On 4/15/20, American air travel fell to 3.63% compared to the same day in 2019. Only 95k people flew on a plane that day. Air travel was dismal for the rest of 2020. The highest day in November of 2020 was only 4514% on November 21st. The largest spike for Christmas was 61.49% on December 23rd.
The average throughput for January 2021 was still only 39.66% of 2019 levels. Many in the media claimed that air travel would be permanently reduced. Americans were allegedly discovering that they didn’t really need to travel any more. However, throughput steadily rose each month, peaking at 79.22% in July. Then air travel stalled in August and September.
In October, travel was nearly back to July levels despite major labor problems with the airlines. Federal vaccine mandates put intense pressure on the airlines, which were already reporting problems finding adequate staff. Southwest airlines alone cancelled several thousand flights.
First 27 days of November 83.9%
Last seven days (11/21 – 11/27) 89.6%
Best day in November 11/21 95.4%
Worst day in November 11/9 67.8%