel industry.
Back in 2018 before COVID-19 even hit, scientists determined that sitting within three rows of another sick passenger can increase your odds of getting sick to around 80% — even with air circulation and filters on the plane.
To be clear… I am NOT saying that private air travel will become the norm. It’s expensive, no doubt. But there are innovative companies working on ways to make it more affordable and more accessible to the masses.
A private company named Jet Token is like the Uber of private air travel. Through the company’s app, you can book both commercial and private flights… or combine them for different legs of a trip. This both lowers cost and adds convenience.
Another change well underway is the return of supersonic jets that will make flights dramatically faster.
Back in 1976, the Concorde supersonic jet debuted to much fanfare. It flew at twice the speed of sound — 1,354 miles per hour! — and generally flew routes twice as fast as other planes.
It operated until 2003. And 18 years later, supersonic jets are coming back.
United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) recently bought 15 such jets from Boom Supersonic, a private company based in Denver. According to Boom, each jet costs $200 million, so that comes to $3 billion overall. And the deal includes an option for 35 more.
Other airlines have preordered from Boom but have not yet finalized deals.
The new supersonic jets will fly at about 1,305 miles per hour, so nearly the same as the Concorde and also roughly twice as fast as commercial jets. Flying from New York to London would take about 3.5 hours instead of 6.5.
It should also be dramatically cheaper than the Concorde was — as in nearly 80% cheaper. Boom CEO Blake Scholl expects fares to be around $2,500, which is in a whole different ballpark than the Concorde’s $12,000 ticket price.
And, in keeping with the move to clean and sustainable energy, the planes are expected to be carbon neutral.
The only problem?
The planes have yet to be built.
It’s not even a problem, really… just more of an uncertainty. Things can always go wrong in the production process.
But they can also go right. And we’ll get an indication later this year or early in 2022 when Boom begins testing flights of a scaled-down version of its plane.
Overall, the continued growth and resurgence in air travel will create more and more “tailwinds” for certain companies. But as much as I want to believe things will go back to the way they were before COVID-19, that simply won’t happen in every instance.
The way we travel has and will continue to change, and this will lead to massive opportunities for companies that disrupt the status quo.
It’s all part of Transportation 2.0 — a massive hypergrowth theme with multiple ways to profit and tremendous upside potential. Electric vehicles. Self-driving cars. Flying cars! And more.
Transportation 2.0 will change our lives in the coming decade, and trillions of dollars are about to be disrupted.
Now is the time for smart investors to get in position for the biggest profits.
On the date of publication, Matthew McCall did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors — by getting them into the world’s biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now.