US air travel hits 14 month high

28rd May 2021 – Yesterday TSA passenger count numbers hit their highest recorded amount since March 2020, when the pandemic escalated and plunged the travel industry into previously unthinkable lows. Nearly 1.9 million people in the US were boarding a flight yesterday compared to 2.5 million for the equivalent date in 2019, with just 340 thousand travelling on that day in 2020.

The impact of this weekends travel boost is a welcome relief to the aviation industry and in particular the airlines and airports that have lost billions in revenue throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport website even shows that some of its parking lots are full today. People can find alternative parking options on and other offsite airport parking providers.

Todays IATA count is certain to be the new highest daily total, possibly until the lead into the 4th July holiday period. IATA is forecasting that 2021 levels as a whole will be circa 52% of 2019. Herd immunity, a successful continuation of the vaccine rollout and a busy Q4 (the busiest travel period) could combine to push that figure even higher.