Simple Flying - Lukas Souza
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has released its Full Year 2022 U.S. Airline Traffic Data report. According to the DOT, American carriers carried 935 million passengers last year.
2022 proved to be another strong year of recovery for air traffic worldwide, especially in the US. The COVID-19 pandemic virtually destroyed air travel, leading to empty airports, aircraft grounding, layoffs, and empty flights. Air travel dropped 63% in the US from 2019 to 2020. Data shows the decline began in January 2020, with about 80 million passengers flying that month, nine million less than in December 2019. Over the next few months, the numbers continued declining:
- December 2019 - 89,597,073
- January 2020 - 80,594,291
- February 2020 - 75,708,828
- March 2020 - 43,377,500
- April 2020 - 3,281,041
Since April 2020, airlines have struggled to recover passenger numbers to pre-pandemic levels, but demand has returned faster than anyone predicted. From 2020 to 2021, passenger numbers almost doubled, and 2022 numbers reached 88.83% of what they were in 2019.