Slowly but surely, more Americans are returning to the skies.
The Transportation Security Administration processed its largest number of travelers since March 15, 2020, on Friday, as more Americans get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced, also on Friday, that more than 100 million vaccines have been administered, and U.S. travelers are swiftly returning to airports.
TSA processed 1.357 million people – that number was 1.257 million people a year ago as COVID-19 lockdowns began to take effect.
By comparison, the TSA website lists more than 2 million travelers processed every day in March 2019.
The Saturday numbers, per the TSA site, show 1,223,057 travelers processed, up from the same date a year ago, 1,714,372, but far from the same date in 2019: 2,634,215.
The U.S. airline industry still has a long way to go as it seeks to recover.
Airlines for American reports that U.S. carriers are still losing $150 million daily.
American consulting firm Oliver Wyman said the, because the total number of planes will be smaller than anticipated, airlines will not reach 2019 levels of operation until 2022, according to its global fleet and MRO 10-year forecast.
“COVID has created a long list of challenges never seen before in modern commercial aviation,” Tom Cooper, vice president at Oliver Wyman and one of the authors of the report, said in a Jan. 28 statement.
“It will take the next few years for the fleet to adjust and return to stable growth, but even after 10 years, the industry will never fully regain all that it has lost from the pandemic. Right now, with many airlines still burning through millions of dollars each day, the focus must be cash flow management.”