Three Charts I’m Thankful for This Week

I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, love and laughter. Even if that wasn’t your experience, there’s still much to be grateful for. Below are three charts for which I happen to be most thankful this week.

1. Americans appear to be flying again.

The U.S. hit a new pandemic high last week in terms of commercial air traffic. More than 2.2. million people boarded passenger jets last Friday, November 19, according to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) data. That’s the most in a single day since February of 2020, and it’s off by only 12% compared to the same day in 2019.

U.S. Air Passenger Traffic Hit a Pandemic High

Anticipating strong holiday-related travel, U.S. carriers have been scrambling to staff up, offering premium pay and hefty signing bonuses to attract new talent. International travel from Europe has also been encouraging, despite a recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

Speaking to Barron’s, Cowen airlines analyst Helane Becker said she believes “summer 2022 will see a strong return on international travel, likely back to at least 2019 levels.” This forecast squares with that of Airlines for America (A4A), which expects U.S. airline revenues to return to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of next year.