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Air travel hit a new pandemic high over New Year’s weekend. Now comes the hard part


Passengers at the Miami International Airport

Leslie Josephs | CNBC

U.S. travel hit a new pandemic high, surging from vacation demand regardless of new Covid-19 an infection data.

More than 1.Three million individuals handed by way of Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at U.S. airports on Sunday, 55% of the 2.Four million individuals TSA screened a 12 months earlier however nonetheless the highest quantity since March 15.

Air travel spiked round the Christmas and New Year’s holidays regardless of warnings from well being officers to keep away from travel to assist curb the unfold of Covid-19. December was the deadliest month in the U.S. for the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House advisor and one in every of the nation’s main infectious illness specialists, has warned about a additional enhance in infections following the holidays.

Air travel continues to be round half of final 12 months’s ranges, and airline executives have warned they anticipate demand to wane exterior of peak vacation intervals. TSA on Monday mentioned it screened 324 million passengers in 2020, 500 million fewer than in 2019.

Vaccines have fueled some optimism about a restoration, however the timing of when vacationers will return en masse is unclear.

“As difficult as 2020 was, in many ways I expect the next 12 months to be even more challenging,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian advised workers on New Year’s Day. “Just as we’ve never experienced a global pandemic in our history, we’ve also never had to create and execute a plan for recovery from one. We will be building a new Delta centered on a medical and economic recovery that hasn’t yet taken shape.”

Airline shares began the 12 months sharply decrease. Alaska and Spirit every fell greater than 5% on Monday, whereas shares of Delta, Southwest and United ended the day down greater than 3% apiece. American Airlines shed greater than 4%. The S&P 500 misplaced 1.5%.



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