The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published airport-level passenger throughput up to January 28, 2023. Let’s check the US air traffic status in the first month of 2023. 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 started lower than the pre-covid level in the first half of January. US air traffic in January always declines from the beginning of the month to the end of the month. However, the traffic decrease this year was mild. The total volume has exceeded both 2019 and 2020 in the middle of the month. But there was another decline at the end of January 2023, pushing total volume below the 2019 level. Nevertheless, the total traffic in the next three months is expected to be above the 2019 level.
Figure 1: US Overall Air Traffic Trend
Domestic Air Traffic Indicator
Figure 2 is the U.S. domestic air traffic indicator. The U.S. domestic air traffic had recovered to the pre-COVID level. We expect domestic traffic in the next month will be higher than in Feb 2020, when COVID hasn’t impacted the U.S. domestic market.
Figure 2: US Domestic Air Traffic Indicator
International Air Traffic Indicator
Figure 3 is an indicator of US international traffic. The 2023 curve is below the 2019 and 2020 levels. We still need several months to see a full recovery of US international traffic.
Figure 3: US International Air Traffic Indicator
Leisure Air Traffic Indicator
For the majority of January 2023, US leisure air traffic is above the pre-COVID level. As shown in Figure 4, we believe this segment will be the strongest among all segments in the following several months.
Figure 4: US Leisure Air Traffic Indicator
Business Air Traffic Indicator
As for the business traffic, Figure 5 shows that the 2023 curve was still below the 2020 levels in January. The traffic level might be close to the 2019 level in the first quarter of 2023.
Figure 5: US Business Air Traffic Indicator
To summarize, US air traffic in January 2023 is much higher than in the previous two years. Overall it has reached the pre-COVID level. Domestic and Leisure markets perform better than International and Business markets.