It seems that the worst is over for United States airlines. Airline executives are now optimistic about the coming months as big airline companies are now seeing more bookings. United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines are all seeing their numbers improve.
Americans are willing to face risks just to be able to travel again. Last Sunday, TSA recorded 18 straight days of more than one million passengers traveling despite the CDC’s warning against traveling.
According to American Airlines, bookings are almost back to their pre-pandemic levels. Earlier this week, bookings are at 90% compared to its 2019 levels. Seat utilization is also up, averaging 80%. On top of that, American Airlines averaged 4,034 domestic flights daily. Compared to the same week in 2019, the airline averaged 3,039 domestic flights a day.
Delta Air Lines also feels the same optimism. Delta has an average of 3,694 domestic flights daily. Compared to its numbers the same week last year, it only averaged at 1,345 flights per day.
As for United Airlines, the airline averaged 2,438 domestic flights a day from March 26 to April 1. In 2019, their number was at 2,341.
United States airlines are closer to their 2019 numbers as more people are vaccinated. According to the CDC, over 95 million had their first dose of the vaccine. 52.6 million people, on the other hand, were able to receive their second dose. However, despite progress in the vaccine rollout, the question remains if these vaccines work well against new COVID variants.
There were reports that President Biden is will open the Canadian and Mexican border and even allow international travelers by May. Though it is not yet confirmed, it could be a sign that the worst of the pandemic is now over.
Groups such as IATA, Airlines for America, and the US Travel Association are even pushing the Biden administration to have a framework just in time for the summer season.