For the first time since COVID-19 nearly obliterated the travel industry (and may yet do) daily travel crossed the 500,000 mark and we are actually a little impressed. Yesterday marked the highest travel day since the pandemic began with 502,209 passengers in the air.
The TSA has been recording daily passenger screening counts which have served to mark the rapid and steep descent of travel in the industry as well as record its slow, steady climb back.
The previous high had been Sunday, June 7th which recorded 441,255
Up from mid April lows where daily travel reached an unprecedented low of 87,534 representing a 96% drop from the same day last year – a reflection of how far travel had fallen from the norm.
Since the April lows, travel has steadily been inching its way back, largely on the back of a combination of factors:
- The curve has flattened
- Travel is safer now (e.g. face masks are now required, temperature’s being taken, planes cleaned deeper, hotels employ special measures, etc
- Companies are starting to slowly (very slowly) let employees back out
- Summer is here and leisure travel is pulling some folks into the airport
What does the future hold?
This upward trend looks promising as more and more travelers hit the air, yet we are still no where close to pre-pandemic levels. Despite crossing the half million mark, travel is still down 80%-ish from normal levels. The chart below overlays this year’s travel versus last year, same day, and the contrast is striking. Still, movement is occurring. Travelers are returning. This is good.
Be Safe out there
Stay safe, traveler and let’s all cross our fingers for a speedy return of the once robust travel industry.
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