US Air Travel Numbers Continue to Improve

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New data shows that airlines in the United States saw an increase in passengers for May, but the numbers are still down considerably from pre-pandemic levels.

According to, the U.S. Transportation Department revealed Monday that carriers around the country carried 56.6 million passengers in May 2021, an increase of around 19 percent when compared to April.

Passenger airplane sitting on the tarmac.
Passenger airplane sitting on the tarmac.

Transportation Department data also found that airlines carried 27 percent fewer domestic passengers and 51 percent fewer international passengers in May when compared to the 81 million passengers transported in May 2019.

The 56.6 million passengers transported in May 2021 is up more than 600 percent when compared to the eight million passengers served in May 2020.

Earlier this month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that airport passenger screening numbers have surpassed 2019 levels for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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