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US air travelers top 2 million in one day for first time since pandemic’s beginning

Travelers walked through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 21.
Travelers walked through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 21.Lindsey Wasson/NYT

Daily U.S. air travelers exceeded 2 million for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, reaching almost three-quarters of the volume recorded on the same day in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

TSA officials screened 2,028,961 people at airport security checkpoints on Friday, which was 1.5 million more than on June 11, 2020 and 74% of the number on the same day two years ago, the agency said in a statement.

Air travel rebounded as the U.S. vaccination campaign took off and unleashed a wave of pent-up demand. The surge has pushed up airfares for the peak summer travel season as flight schedules remain lighter than before the pandemic.

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TSA screened an average of 2 million to 2.5 million travelers per day before Covid-19 hit. Screening volume at U.S. airports reached a low on 87,354 on April 13, 2020.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.