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 to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees