Air traffic is picking up as TSA posts its highest level of passenger controls in almost a year
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent wears a protective mask and stands behind a protective barrier while screening a traveler at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, United States on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
TSA officials examined 1,357,111 people at airports on Friday, marking the highest number of passengers in a single day since March 15, 2020.
The milestone reflects that air travel is picking up again after a challenging year for airlines caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Air traffic in the US hit a low on April 14, 2020. Only 87,500 passengers passed the TSA checkpoints. According to TSA, travel for 2020 was down more than 60% year over year to 324 million passengers. The TSA screened passengers at 440 airports in the United States
The reduction in travel has hit airlines hard. American airlines combined lost more than $ 35 billion last year due to low passenger traffic. Airlines have been forced to cancel flights, lock seats and take security measures in response to the pandemic.
Airlines are hoping for a resurgence in travel in the coming months as new Covid-19 cases emerge across much of the country and more people are vaccinated. Thirteen percent of American adults have been fully vaccinated as of Friday.
Passengers on Friday were still 20% lower than the number of passengers on the same day last year, down almost 38% from 2019.