Air traffic begins slow climb from the abyss

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TSA in Orlando in March
A slow day at TSA security at Orlando International Airport in late March. Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt/Shutterstock

Though traffic remains exceptionally low, U.S. air travel has begun ticking back up. 

During the week that ended May 3, the TSA screened 981,000 people at airport checkpoints, up 27% from the previous week and up 43% from the week that ended April 18, when checkpoint throughput bottomed out at 684,000. 

Screening numbers include airline passengers and crew. 

Even with the jump, throughput at TSA checkpoints last week was down 94% from the year before. 

ARC data also suggests that demand for air travel may have bottomed out. 

Travel agents issued 81.8% fewer tickets during the week that ended May 3, compared with year-over-year declines in excess of 90% during the previous four weeks. 

In dollar terms, sales last week were down 89.5%, compared with a 94.8% decline the previous week and a 96% fall in the week ending April 12.

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