The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published airport-level passenger throughput up to August 28, 2022. Let’s check the US air traffic status. Please refer to this article about how we choose specific airports as representatives for US domestic, international, leisure, and business markets.
U.S. Overall Air Traffic Status
As shown in Figure 1, the overall US air traffic declined in the second half of August. This aligns with the seasonality trend in other years. In fact, the declining slope is smaller than those in 2019 and 2021, just as we expected. Because of the shape drop of traffic at the beginning of September 2019, the overall air traffic level may touch the 2019 line temporarily in the next several days, but the gap will appear again.
Figure 1: US Overall Air Traffic Trend
Domestic Air Traffic Indicator
Figure 2 is the U.S. domestic air traffic indicator. Domestic air traffic is the driver of the overall traffic decline in August, but again the decrease is much smaller than August last year. Currently, the demand is constrained by airline and airport capacity. So the traffic change this year should be less dramatic than in previous years.
Figure 2: US Domestic Air Traffic Indicator
International Air Traffic Indicator
Figure 3 is an indicator of US international traffic. The line is relatively flat. We expect that it keeps that way after a slight decrease when the summer season is wrapped up.
Figure 3: US International Air Traffic Indicator
Leisure Air Traffic Indicator
As shown in Figure 4, the leisure air market went through small ups and downs. We don’t expect it to have a dramatic drop as in September 2019, but we will probably see less traffic in September than in August.
Figure 4: US Leisure Air Traffic Indicator
Business Air Traffic Indicator
As for the business traffic, Figure 5 shows that the gap between this year and 2019 is shrinking, indicating that businesses are returning to normal slowly.
Figure 5: US Business Air Traffic Indicator
To summarize, US air traffic is still on the right track, thanks to the recovery of business travel and international trips.