Although the number of passengers is still well below 2019 levels
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of air passengers in the United States has reached a new high, although the number of passengers is still far below the level of 2019.
According to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), nearly 1.67 million people passed through US airport checkpoints on Sunday. This is the highest number since air travel began to plummet on March 12 last year. However, compared with the same Sunday in 2019, this number has dropped by 35%.
Since mid-February, airline bookings have skyrocketed, and since March 11, at least 1 million people have passed through airport checkpoints every day. Holiday resorts have always been the most popular destinations, while business travel-more profitable for airlines-is still small.
Government restrictions due to the coronavirus have also greatly restricted international travel, which is another lucrative part for airlines.
In a letter on Monday, nearly 50 industry groups in the United States and the United Kingdom urged President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lift travel restrictions between the two countries.
As more and more Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19, airline executives are cautiously optimistic about summer travel. US health authorities have stated that it is safe for vaccinated people to travel domestically, although they currently advise against traveling abroad.
Last week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expanded the requirements for airline passengers to wear masks. The rule was originally scheduled to expire on May 11, but the agency extended it to mid-September.
Airlines have also taken up more seats. Last weekend, Delta Air Lines began to use the middle seat. Due to COVID-19, the middle seat has been left empty for safety reasons.