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Fauci Sees Possible Need for Domestic-Flight Vaccination Mandate

Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s medical adviser, says a domestic-flight vaccination requirement should be considered.
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Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s medical adviser, said on Monday that a vaccination requirement for domestic flights should be considered amid the spread of the Covid omicron variant.

“When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” he told MSNBC. “If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered.”

Meanwhile, travel stocks are sliding on Monday, after more than 2,800 flights were canceled over Christmas weekend. The omicron strain kept may airline workers at home.

Online travel service Expedia Group  (EXPE) - Get Expedia Group, Inc. Report slid 0.6% to $182.71 and casino operator Wynn Resorts  (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts, Limited Report fell 2% to $87.31. The cruise lines are lower, Carnival  (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report by 0.8%, Royal Caribbean  (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report by 1.5% and Norwegian  (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report by 2.2%.

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Morningstar analyst Dan Wasiolek likes Expedia, though he thinks it’s overvalued, putting fair value at $165.

“We expect Covid-19-related demand pressures to be short term, and Expedia's investments in loyalty, user experience, and alternative accommodations sourced from cost-cutting initiatives should support its network advantage, the source of its narrow moat,” he wrote last month.

“Further, we expect worker flexibility to increase long-term travel demand. We developed this positive stance because higher-income occupations (like those in technology, finance, legal, and architecture) are in industries that are the most likely to support sustainably working from remote locations.

“Expedia has built a leading network of online travel services, which has driven a strong user base. We expect this network effect to remain over the next decade, although supplier consolidation creates some headwinds in U.S. markets.”