TSA: July 4 weekend air travel down 70 percent compared to last year

U.S. air travel over the July Fourth weekend dropped significantly this year over last year as Americans remain wary of mass transit amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Numbers released Monday by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revealed that fewer than 500,000 people crossed through TSA security checkpoints on July 4, nearly 2 million fewer than did so on July 4 of 2019. The drop was even sharper on July 5; just 731,123 people crossed TSA checkpoints that day, compared with 2,795,369 on July 5, 2019.

Over the entire weekend, the average number of travelers passing through checkpoints declined 73 percent from the holiday weekend last year.

Domestic air travel has somewhat bounced back since the coronavirus outbreak began in the spring but still remains a shadow of pre-pandemic numbers and has forced the industry to shed tens of thousands of jobs.

President Trump celebrated news that the industry was beginning to recover at the White House last month, pointing to rising stock prices for airlines.

“The airline stocks went through the roof today and others did too. The whole market went through the roof,” Trump told reporters.

“People are traveling, and you know what? They’re traveling within the United States,” he added.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told Fox Business in June that he believed the worst of the damage from the coronavirus pandemic had been done, though in recent weeks, states such as Texas and Arizona have seen rising numbers of new cases.

“I do think we’ve seen the worst. Mid-April, while everyone was under stay-at-home orders and international restrictions were up in terms of travel for every country around the world, we really were at the bottom,” Bastian said at the time. “So the optimist in me says we’ve doubled in the last four to six weeks as we’ve started to reopen our economy, still very much on the domestic side as compared to international.”

Tags air travel Airlines Coronavirus Delta Airlines Donald Trump Transportation Security Administration TSA

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