Daily and hourly airport traffic is crucial for businesses related to airports, including airport authorities, airlines, retailers, ground handlers, rental car companies, and hotels. If you belong to any of these industries, utilizing daily airport traffic data can help you plan your operations, schedule your resources, forecast revenue, and plan budgets more accurately. Additionally, this data can help you target your marketing and promotional efforts more specifically, leading to more effective business strategies.

FlightBI collects and normalizes the airport passenger throughput data from US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In addition, it has developed a product called Fligence TSA, which features a wide variety of data visualizations. FlightBI is currently offering a two-week, no-obligation trial of Fligence TSA for you to explore valuable insights from the airport traffic data.

This article summarizes US air traffic using the aforementioned tool, utilizing actual airport-level data as of May 6, 2023. Our analysis will examine trends in different segments of air travel, such as domestic versus international flights and leisure versus business travel. To learn more about the specific airports chosen to represent these markets, please refer to this article.

US Overall Airport Traffic Status

As depicted in Figure 1, US air traffic has successfully recovered to pre-pandemic levels. In contrast to prior years, air traffic displayed remarkable stability in April 2023. The current total volume aligns with 2019 levels, which serves as the most recent benchmark of normalcy before the COVID-19 pandemic. Given these trends, we project that total air traffic for the upcoming three months will maintain consistency with the levels experienced in 2019.

Figure 1: US Overall Air Traffic Trend

Domestic Airport Traffic Indicator

Figure 2 presents the US domestic air traffic index, revealing that domestic air traffic has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, primarily due to the absence of a decline in April, unlike the pattern observed in 2019. Moving forward, the outlook for domestic volume in the upcoming three months is encouraging, with estimates suggesting a potential increase of 5-10% above the historical peak.

Figure 2: US Domestic Air Traffic Indicator

International Airport Traffic Indicator

Figure 3 presents the US international traffic index, indicating a notable decrease in international traffic during April 2023. For JFK airport, a representative example, international traffic declined for the majority of April, with a slight uptick only towards the end of the month. In the next three months, we expect that international traffic may encounter further challenges in its attempts to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Figure 3: US International Air Traffic Indicator

Leisure Air Traffic Indicator

In April, the leisure air market sustained its strong performance, maintaining the upward momentum initiated in February and March of this year. As demonstrated in Figure 4, leisure traffic in 2023 has exceeded 2019 and 2022 levels by over 10%. We anticipate that this trend of more than 10% year-over-year growth will persist.

Figure 4: US Leisure Air Traffic Indicator

Business Air Traffic Indicator

Focusing on business traffic, Figure 5 reveals that in April 2023, the curve was slightly below the 2019 level, although the gap was minimal. We expect business traffic to continue its upward trajectory towards a summer peak, ultimately surpassing previous historical levels.

Figure 5: US Business Air Traffic Indicator

In summary, the domestic air traffic market has shown remarkable resilience, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and displaying an optimistic outlook for future growth. The international market, on the other hand, experienced a decrease in April 2023 and faces challenges in returning to pre-pandemic levels in the coming months. The leisure market has consistently outperformed other markets, boasting over 10% year-over-year growth, with this trend expected to continue. Meanwhile, the business market, although still slightly below the 2019 level, is anticipated to climb towards a summer peak and eventually surpass historical levels.

US Commercial Airport Traffic in April 2023
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