• Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Daily Airline Passenger Numbers Hover Around Pre-Pandemic Levels

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 16, 2023
Travelers wait to go through security at the international terminal of San Francisco International Airport on May 25. Long airport lines, jammed planes, higher fares and potential flight delays are set to plague the coming summer travel season as more Americans fly at home and abroad. (Bloomberg/Getty Images)

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As summer travel season starts in earnest, recent data from the Transportation Security Administration points at a busy few weeks ahead, according to National Director for Hospitality Market Analytics at CoStar Jan Freitag.

Year to date, as of June 10, Freitag said the current daily through-put numbers are well above 2022’s counts.

“Compared to 2019, daily TSA counts are hovering around the pre-pandemic passenger records, pointing at continued strong demand for air travel,” he said.

Airline executives commented on first-quarter earnings calls that corporate travel has not yet recovered. However, that shortfall is being offset by demand from leisure and international travelers, Freitag added.

“We’re well on our way to a fully recovered business but we aren’t there yet. The recovery is still unfolding and the current demand environment remains dynamic. We continue to learn about evolving customer preferences and changing demand patterns, and we spent the past three years building a resilient airline that can adjust to the variability in demand. We remain nimble and continue to adapt to customer behaviors, both in terms of when and where customers book travel and how we service them,” American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said during his company’s first-quarter earnings call.

“Consumer demand was well ahead of pre-pandemic levels and drove strength in domestic and international travel. Business travel improved in the quarter with small and medium businesses ahead of ‘19 levels while managed corporate travel showed steady progress led by international,” Glen Hauenstein, president of Delta Air Lines, said during his company’s earnings call.

“There appears to be a clear change in seasonality that is causing peak leisure demand months, March through October to be even stronger, while months that were historically reliant on business demand are weaker, that particularly impacts January, February, and the first half of November and December. We believe demand is just structurally different than it was pre-pandemic and we are still figuring out that new normal. [And], as we have expected all along, long-haul international is moving into the lead over domestic,” said United CEO Scott Kirby during his company’s earnings call.

Freitag added that higher airfares could result in consumers trading down on hotel spend by looking for more economical lodging options if their travel budget is fixed.

It was reported this week that airlines such as Southwest, JetBlue and American are facing a shortage of new planes as major suppliers Airbus and Boeing struggle to keep up with demand and continue to face supply-chain issues. As a result, consumers could be met with increased airfares.

Read more news on Hotel News Now.

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