As of late May 2022, an average of 2.2 million people were clearing security in American airports every day. That figure is eight times higher than the number of passengers during the same time in 2020. Airport traffic isn’t quite at the pre-pandemic level of 2.5 million flyers in 2019.
After two years of fewer flights, 1.6 million commercial flights were scheduled in the first quarter of 2022, about 9% lower than the same period in 2019. And as the number of flights increased, airlines were on schedule less often. Through the first three months of 2022, nearly a quarter of flights did not arrive on time. That’s the tardiest first quarter for commercial air travel since 2014. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics defines a flight as on time if it arrives within 15 minutes of the originally scheduled time.
Every commercial airline in the US had fewer flights in the first quarter of 2022 compared with 2019. Three airlines — American, Alaska, and United — had higher shares of on-time flights in 2022 than in 2019.
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