While new variants of COVID may appear at different points on the map, the pandemic as a whole is behind us. It’s been a hollow victory with so many lives lost and the world economy has weakened, but it’s still a victory.
The impact of the pandemic has not been uniform for the industry. Where some industries were decimated, others flourished during and after the pandemic. Even the pace of recovery in different industries has not been the same. Take energy as an example. The heavy truck industry suffered a lot during the pandemic, but it possesses restored.
Travel, on the other hand, is expected to reach the pre-pandemic levels by mid-2022, at least in Canada.
A slow recovery
Thanks to the rapid arrival of vaccines, many expected 2021 to be the year of full recovery for many facets of the economy, including the travel industry. But the recovery has been delayed a bit, and the 2021 holiday season has not taken off as many expected. Some of these can be attributed to still persistent travel restrictions and others to slowdowns in vaccination.
That said, Toronto-based regional airline Porter controls a fleet of 29 aircraft and expects a rapid recovery from September 2021; it predicts it will reach pre-pandemic levels by mid-2022, depending on customer demands.
If travel demand really takes off, Porter won’t be the only company making big bucks.
Another regional airline
Unlike Porter, Aviation Choir (TSX: CHR) is a listed airline. It lost a lot of investor confidence when it suspended its dividends (indefinitely) last year when the pandemic was at its peak. Investors were already exiting their positions in airlines, and Chorus saw a sharp decline, quite similar in “depth” to Air Canada.
And Chorus is enjoying a similar, if not slightly better, recovery compared to the country’s leading airline. The stock is down 44% from its pre-pandemic peak, and if it is destined to peak again, taking advantage of this steep discount would be a very smart move.
The financial crisis has been constant, and the company has achieved roughly the same revenue over the past three quarters, and its losses are relatively smaller than those of Air Canada. The chances of this small airline recovering with travel demand are pretty good.
A travel stock by extension
Lin K-Bro (TSX: KBL) is not a travel document per se, but its financial data are has experienced a slump since the pandemic. It is an Edmonton linen and laundry company with a market cap of $ 462 million. It has been in existence since 1954 and processes over a quarter of a million kilograms of laundry every day. The healthcare and hospitality sectors are the two main customers to which the company addresses.
The stock has been on the rise for some time now and has risen over 65% in the past 12 months. It also pays dividends and currently offers a modest yield of 2.7%.
Revenues have slumped, although not as hard as pure travel stocks, but could still see a positive recovery once travel demand hits old highs and the hospitality industry begins to thrive again. And strong financial backing has the potential to drive up the share price.
For industries like travel and hospitality (and for businesses in those industries), the financial repercussions of the pandemic have been far beyond the market crash.
But now that the economy and these industries are on the mend, the chances that the financial recovery will also trigger a sharp rise in valuations are pretty high.
This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We are straight! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we post sometimes articles that may not conform to recommendations, rankings or other content. .
Foolish contributor Adam Othman has no position on the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares and recommends CHORUS AVIATION INC.