As travelers took to the skies for the July 4th holiday, a key pandemic milestone was reached: air traffic topped pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
It’s a stunning turnaround from the peak of the pandemic when fewer than 100,000 individuals flew into the United States every day.
Airlines are expected to carry the most people since the outbreak began this weekend, according to experts.
According to Hopper, the travel booking site, domestic locations such as Las Vegas, Miami, and Orlando are the most popular. According to Hopper economist Adit Damodaran, the Caribbean and Mexico are the most preferred overseas destinations.
“Until now, July 4th has been the most searched weekend of summer 2021,” Damodaran added.
Between Thursday through Monday, American Airlines operates roughly 5,500 daily flights, with Thursday and Friday being the biggest travel days, according to a spokesman.
From Thursday through Tuesday, United Airlines aims to transport 2 million passengers, with Thursday and Monday being the busiest days. Between Friday and Tuesday, Delta Air Lines expects about 2.2 million passengers to fly with the carrier.
According to Hopper, the busiest airports will be Chicago O’Hare, LAX, and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Friday is the busiest day to go, while Monday is the busiest day to return.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told ABC News, “Travel is returning.”
“The busiest day since COVID began will be July 1, but it will only hold that record for four days, since July 5 will surpass it. It’s simply another sign of how far we’ve come on our journey to recovery “Kirby said.
Last month, the TSA issued a warning about staffing shortages at more than 100 airports, and it is still looking for volunteers to assist meet demand.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stated that it plans to employ 6,000 additional personnel to meet the increase in summer traffic.
It has resorted to providing $1,000 in recruiting bonuses to officers who accept positions with the agency.
They claim they’ll be ready to deal with the extra traffic this weekend.