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Holiday Air Travel Exceeded 2019 Level as Summer Kicks Off

Holiday Air Travel Exceeded 2019 Level as Summer Kicks Off

Airlines got a lift Tuesday after the Transportation Security Administration said air travel over the long Memorial Day weekend surpassed the same time in 2019, a welcome sign for the travel industry that demand is returning in time for the summer vacation season despite rising ticket prices.

  • Nearly 9.8 million passengers passed through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Memorial Day, about 300,000 more than Memorial Day weekend 2019, the TSA said. Friday’s 2.74 million travelers was a single-day post-pandemic record.
  • Shares of United Airlines rose 1.6%; Delta Air Lines climbed 1.1%; American Airlines increased 1.9%; and Southwest Airlines inched up 0.5%, while the S&P 500 was relatively flat.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration said 0.6% of holiday travel period flights through Monday were canceled compared with 2.3% in 2022, and 1.4% in 2019. TSA increased staffing heading into the weekend.
  • “Low levels of delays and cancellations over the holiday weekend are evidence that sector-wide collaboration to improve airline reliability is on the right track,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter on Tuesday.

What’s Next: Airlines are operating larger planes after trimming the number of flights. Airlines for America, an industry group, estimates a record 256.8 million passengers will fly from June through August, up 1% from the same period in 2019.

Janet H. Cho from Barrons