(RoyalPatriot.com)- The number of air passengers in the United States is beginning to increase substantially, with over 1.5 million traveling on Sunday. It’s the first time the daily figure has topped 1.5 million since March last year, and shows Americans are traveling more despite Democrat governors and mayors insisting people continue to restrict their movement.
The United States Transportation Security Administration revealed the new figures on Monday, indicating that the airline industry might soon begin to recover from the devastating impact of international lockdowns.
Passengers dropped by 60% overall in 2020, but the increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the lifting of some lockdown rules in largely Republican states is giving people reason to travel again.
The Transportation Security Administration said it screened a total of 1.54 million people on Sunday, which constituted the 11th consecutive day of screening over one million people.
And while it’s certainly high for the COVID era, it’s still around 30% lower than levels expected during this time of year before the pandemic.
Passengers may soon have a new reason not to travel, however, with many leading airlines and business groups calling for “Vaccine Passports” that would ensure the only people able to travel are those who take the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a letter to the White House from over two dozen business and airline groups, industry leaders said that it is “crucial to establish uniform guidance” and that the United States “must be a leader in this development.”
Qantas also recently trialed a new digital vaccine passport that will be required for overseas travel once Australia opens its borders to international travel. Known as “CommonPass,” the system is a digital app being used by some airlines and being considered by world governments as a way of determining who should and shouldn’t be allowed to fly.
Under the Qantas trial, passengers will be invited to prove that they have received a COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure, with plans to move towards proving vaccinations in the long term.
U.S. airline executives last week expressed optimism about domestic leisure travel, with United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby saying they expect to end its cash burn and begin operation somewhat as normal again. United said in January that their average daily burn was $19 million and that it would likely continue through the first quarter of 2021.