Global air travel shows first growth in 8 weeks
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Global air passenger traffic may have hit rock bottom and be on the way to recovery, even if it’s an incredibly modest one.
That’s according to new data from flight-data firm Cirium, which reported that the number of schedule passenger flights operating on Wednesday, April 28, was 4% higher than the previous Wednesday (April 21).
If 4% sounds like a small bounce, it is. But it marks the first time that Cirium has tracked a daily week-over-week increase in scheduled passenger flights since March 5, a span of more than eight weeks. Early March was about the time that the expanding coronavirus pandemic began to decimate flight schedules in North America and Europe after already doing the same to schedules across much of Asia.
However, for those looking for signs of a rebound, the slight week-over-week flight increase Cirium recorded for April provides a glimmer of hope that some sort of recovery might finally be taking hold.
Even in the U.S., there have been cautious signs that the bottom may have been passed, even though passenger counts remain shockingly low. On Thursday, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration screened just 119,629 people at its checkpoints – a figure that’s 95% lower than what it screened on the same day in 2019.
But, the count also has shown a continued upward trend since the TSA screened an all-time low of 87,534 people on April 14. The agency’s daily screening numbers remained between 90,000 and 105,000 for much of the next week before jumping to 111,627 on April 23.
The daily numbers have continued to trend up since. On Thursday (April 29), the number of screen travelers hit the six-figure mark (119,629) for the seventh consecutive day – a feat that hadn’t occurred since April 6.
Whether the trend continues remains to be seen. The overall numbers remain bleak: Even with the uptick on April 28, Cirium’s data shows scheduled flights remain down 40% since the beginning of the year. And the number of travelers being screen by the TSA remain incredibly small.
Still, the latest trends from each of those sources offer a hopeful sign for those hoping that “rock bottom” may have already occurred.
Featured image by Daniel Roland, AFP via Getty Images
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.