US airline flyers creep up toward 2 million in travel rebound

US airline flyers creep up toward 2 million in travel rebound
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(May 30): US airlines carried the most passengers in almost 15 months on Friday, rebounding from the pandemic, as travelers took advantage of relaxed restrictions and expanding vaccinations to take off for Memorial Day weekend.

The Transportation Security Administration reported that it screened almost 1.96 million people at airports, compared with 1.85 million on Thursday. That’s the most since March 7, 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was in its early stages.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidance on wearing masks in public this month, saying fully vaccinated people could generally do without face coverings. Masks while flying or riding public transit remain a CDC recommendation.

While airline passenger numbers have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, they are much improved this year. The number of people who passed through TSA checkpoints during last year’s Memorial Day weekend averaged slightly more than 300,000, according to data on the agency’s website.

Growing traveler numbers have buoyed airline stocks this year. Moody’s this month lifted the credit outlook for municipal bonds sold on behalf of US airports.