The aviation industry was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the recent 4th of July weekend showed that air travel continues to make a resurgence. The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 6 million people Friday, July 1 through Sunday, July 3, numbers close to pre-pandemic levels (2019).
Nearly 2.5 million passengers were screened on July 1, making it the busiest day at U.S. airports since the start of the pandemic.
Houston Airports reported a very robust travel period over the holiday weekend, with numbers approaching pre-pandemic (2019) levels according to Zeljka Momirovic, Director of Air Service Development at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Throughout the July 4th holiday week, HAS served about 6% less passenger traffic than in 2019 and 6% higher than in 2021. Across the country, other airports didn’t fare as well with canceled flights often dominating the headlines because of staffing shortages in the industry.
“Domestic travel has definitely taken off throughout COVID recovery,” according to Momirovic. “Passenger air travel numbers continue to rise, especially domestic leisure travel. The easing of travel restrictions in most parts of the world is accelerating the recovery of international travel, although at a slower pace.”
Additionally, after more than 800 days, Air New Zealand restarted air service at Bush Airport on July 7, yet another positive sign. The foreign flag carrier originally began daily service between Bush Airport and and Auckland in December 2015 until the start of COVID-19 global pandemic in late March 2020.