US Airlines Attend Busiest Travel Week In Pandemic Era – AirlineGeeks.com
By Taylor Rains
US Airlines Attend Busiest Travel Week In Pandemic Era
The pandemic has caused many challenges to the airline industry, such as restructurings, route suspensions and a multitude of cancellations. However, after a busy Father’s Day weekend, carriers are optimistic about their post-COVID recovery. According to JetTip, last week was the busiest week in the pandemic era to date for airports and airlines, which saw record numbers of passengers and increased use of the fleet.
Three weeks ago, Memorial Day weekend set the record for air travel since the start of the pandemic. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened an average of 1.78 million passengers per day from Friday to Monday, with nearly 1.96 million passengers screened on Friday. This is six times more passengers than the same day in 2020 and 76% of the number checked in 2019, which was a record year for air transport. However, the past week has proven to be even busier for airports and passenger airlines, suggesting that the uptrend will continue through the summer and hopefully lead to a quick recovery.
The flight alert service JetTip pulled passenger counts from last week to show how the industry’s operations are improving month-to-month. According to data from June 13 to 19, “US airlines carried 73% of pre-crisis passenger volume on 85% of flights.” This means that nearly all of the U.S. airlines tracked by JetTip have had their busiest week of air travel since March 2020.
JetTip data also showed that most of the largest US airports, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago’s O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York JFK, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle Tacoma, Charlotte, Newark Liberty, Houston, Boston, Minneapolis and Detroit also had their busiest week since the start of the pandemic. In particular, Chicago O’Hare has reached a milestone by once again becoming the busiest airport in the United States in terms of the number of departures.
The TSA is backing up the data, having screened an average of 1.91 passengers per day last week, up from 1.84 million the week before and 1.73 million the week before Memorial Day. These numbers are a huge improvement over 2020, which only saw an average of 515,697 passengers for the same week as of June 13, and they’re not too far behind 2019 traffic. Father’s Day set the pandemic era record for TSA, with more than 2.1 million passengers in a single day. The numbers are therefore promising and they will probably continue to increase in the coming months.
In response to the strong demand for travel, airlines are adding planes to their fleets. JetTip monitors the number of planes on at least one flight, including commercial flights, ferries, and cargo, in each U.S. airline. Its last update was in the week of May 16, but it calculated the numbers for the week of June 13 and found that U.S. passenger airlines used 92% of their fleets last week. In addition, the most significant fleet change was that of the southwest, which brought a significant number of aircraft back into service, including 45 Boeing 737s, including 31 Boeing 737 MAX 8.
Meanwhile, Delta, American, Spirit, United and Allegiant have also made changes: Delta added four Boeing 717-200s and five A220-100s; American added eight Boeing 737-800s and four Boeing 787-800s, but also retired seven Airbus A321s; United added five Boeing 737s; Spirit added four Airbus A319s and Allegiant added seven Airbus A320s
In addition to operating a full fleet, Spirit, JetBlue, Frontier, Allegiant, Hawaiian and Sun Country are flying more planes than in March 2020, which means they actually expanded their fleet during the pandemic. And major carriers, especially Southwest, are moving closer to using the pre-COVID fleet.
So, while the pandemic still affects many parts of the world and the United States has yet to vaccinate 70% of the country, domestic air travel is rebounding and the industry is optimistic that operations will continue to rebound. throughout the summer and fall. Although after Massive cancellations of Americans this weekend Due to a pilot shortage, the question is whether the travel boom will exceed what the airlines can handle.