U.S. air travel reaches pandemic high as peak season kicks off

Travelers wait in line at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening checkpoint at Orlando International Airport on the Friday earlier than Memorial Day. As increasingly more folks have obtained the COVID-19 vaccine, American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting greater than 37 million Americans will travel greater than 50 miles this Memorial Day weekend, many for the primary time because the pandemic started.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

Air traveler volumes hit the best ranges since earlier than the coronavirus pandemic started throughout Memorial Day weekend, the most recent signal of restoration for the sector.

The Transportation Security Administration screened a median of 1.78 million folks from Friday via Monday, hitting a peak of 1.96 million on Friday. Those volumes are greater than six instances greater than a yr in the past, however nonetheless 22% under Memorial Day weekend in 2019.

The surge in vacationers is pushing up the price of vacations, together with airfare, lodge charges and automobile rental costs. Domestic leisure fares are close to 2019 levels, airline executives have mentioned.

Airline shares rose Tuesday after the TSA launched the most recent knowledge. American Airlines and United Airlines had been every up round 3% in morning buying and selling. Budget carriers Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit, which cater to leisure vacationers, had been every up greater than 3%, whereas the S&P 500 rose 0.3%.

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