Some good news emerged from the Transportation Security Administration over the weekend as the count of passengers screened hit its highest point since the COVID-19 pandemic began. More than 350k passengers were screened on the last day of May marking an all-time high since travel limitations brought a once healthy travel industry to its knees. Is this a glimmer of hope?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been publicly sharing daily passenger screening counts since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This information has proved helpful in understanding the scope and scale of the impact the coronavirus has had on the travel industry. Notably, travel dropped to an all-time low of around 87,534 passengers at the lowest point since travel restrictions were implemented at large.
However, the last day of May saw numbers climb to their highest points since the lows of mid April. The chart below illustrates the slow and steady journey travel has been on for the last two months.
Indeed, the increase in travel for May 31st represents a 400% increase in traffic from historic lows, however, the overall number of passengers traveling pales in comparison to the prior year.
Figure 2, below, illustrates the depth of the fall when compared to total passengers screened in the prior year, same month. While the total travelers screened in May 2020 more than doubled from the previous month, it still represents a historic drop off from the 74 million passengers screened in the same time period last year.
The depth and scale of the travel drop off and the “hill” left to climb is better represented in Figure 3, below which highlights the daily traffic 2019 vs 2019. It’s astonishing to consider how far a once vibrant industry has fallen and how much farther the industry may have to go to return to healthy – whatever that may end up meaning in a post-coronavirus world.
It is encouraging to see the slow and steady climb of travelers since the April lows and it bodes wells for the industry as a whole. Perhaps travelers are getting more comfortable with the risks of traveling as airlines take a variety of measures to keep them safer (e.g. face coverings).
However, this industry still has a long way to go. A long way. 350k passengers screened in a day is great progress, but its an 86% drop from the previous year same day…and that still stings…a lot.
Like many of us, you are probably struggling to find your new normal. Perhaps you’ve done that and are simply bored. We’ve got your back. Here’s a ton of recent content that revolves around what’s facing us today, including working from home ideas, what to watch, things to read, and how to avoid boredom. Enjoy.
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