Air travel is picking up … sort of

Air travel is picking up ... sort of

The number of people who pass through the airport security checkpoints. almost doubled over the course of the month. the Transportation Security Administration He says he screened nearly 949,000 passengers over the past weekend. It scanned 476,000 people during the first weekend of May.
American airlines (AAL) He said more people traveled this past weekend than during Memorial Day, the start of the summer travel season.

Although the increases are significant, the pandemic has dealt an unprecedented blow to the industry. During the busiest day in May, only 14% of travelers flew compared to the equivalent day in 2019.

That’s why several major airlines They are talking about the need to reduce the number of employees in October, when federal money for airline payroll costs is due. Some airlines are offering purchases to avoid layoffs.

More passengers also show up on each flight. Domestic flights carried an average of 47 passengers each this weekend, compared to an average of just 17 passengers in early May, according to Airlines for America.

Those loads aren’t profitable, so more passengers on flights means airlines will spend less cash with each takeoff and landing.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said Friday his company is anticipating “a brutal low-fare environment as there are far more airline seats at the moment, and there will be for some time, than customers.”

But increasingly complete flights also present challenges for travelers at a social distance in small airplane cabins. Photos of aircraft cabins without an empty seat next to each passenger they have attracted attention when they are published on social networks.

Frontier Airlines is preparing for an increasing number of passengers on its flights by monitoring temperatures at the departure gate and denying boarding to anyone with a fever. Airlines for America is urging the Transportation Security Administration to manage the temperature controls.

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Airlines are also adding to their schedules and flying more planes. Across the industry, about 200 fewer planes are idle than in mid-May, when airlines parked more than 3,200 planes. FlightAware tracking service says it saw an increase of nearly 7% on US flights. USA Since the beginning of May.

Southwest is optimistic enough to add nearly a dozen new routes to its schedule this winter.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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