April 11. More Americans have resumed flying as sustained passenger numbers through March and into April above one million passengers in a day is a promising sign for airlines. Even after the popular spring break and Easter holiday weekends, passenger numbers have not slipped, showing a sustained appetite for leisure travel outside of peak travel periods.
For nearly a month, the US has seen consistent daily passenger numbers above one million passengers in a day per TSA numbers. In fact, the last day that fewer than one million passengers stepped on an airplane was on March 10th, when 974,221 passengers passed through a TSA security checkpoint.
The combination of an increase in vaccinations, a decline in case counts, and more confidence in travel across the country is expected to compound into a summer surge. With most borders still looking like they will remain closed, much of that surge is expected to be domestic. However, domestic load factors should remain lower amid overcapacity in the market.
Not everyone will see lower fares, however, as the overcapacity remains restricted in many leisure markets. Still, with much of the country connecting through major hubs, airlines can command a slight premium there, leading to an increase in fares. Some of the best routes expected for low fares this summer are very competitive nonstop options. Coupled with structurally slow reactions from airlines to demand surges, then some passengers may be priced out of taking a summer vacation. But, many airlines are hoping to get back to profitability before the end of the year.
Source: Simple Flying